Employee turnover is a major problem that all organizations have to deal with. Not only does it cost a fortune, but it also reduces the organization’s overall employee morale.

Considering the global pandemic scenario today, numerous organizations are increasingly opting for a remote-based workforce that may persist long after the crisis is over. As companies move into the unchartered territories of transitioning their entire workforce into a remote work model, the possibility of future employee turnover should not be overlooked.

Unlike popular perceptions, remote workers are just as hard to retain as your regular employees. For most leaders, the unexpected change in work arrangements will raise concerns about keeping your remote workforce productive, motivated and engaged. Let’s take a look at the four foolproof ways to retain your remote workforce:

1. Refrain From Micromanaging

It is a momentous task for managers to manage a team of employees working at different locations and possibly at different times. One possible outcome of such a scenario is that some managers resort to micromanaging to get things done.

Manage the “what,” not the “how.” Now, the trick with remote teams is to map out their performance and emphasize what they get done instead of how they get done. The most efficient way to do so is to track individual and team goals through a tracking system. Google uses the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) system where the outcome or result is tracked quarterly instead of the sub-tasks. Such goal-based systems not only encourages accountability but also gives managers the ability to not scrutinize as frequently. Your remote employees will showcase dedication, loyalty, and be happier if their manager exhibits trust in them.

2. Provide Work-Life Balance

While working remotely, perhaps one of the biggest pros is the healthy work-life balance implied in the work arrangement. When you take away that part, employees are more likely to face dissatisfaction at their jobs.

Take into account the newly remote workforce who were bound to work from home almost overnight. This warranted in not establishing clear remote work policies or boundaries by management. The abrupt new work arrangements will see not only the initial drop in performance but also a decline in morale.

Remote work doesn’t quite imply that an employee would be available, day in and night out. Remote managers need to set clear expectations and work boundaries. Managers should support newly remote employees to navigate the sudden work transitions by introducing flexible work rules. Communication, motivation, and support will go a long way to make the remote workers transition into a smoother process. Subsequently, you’ll surely see a greater level of engagement from their side, as well.

3. Provide Required Training And Development

Just because your company has adopted the remote work scenario overnight doesn’t imply that professional development has to stop. In such stressful times, companies need to set examples of how growth is possible, and the future is hopeful.

Investing in the training and development program for your remote workforce will show your commitment to your workforce and strengthen employee engagement and loyalty. It will also help people your remote employees to elevate current skills and develop new ones while working remotely.

Revamping your training and development program to facilitate remote learning is an incredible measure that leaders can take to show that they care. In order to deliver an effective training program, managers and leaders will have to adapt to new communication and technological norms.

4. Reward and Recognize

If you thought that rewards and recognition played a significant role in employee engagement, it possibly is even more relevant now.

When working remotely, employees are far removed from the face to face interactions that facilitated morale and positivity towards one’s work. Many remote workers feel overlooked, mainly because it’s easy for managers to overlook achievements when there is a lack of face to face interactions. There is also a significant lack of peer to peer recognition (more valued than manager based recognition) and team bonding, which may further trigger an employee’s disengagement levels.

The dissatisfaction is further fuelled by the crisis that we are all going through. Remote employees need affirmation and empathy. Empathy from one’s organizational leader will act as a huge boost in morale and engagement, as it has become increasingly critical for organizations to show their remote employees that they care.