How Can You Boost Engagement & Retention Amongst Remote Employees?

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Minimizing the turnover of employees is vital if you want your business to thrive. On average, companies with low turnover rates rake in profits four times larger than those with employee retention problems. This statistic is attributable to several factors, including the costs associated with hiring, training, and onboarding new hires, as well as productivity lost through unfilled vacancies.

Typically, HR teams and managing directors hang on to talented employees by offering rewards such as promotions and pay increases. Of course, money and rewards aren’t everything, and many companies work hard to implement an appealing company culture.

Modern employees appreciate work environments in which they feel valued and connected to others. That’s why retention strategies traditionally revolve around nurturing employee relationships via social events and helping workers maintain a healthy work-life balance.

As many companies move toward flexible and remote working arrangements, these retention strategies are becoming less feasible. The good news is that companies allowing remote work boast a 25% lower employee turnover rate compared to entirely office-based companies. The bad news is that you cannot rely on this statistic alone — remote employees still want to feel valued and connected to their peers.

So, how can you achieve this kind of healthy company culture if you have a large number of remote workers on your hands?


Tips for Boosting Retention of Remote Employees

Reducing your turnover of employees is all about adapting to the new digital world and encouraging communication between workers. Strategies to boost retention and morale could include:


1. Prioritize video communications

Sending an email is often faster than organizing a video conference. However, over-reliance on emails and text chats can lead to a culture of loneliness, isolation, and lack of accountability. According to a recent report, 43% of remote workers miss conversing with their colleagues, while 20% miss the company happy hours that take place in offices.

To remedy this, encourage workers to use applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams as much as possible. The beauty of video chat is that it nurtures casual conversation and allows friendships to develop while maintaining an atmosphere of professionalism.


2. Provide a high-quality onboarding experience

Welcome new starters into the company with a seamless onboarding process. Start by ensuring employees have access to all the tech they need before their first day and offer to purchase any necessary office essentials. This could include an ergonomic chair for employees with postural issues or a company laptop pre-installed with relevant software. You must also provide plenty of accessible information about the company and arrange welcome meetings to ensure employees get to know their peers.


3. Offer high-quality feedback regularly

Don’t leave employees to their own devices for long periods. Meet with them and offer valuable feedback about the quality of their work. While you may believe that workers want to be left alone, remote employees who receive regular feedback from their managers are three times more likely to feel motivated and engaged than those who don’t.


4. Run regular surveys

Are you wondering what your employees want from you? Distribute employee satisfaction surveys on a monthly or quarterly basis and use the results to improve your retention strategies. This helps you deliver a better experience for remote employees and ensures workers feel valued and respected.


5. Help employees manage their work-life balance

While remote working arrangements can reduce commuting times and offer greater flexibility for parents, they can also make it difficult to separate work time from personal time. Women in particular face difficulties with remote work, as many handle domestic duties at home. A recent survey indicates that 57% of mothers have struggled to juggle childcare and work commitments over the past year.

As an employer, you can help workers manage their work-life balance by offering flexible hours or discounts on childcare services. You must also promote the importance of a healthy work-life balance to ensure your employees don’t suffer burnout. Encourage them to maintain a routine and don’t message employees outside of work hours.


6. Share important updates with everyone

If you juggle a mixture of remote and in-office teams, it’s all too easy to forget to keep remote workers in the loop. To avoid feelings of resentment and isolation on the remote side, distribute weekly updates to ensure everyone is on the same page.


7. Organize remote social events

An increase in remote working doesn’t mean social events have to end. Consider hosting a company-wide murder mystery or escape game night to help colleagues get to know each other. Remember to include prizes at the end! After all, relaxing and unwinding at the end of a tough week is one of the best ways to boost employee morale.


Jon Conelias is the CEO and founder of Elevent, an events marketplace helping employers connect with their employees and clients. He has been working with startups for the past 15 years.

This article is part of Buildremote’s contributor series. If you’d like to share some insights about how you run your remote company, learn more here.

About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and run a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a remote company. I hope if you read my site, you'll be spared.

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