How to Retain Remote Employees: Strategies You Need To Know
While hiring remote employees comes with several benefits, cost reduction is undoubtedly the principal focus for most companies. It’s no secret that businesses are increasingly switching from the typical in-house work environment to a remote framework, as they attempt to minimise their human resource costs, as well as boost workplace convenience.
Going by study reports published by various reputable agencies, this approach is working well for companies across all industries. They are exceedingly saving money that would otherwise have been spent facilitating an in-house working structure. A report by PGI, for example, places the average annual cost savings at about $11,000 for every single remote employee.
That, by all means, is an impressive amount of money to save on human resources alone. And, interestingly, it turns out it can get better. The trick is simply minimising your remote employee turnover rate.
Maintaining a steady employee turnover rate might seem like a pretty normal thing in today’s dynamic job environment. But, here’s the thing – every single time you replace a remote worker, you might end up losing more than you had planned to gain.
According to LegalZoom, a high employee turnover rate could, for instance, even cost your company its trade secrets. And having your competitors gaining insights into your operations is potentially detrimental to the entire business. That’s why come to think of it; employers are now capitalizing on Employee Non-Disclosure Agreements to protect their companies.
Sadly, that’s just one of the challenges of high employee turnovers. The bulk of the losses come after signing NDAs, through the costly process of training new employees.
The fact of the matter is, companies are now spending a lot of resources on employee training. Take Siemens, for instance. It repeatedly invests half a billion dollars every year in training its employees. And you can bet the trend is not that different when it comes to remote employees.
Interestingly, it just so happens that training remote workers could even be costlier. 87% of remote employees today report that they are indeed trained regularly. And although a fraction of them leverage their training programs, a solid 70% are coached by their companies.
Well, you could make things much easier by using a structured coaching system. But, it takes a combination of that plus a high employee retention rate to minimize your training costs over the long haul.
This is, in fact, a major issue that bothers 87% of employers. So, to help you retain your remote talent, here are the top actionable strategies:
Make Them Feel Right At Home
The most basic trick to retaining remote employees is making them feel right at home. In other words, you should convince them that they are an integral part of the company, and their contribution is much appreciated.
This usually begins with onboarding. So, put on your Rafiki management hat and give your new employees a warm welcome.
If they stay anywhere near your offices, invite them over for a face-to-face chat. Then, of course, walk them around the premises, and while you’re at it, encourage your staff to socialise with them. The resultant bonds they form could go a long way towards creating effective collaboration in the workplace.
Make no mistake though. While face to face meetups are always encouraged, you don’t have to physically hang out with your employees to give them a warm welcome. In the event you’re dealing with overseas remote workers, you can instead use video chatting tools like Skype. Give them a call and hang out just like you would if they were physically present.
But, don’t leave it at that. You should make time for additional hangouts even after they’ve been given a warm welcome. Consequently, you’ll notice that with time, your remote employees will be able to pick up the company culture, as well as develop great working relationships with the rest of the staff.
Resist the Temptation of Micromanagement
Remote working is not beneficial to companies alone. Even employees themselves enjoy, among other things, the autonomy that comes with telecommuting.
Admittedly, handling tasks from the comfort of your home is satisfyingly convenient. You get to choose how and when you’d like to work.
In short, therefore, remote employees would hate to be micromanaged. So, don’t mistake micromanagement for employee tracking. While it’s important to keep an eye on your employees’ tasks, the tracking system should not be invasive at all. Respect their space, and they’ll be loyal to you.
Pay on Time
Another thing you might have noticed about remote employees is that they don’t often worry about how you’ll pay them. They just want to get paid regularly on time.
Since that’s easier said than done, you might want to invest in effective payroll software. It should not only keep track of all payment records, but also automate the remittance process.
That means less work for your accounts team. They’ll be able to maintain a consistently punctual payment schedule over the long haul.
Maintain Open Communication
Don’t communicate with your remote employees through formal emails only. Connect with them at a much deeper level by talking to them like they were part of the management team. That means opening up about everything concerning the company, including your short term and long term goals.
Small talk might seem like a waste of time at first. But, it’s a great way to build trust between employers and employees.
Your remote workers will start seeing you more like a friend than an employer who considers them as workhorses. As a result, they’ll connect with you more candidly, and you’ll eventually begin perceiving them as partners as opposed to just employees.
Such an open communication system, in the end, builds a mutually-beneficial collaborative environment. And that’s essentially how businesses gradually transform into successful companies.