The culture of remote working has become a prevalent trend in the times of the ongoing pandemic. In fact, when the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic shut down offices and company headquarters around the world, remote working made sure that organizations continue to thrive.
Even now a lot of organizations around the globe are functioning in a remote working setup. Interestingly, Facebook has asked its workers to work from home till July 2021. So, remote working has found a greater acceptance than ever before amid the outbreak of COVID-19. Now, why do you think working from home is becoming a positive trend? The answer lies in the emergence of a digital revolution wherein technology has unleashed a whole new working scenario. Today you can run a business sitting at home while your workers work remotely from different parts of the world. But do you ever worry thinking how can you make your top remote employees stay with you for the longest?
According to a study conducted by Fortune Workplace and Kronos, employee retention is critical to organizations. 87% of employers give importance to improving employee retention within the organization. In fact, most of the employers worrying about retaining top talents makes a lot of sense. As a business owner, you want stability within your workforce.
Furthermore, when employees keep leaving your organization after short spans, your business can suffer. Also, a lot of time and money goes waste in training new recruits on a regular basis and giving them orientation sessions. So, you should avoid a lot of changing and chopping within your workforce as it can hamper business growth. Ultimately, a part of success in your business depends on the quality of your employees and their employee engagement. This is why you should make sure that the best talents in your organization stick around for the longest possible time.
But employee retention can be challenging sometimes especially when it comes to holding on to your remote employees. This post has some successful practices you can adopt to retain your top remote talents. But before that, it makes complete sense that we comprehend employee retention and employee turnover as crucial in a holistic sense.
What is employee retention?
Employee retention is a vital goal for all organizations as it has various benefits for the employer. Every organization makes diligent efforts to retain its existing employees and top talents. Further, employee retention is usually defined as the percentage of employees that stay in an organization for a fixed period of time. So, different companies apply different strategies to minimize employee turnover. Employee turnover is the percentage of workers that leave a firm in a certain timeframe.
Why should organizations care about employee retention?
But the next question you need to ask yourself is why should it matter to you as an employer? Why do you need to devise careful strategies to improve employee retention and reduce employee turnover? Employee retention should matter to you as an employer for the various benefits it offers. High employee retention has a positive impact on a business both in terms of costs and productivity. Here is a quick list of merits that high employee retention offer to businesses.
- The sustained flow of efficiency among workers
- Cost deduction for businesses and organizations
- Reduction in time invested in training
The above scenarios are imperative for any organization to perform well and avoid unnecessary expenditures. When you create high employee retention within your organization, you can sustain the flow of productivity. Your employees who have been with you for long now have a clear understanding of the company’s vision, mission, and core values.
Further, they have acquired the skills and experience that they need to work with high efficiency. So, for obvious reasons you should not lose out on such employees who are assets for your business.
Moreover, when there is a good degree of employee retention, it can prove to be cost-effective. Needless to say, recruiting and onboarding of new staff can be a costly affair for your organization. Also, there are additional costs that companies have to bear to train new recruits. When you minimize employee turnover, you can have more funds to invest in other elements of a business. At last, when you retain your existing staff, it saves you a lot of time. Otherwise, hiring new employees, introducing the core values of your company to them, and training them can be time-consuming.
According to a study, the costs of employee turnover can be very high. For low-level employees, employee turnover can cost an organization a minimum of 16 per cent of his annual salary. Furthermore, for top executive positions, the loss can go up to 213 per cent of their annual salaries. Quite a massive financial loss, isn’t it?
So, as you can see, employee retention should be a core business strategy for you. Employee retention coupled with high employee engagement is essential for the growth of a business. The costs and the time you save by avoiding regular new hiring can be put to better use. After all, time and money are of the utmost importance for any business.
Furthermore, retention of top remote employees can be a complex task. Now, you must be wondering if you should actually care about retaining remote talents or not. For all the amazing benefits that a remote working force offers, you should prioritize their retention. Here are some reasons why remote talents are of great importance.
- Remote workers have higher productivity as per the Harvard Business Review
- Remote workers can work over and above their job requirements
- Remote workers are happy to associate with organizations for long
- Remote workers offer talents from all across the globe
- Remote workers add more flexibility to an organization
So, as you can see, having efficient and happy remote workers onboard can be game-changing.
Further, there are enough reasons why you must deliberate upon the strategies to retain them. In fact, a scenario where your employees are happy to work from home can also prove to be cost-effective. Most of the remote workers are happy to take small cuts in their salaries for the convenience of working from home. Is it not a win-win situation for everyone then? So, now without waiting any longer, let us analyze the best strategies that you can apply to retain your remote workers.
4 strategies to create high employee retention among remote workers
1. Offer a cordial welcome
To retain a remote worker for the longest, you need to encourage a sense of loyalty in him. You can do this by extending a warm welcome when a remote employee joins the organization. Further, if he lives in the same city, you can invite him over for an office tour and a small interaction. On the other hand, if an employee is from a different city, you can extend a welcome through video conferencing. In this way, you encourage a sense of belongingness and loyalty within a remote worker which might take them by a pleasant surprise. During this warm welcome, you can also introduce the new recruit to his managers and teammates. So, by building a loyal and deep relationship with a remote employee, you can increase the prospects of retention.
2. Make communication as easy as possible
Clear and easy communication between employers and employees often helps to keep confusion at bay. An easy mode of communication becomes even more essential when your workers are remote. Hence, if it is too difficult for your remote employees to interact with you, the relationship can never be smooth.
So, you can use some simple remote communication tools like Skype, Slack, Dropbox, and others to keep it simple. Also, you should always have a backup communication interface in case there is a technical glitch with the primary one. Remember, uninterrupted communication helps build trustworthy relationships. Further, a trust-based relationship with your remote employees can help you increase retention.
3. Give flexibility to your remote employees
One of the biggest driving forces about the preferences for remote working is autonomy. Remote employees find it fascinating that they can work as per their own speed and have a sense of freedom. Once they complete a given project, they can spend the rest of the time developing their skills or volunteering for another project. They love the intrinsic flexibility that a work from home culture offers. So, as long as their freedom and autonomy do not hamper their work, let this freedom stay. If you can back their flexibility, they can have better employee motivation to give you better results.
Their flexible approach makes them happy, more comfortable and they avoid stress better. As you already know, all these are attributes of high employee engagement. So, let them be and let them deliver their best as per their happiness and work-life balance. When they realize that you are giving them the opportunity to preserve their autonomy, their loyalty towards your company can increase manifold.
4. Sign a contract with your remote workers
Do you sign a contract with your remote workers? If you do not, you can adopt this practice to improve retention. Through a formal contract that you make them sign, you can express their job roles and pay scale in an official manner. If you want, you can also make them sign a time-based contract for associating with your company. Another benefit of signing a contract is that there is going to be no confusion with expectations and salary details later.
To wrap up, with the above professional practices, you can prevent high employee turnover in your business. Once you are able to achieve high employee retention, you can concentrate on other vital business strategies better. One of the key things about retaining remote employees is that you need to make them feel valued. This means that they should not feel that their retention or resignation does not make much of a difference to you. While most people ignore the need to work on relationship building with remote employees, you should put in efforts to weave loyal relationships. Remote workers offer a lot of benefits to any organization especially in times of the ongoing pandemic.
Hence, you need to have a proactive approach towards retaining your top remote talents.