Remote work has put a real strain on HR teams trying to remain engaged and inclusive. However, while employees are more scattered than ever before, the secret to a successful remote workforce isn’t a secret at all. In fact, it shares the same cornerstones as your traditional office.
Comprehensive onboarding, clear communication, wellness and authenticity
Recently, you may have seen a shift from the ‘Great Resignation’ to the ‘Great Retention.’ But what about reinvention? The Great Reinvention, if you will. After all, if an employee has chosen to quit, it’s a long road to convincing them to stay on – and even harder to tell whether they’re ever truly happy again.
To stem the tide of short-term employment while promoting inclusivity, HR teams need to reinvent the way they work.
The Harvard Business Review estimates that losing an employee can cost a business 100-300% of the leaving worker’s salary. That means an inclusive workforce starts at interaction number one, then builds from there.
Start with the first impression. Meet new employees with transparent, personalized, and comprehensive onboarding journeys.
Formal onboarding and orientation increase employee satisfaction by 70% and can result in a new employee being 2.6 times more likely to remain at their job (Fit Small Business). Additionally, many employees consider learning to be the most valuable aspect of their onboarding journey (Gallup). This means you need to cover all the bases to ensure employees don’t feel lost.
Touchpoints to include:
- A welcome packet with a detailed job description
- Perks, health benefits, and PTO
- Organization/personnel charts
- Software login information
- Automated check-in messages
- Video tutorials and/or weekly updates from leadership
Even before onboarding, reinventing the recruiting stage can also set employees up for long-term success. See how →
Effective communication can range from regular check-ins to one-on-ones to short, anonymous surveys. Unfortunately, most feedback requests feel performative. It’s time to reinvent this practice by taking action – no matter how minor the feedback.
Create a safe place where employees feel empowered to share their thoughts. And remember, we’ve all been there. Think about how your experience could’ve been better and ask yourself:
- “Was my anonymous feedback truly anonymous?”
- “Why weren’t my suggestions actioned on?”
- “Did my manager care or were they simply checking a box?”
Now, add remote work to the mix. Today’s employees often feel like they’re talking to a wall whenever issues pop up. To combat this, circle back with employees regarding how their feedback was received – and hopefully actioned on. And if it wasn’t, come prepared with a genuine reason as to why.
Not only does regular feedback ensure employees feel included in the company's direction, it gives leadership a better understanding of what actions need to be taken.
Nearly two-thirds of people working from home feel isolated or lonely at least sometimes and 17% do all the time (Forbes).
Protecting the mental health of your employees – especially when there’s no opportunity for in-person interaction – is more important than ever.
However, promoting wellness doesn’t have to be a big lift. Simply do the very things employers have always promised, but ultimately fail, to deliver. Such as:
Real PTO – while some companies tout endless PTO, it doesn’t mean employees ever take it. Make it clear that personal time is valued by the company and explain that work can wait.
Check-ins – asking employees how they feel can do wonders, so long as it comes from a genuine place. Breaking up a typical workday with some personal reflection allows both employee and manager to reset a bit.
Benefits – try compensating items like phone bills or gas or even daily coffees to show that you take the employee’s remote life into account.
Growth opportunities – even well-paid employees look elsewhere when there’s no room for career growth. So, set a realistic path for employees to take, as well as ways to reward retention, including:
- More work-life flexibility
- Custom swag
- Ways to give back to causes they care about
Now, while everything mentioned is essential for a successful, reinvented workforce, they all require…
Workers will continue to seek companies with a mission they believe in, and careers that offer fulfillment, beyond compensation and benefits (FAST COMPANY).
If your efforts aren’t aided by open, honest, two-way conversations, reinvention can’t happen. So, remind yourself that everyone matters or no one matters. After that, inclusion will come naturally. Head here for more ways to elevate your HR capabilities.