The Remote Reality: 7 Ways To Improve Remote Team Retention

Assembling a hardworking, skilled team requires ample time and energy, and it may be even more challenging to assemble an amazing remote team. After all, each remote employee must have the ideal skill set and educational background to fill the position, and the remote employee needs to have additional work habits or skills to effectively work at a distance.

After devoting so much attention and effort to the creation of your remote work team, you understandably want to keep that team together for as long as possible. By focusing on employee retention strategies, you may enjoy maximum benefit from your team for as long as possible.

The Benefits of Employee Retention

The unfortunate reality is that all employees will eventually move on regardless of how effective your retention efforts are. For example, even satisfied employees may desire a change of pace or be offered a superior position elsewhere from time to time. However, many employees leave because of specific issues with the workplace, management or coworkers rather than because they want a change or are looking for growth opportunities. By retaining your remote employees for as long as possible, your company may save a substantial amount of money related to the recruiting process. Superior productivity and satisfied customers may also be related to employee retention efforts.

You can see that remote team retention should be a primary goal. These are some thoughtful ideas to improve the retention rate for your remote employees.

1. Create a Thoughtful, Effective Onboarding Program

Remote employees can, unfortunately, feel as though they are not an important member of your team. Distance and isolation contribute to this, so an important step to tackle this head-on is to successfully onboard each employee.

For example, invite new hires to visit your office personally. Set up meet-and-greets to introduce the new remote employee to all relevant staff members personally. Find smart ways to teach your new hires about company culture and to include them in activities. Encourage your new hires to jump right in by assigning a project quickly, and give the individual the training and resources necessary to tackle that project.

2. Focus on Employee Development

Regardless of whether your employees work in the office or in a remote location, they may seek a new position when they feel as though their professional growth has stagnated.

Provide your employees with regular training opportunities.

These may be through telecourses, seminars, paid tuition at online colleges and more. Keep in mind that employee development also stems from work-related activities. Allow your remote team members to grow by assigning new roles and responsibilities on progressively more challenging projects.

3. Take Advantage of Annual Reviews

Annual reviews are often viewed as being one-sided. Management reviews the employee and provides constructive criticism. However, this can and should be a two-way process. Ask your remote employees what they think about the company and management styles. Request ideas for improvement, and act on those ideas when feasible. Keep in mind that both management and employees always have room to improve in various ways.

4. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Remote employees often feel as though they are on every day of the week during waking hours. Because they work out of their house, they lack the physical separation between work and relaxation. This, unfortunately, leads to stress and discontent. Be a positive role model by shutting down your side of the operations during evening and weekend hours. Remove expectations for employees to constantly be available. Provide flex time, and encourage employees to use paid time off regularly.

5. Improve Communication

Another cause of unhappiness with remote employees is poor communication. Without adequate communication, your remote employees may feel isolated, confused and frustrated. There are numerous advanced communication tools that can be effectively used in your workplace. These include Skype, Slack, Asana, Dropbox, and others. You may need to try several technologies before you find one that is most effective for how your team works. Hold team meetings weekly, and use teleconferencing capabilities when possible so that everyone can see each other face-to-face.

6. Improvement Management Techniques

Your managerial style and efforts may also contribute to a high or low retention rating. For example, managers who are overbearing and who micromanage employees regularly can easily contribute to a poor retention rate. When you do your best to assemble the right team, trust that your team can work independently and tackle their tasks appropriately. However, you should be readily available to support your remote team when they reach out to you.

7. Automate and Monitor Time Tracking

You understandably need to monitor your remote team to ensure that they are working their full required shift. Some companies use manual timesheets, but this can create stress and doubt. A smarter idea is to automate how you monitor and track time. Numerous software programs are available that can facilitate this effort in a manner that is convenient and easy for employees and managers alike.

Employee retention is understandably a serious concern. Without a high retention rate, profitability, customer satisfaction, and productivity may suffer in substantial ways. While some turnover is to be expected over the years, you can see that your company’s employee retention rate is in your homes to a substantial degree. Implement each of these tips effectively so that you can improve your retention rate soon. How have you successfully improved your company’s employee retention rate?

Heather Redding
HEATHER is a tech enthusiast and freelance writer based in Aurora, Illinois. When she isn’t working, Heather loves to read and swim. She is also a coffee snob with a passion for photography. You can reach Heather via her social media links below.
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