This blog covers how you can implement successful employee retention strategies in today’s remote work era.
Telecommuting is still new terrain for many companies and HR professionals. They’re still figuring out how to manage their workforce in the digital space without hurting employee engagement.
However, it’s something they all have to grasp, given the popularity of remote work. According to a Havard Business School study, most professionals who transitioned to remote work wouldn’t want to return to the traditional office full time.
While studies and statistics have shown the many benefits of remote work, it still comes with challenges. For example, managers are tempted to micromanage since telecommuters can’t be physically supervised, and restrictive rules could cause challenges in the home-office arrangement.
Employers risk losing their workforce to competitors if they don’t enforce the right policies. This article will explore employee retention strategies for remote work that can help organisations prevent their best talents from leaving.
Avoid Delayed Payments
Late paychecks can kill the morale in your company and force your workers out the door. Every employee depends on their wage to settle personal issues and bills. So, this makes money a critical factor in employee retention.
Things can quickly get ugly when firms delay payments more often than they should. Now, it gets trickier in a remote setting.
First, you have to get your payroll right, especially with an unconventional workspace where calculating billable hours can be difficult. That said, with a work time tracking app, you can generate accurate timesheets.
Not getting your payroll right could attract your competitors, and workers can easily make the switch if they’re frustrated.
Watching a subordinate or employee make costly mistakes is difficult, especially if you know how to avoid them. Allowing them to go through a process you’re not confident about can even be more challenging.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to control their every move. Micromanagement is workplace dictatorship. It’s unhealthy and it demoralizes the workforce. It creates a problematic chasm between employers and managers, erodes trust, and discourages commitment.
Monitoring and controlling every aspect of your team’s workflow will make you lose sight of the bigger picture. It annoys employees, sows distrust, and leads to high turnover.
No employee wants someone over their shoulders at every hour. They quickly get fed up working in such an environment.
So, if you’re going to retain your best workers, show them you’re confident in their ability to make the right decisions.
Develop an Optimised Reward System
One of the best ways to retain outstanding employees is recognising and appreciating them. As a manager, you must understand the importance of appreciation.
Workers want to know that what they do matters. By validating their work, you’re not just encouraging them to do better but also boosting their job satisfaction and loyalty.
According to a Great Place to Work study, 37% of respondents said personal recognition would encourage them to perform better.
Additionally, 63% of participants in a Bonusly and SurveyMonkey study “who are ‘always’ or ‘usually’ recognised” said they’re unlikely to switch jobs.
These numbers show that reward and recognition programs are the cornerstone of effective employee management. So, if you don’t have such a program, developing one would be hugely beneficial.
However, it doesn’t end at starting a reward and recognition program. Companies are now becoming creative as the competition for talent grows more intense. That means you have to optimise your rewards program for your workforce to prevent them from looking elsewhere.
Developing a program involves setting up recognition frequencies, types of bonuses and incentives to be distributed, and how to distribute them.
You have to streamline every process for remote workers. Use an excellent recognition system to identify work-from-home employees who do good work and send out gifts that benefit telecommuters.
Organise Training and Workshops
Investing in your staff’s development builds a sense of belonging and loyalty. It shows them you’re interested in their growth and are ready to spend for that cause.
Learning and development are ongoing activities as enterprises adopt complex applications each day. To stay relevant, employees remain on the lookout for opportunities that will help advance their careers.
L&D is important for remote workers who are spread across the world. You have to integrate your staff into your company’s processes and train them on navigating the industry.
Indeed, training can be more difficult in a virtual workspace. However, you have to figure out innovative ways to develop your workforce.
Support Flexible Working
Employees tend to lean towards firms with flexible working structures. That’s because they’ll have more space to work comfortably and determine their hours. Encouraging flexible hours is one of the most effective employee retention strategies, especially in remote workplaces.
Studies have shown that one-third of employees would take flexible hours over a raise, as well as a 2021 Jabra Hybrid Ways of Working report finding that 77% of employees would pick an organization that offers flexible hours over one that doesn’t.
There are different interpretations of flexible working hours. For some, it starts and stops at working remotely, while for others, it includes a bit of in-office work.
However, it doesn’t end at allowing employees to work remotely or telling them to show up at the office twice a week. You have to give them the autonomy to choose hours that work for them.
If your company has a rigid work time structure, find innovative ways to allow workers to select after-hours periods.
For any office environment, employee independence is one of the vital ingredients for success. While a level of supervision is healthy, workers love to handle how they go about work.
According to a paper on the effects of job autonomy on work outcomes published on Research Gate, “job autonomy is significantly related to job performance and satisfaction.” Another 2017 study found that giving workers more responsibilities raises productivity.
Autonomy is vital for remote workers who are less supervised than in-office employers. They need to make critical decisions without breaking the workflow to contact a manager. Trusting your employees to make the right calls will keep them satisfied with work and boost performance.
Build a Collaborative Environment
One of the biggest challenges of remote work is communication. Since employees work from home, reaching out to other colleagues for simple issues is hardly considered. Moreover, even when they reach out, they don’t always receive immediate, synchronous feedback like in the traditional office environment.
Also, separating home from work makes it all the more challenging to collaborate with other team members. This tendency for telecommuters to work in silos can breed a sense of job dissatisfaction over time.
So, ensure you develop and encourage communication and collaboration. Create general routines, such as daily briefs, video conferencing, and project updates. Make sure you constantly remind team members to reach out whenever they feel stuck.
You don’t want to lose your top talents to the competition because you refused to adapt. Implementing the right policies in a remote workplace will improve your work culture and help you retain productive employees. Above all, you must keep the lines of communication open and encourage feedback to help you collect information needed to streamline your policies to suit staff.
Sometimes you need a little extra help. For information on how our recruitment technology can help you more efficiently hire and retain talented employees, get in touch.
Sarah B Blank
March 17, 2022
Sarah B. Blank is a business and management graduate writing about remote working, time management, productivity and other similar topics. Her articles appear on various authority websites and get thousands of visits every month.
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