Remote & Async Work 9 min

Tips for remote employee retention to slash turnover

Written by Amanda Day
Amanda Day

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Are you struggling with remote employee retention in this world of back-to-back Zoom calls and endless Slack messages?

You're not alone. In fact, 90% of companies are concerned about employee retention. Even the best companies may struggle to keep their remote employees engaged to retain top talent.

But don’t worry, mastering remote employee retention isn’t as daunting as it sounds. In this article, we spill the beans on employee retention strategies that actually work to keep remote employees. We'll cover tips from cultivating a remote-first culture to staying compliant with remote work laws across borders.

Cultivate a remote-first culture

Creating a remote-first culture is key to building a strong dispersed team. Some quick tips to cultivating a remote-first culture are:

  • Schedule routine check-ins and one-on-ones to stay connected and understand the challenges your remote employees are going through.

  • Establish transparent workflows so everyone knows what’s happening. This builds trust and keeps the team on the same page.

  • Make decisions as a team, regardless of location. This helps remote employees feel more valued and taps into a diverse pool of ideas.

  • Be mindful of time zones when planning meetings and deadlines. This improves employees’ work-life balance and shows your team members that you respect their time.

  • Organize virtual hangouts, like virtual team lunches or quiz nights, to strengthen bonds and create a community.

Implementing these practices into your day-to-day creates a strong and inclusive work culture that makes remote employees feel right at home.

Foster effective communication

Given that 62% of people are part of teams that work across time zones, top-notch communication is crucial to keeping your employees connected and on track. 

The right mix of chat-now (synchronous) and chat-later (asynchronous) approaches means neither early birds nor night owls are left out.

Try using a mix of tools to stay in touch with your teams, no matter their locations:

  • Instant messaging platforms, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Discord, allow for real-time messaging and team collaboration.

  • Video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype, facilitates virtual meetings, making interactions more personal.

  • Good old email remains a staple for less urgent updates.

By varying how you talk and listen through different communication tools, you can make sure everyone feels like part of the team without always needing to be “on.”

Streamline the remote onboarding process

Helping newcomers feel right at home starts with a smooth remote onboarding process. Making a strong first impression with new hires can help employee retention by 82%.

Here’s how to help make this happen:

Pre-onboarding

Before their first day, send new hires information on what to expect, the tools they’ll use, and who to reach out to if they have any questions. Get their tech sorted and consider sending them a welcome package to brighten their first day.

Orientation

Host a virtual “hello” session to introduce the new team member to the company’s unique culture and values. New employees feel 4.7 times happier with their onboarding process when they are familiarized with the company's culture.

Don't forget to provide online access to any must-reads, like the employee handbook.

Training

Whip up a fun training plan filled with everything the new hire needs for their role. Partnering them with a work buddy can also help them settle in faster, and create a sense of community. Feeling connected to team members can motivate the new hire to stay with the company longer.

Integration

Introduce new hires in team meetings and encourage colleagues to connect with them. New employees say that they are 1.9 times happier with the onboarding process when then know who their partners are. For more information, check out our article dedicated to onboarding remote employees.

Prioritize employee wellness and work-life balance

63% of US employees are scouting for roles that promise a better work-life balance and improved personal well-being.

Maintaining a healthy balance between your work and personal life is particularly crucial in remote work environments. Unfortunately, only 24% of US workers believe that their companies truly care about their well-being. But when they do feel cared for, they’re 69% less likely to be on the job hunt. 

Employees can easily experience burnout when working remotely. Here’s how you can support your employees’ mental health and respect their work-life balance:

  • Encourage taking regular breaks.

  • Offer subscriptions to wellness apps. A little mindfulness or a quick workout can do wonders for a person’s day.

  • Respect personal time. Don’t call or message employees after work hours.

  • Sending an email to someone who’s off the clock? Expect to have to wait for a reply, especially if they’re in a different time zone than you.

  • Throw in a meeting-free day to keep Zoom fatigue and burnout in check.

Prioritizing employee well-being creates a balanced work environment that motivates remote employees to stay with your organization.

Offer career development opportunities

A great way to motivate remote employees to stay with your organization is to give them opportunities to learn a new skill. In fact, companies see almost a 7% higher retention rate at the 3-year mark among employees who learned new skills at their job.

Here’s how you can help your remote team member grow:

  • Offer access to online learning platforms so they can develop new skills.

  • Host virtual career fairs to support internal transitions.

  • Craft individualized career plans for each team member.

  • Pair remote employees with experienced mentors in your company.

  • Promote involvement in cross-departmental projects for wider exposure.

  • Consider funding or subsidizing courses or certifications relevant to the team members’ roles or future goals.

  • Offer leadership development programs for those eyeing managerial positions.

Career development initiatives do more than just boost team members’ work skills — they also keep these individuals around longer.

Use data to boost remote employee engagement

Data can be your best friend to keep your remote team engaged. Swap guesswork for solid metrics, like employee satisfaction rates and the employee net promoter score (eNPS). These numbers give you a clear picture of how happy and pumped your team is.

Here are other indicators to keep an eye on to retain remote employees:

  • Employee turnover and retention rates to see if people are sticking around.

  • Absenteeism levels since frequent no-shows could hint at issues like employee burnout.

  • Performance metrics to identify what’s working well and what’s not.

Wondering how to really understand your remote team’s vibe? Simple tools like pulse surveys, feedback forms, and performance reviews can help you understand how your employees really think about their workplace.

Conduct regular surveys to get the real deal on your team’s engagement. This can help you make sure your organizations has happy employees who are willing to stay.

Stay informed and compliant with remote work laws

44% of companies report growth in numbers of full-time employees abroad. This means that you need to understand the legal aspects of remote work to keep your international team compliantly over time.

International compliance includes data security, employee rights, and country-specific rules in various countries. Think about the EU’s tight GDPR laws or the US’s own mix of state-specific remote work regulations.

Want to stay compliant to retain remote employees? Download our free hiring international employees checklist.

Staying on top of legal requirements for international remote work can be overwhelming. That’s where a service like Remote comes in handy. We’ve got local experts everywhere who are clued in on the latest legal changes so you don’t have to sweat it.

Stuck on a legal question? We’re just a quick message away.

Encourage autonomy and trust

Trust is the cornerstone of remote work. It empowers your team members to manage their own work without constant oversight. In fact, 42% of employees say they risk productivity if they are not trusted by their employer.

To foster trust, set clear objectives and step back to let your team shine. Your role is to support, not micromanage. Check-ins? Sure, but make them about helping and guiding, not keeping tabs.

Creating a culture where trust and freedom are the norm is more than just an employee morale booster. It shows your remote team members that you believe in them. This can seriously ramp up their loyalty and happiness, motivating to stay with your organization.

Provide fair and competitive remote salaries

Making sure your remote team members are paid fairly is huge. It’s like saying, “we see and appreciate you,” no matter where they are located.

Compare your pay scales with the market every year. Keep in mind this involves more than number-crunching. It’s also about understanding trends, the cost of living in different regions, and recognizing your remote staff’s unique roles. Adjusting salaries and benefits accordingly shows you’re serious about treating everyone fairly.

Paying your remote team fairly and competitively sends a powerful message. It shows you’re committed to their well-being and appreciate their contributions, setting the stage for a loyal and happy remote workforce.

For more tips on paying your global workforce, check out our article on how to manage global compensation.

Remote employee retention with ease

It’s tempting to go for traditional tactics when it comes to retaining remote employees. But keep you in mind you need to respect each individual team member's lifestyle when managing a dispersed team.

When you partner with global HR partner like Remote, your employees will feel valued and connected to your organization. Our platform is easy to use, from onboarding to managing and paying your employees and contractors, no matter where you hire. Onboard in just a few seconds, and pay your team members with just a few clicks. If you need extra help, our in-house, on-the-ground experts are ready to help.

Want to start off on the right foot? Get started with Remote today.

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