Using HR Tech to Improve Employee Retention in the Remote Era

Remote Worker

By Huda Idris
Senior Editor, SelectSoftware Reviews

Despite the warnings, incentives and general push for employees to return to the office, the demand for remote work is still on the rise, with over 90% of today’s workforce wanting to work from home. What started out in 2020 as a public health and safety measure is now a lifestyle employees are accustomed to and expect. However you feel about this as an employer, the reality is plain and simple: Remote work isn’t going anywhere. 

But even with its popularity, remote work is not without its challenges. With team members working from different locations, it can be hard to build connections, align on goals and keep engagement high. Remote workers can feel isolated and left out of office camaraderie. They can also struggle to unplug from work, leading to burnout and, eventually, resignations. Sounds bad? Don’t worry. Remote work doesn’t have to be this way.

There are tons of HR technology tools today that can help you address the above challenges. With the right tech stack, you can offer the flexibility today’s talent demands while keeping distributed workers aligned, engaged and satisfied in their roles. 

1. Digital Onboarding and Training Software

SelectSoftware Reviews’ Huda Idris

It can be tough for new hires to transition into their roles and integrate into your company’s culture without an immersive, in-office onboarding experience. HCM systems like BambooHR, Bob and Rippling centralize the process and give it structure through checklists, tasks and schedules. They can also facilitate introductions between new team members and colleagues through video and text messages. This allows the employee to build connections and gain clarity on their responsibilities from day one, despite being remote. 

Beyond onboarding, e-learning tools like TalentLMS, Adobe Captivate and Trainual can streamline the process of getting employees up to speed and keeping them informed. These platforms offer a range of features, from creating interactive training modules to tracking progress and assessing knowledge retention. They also enable you to adapt your training materials for remote delivery, ensuring that employees receive the same quality education no matter where they are.

2. Team Communication and Collaboration Software

Daily communication is foundational to building relationships and trust among distributed colleagues. Team messaging apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams enable coworkers to stay connected, while video meeting platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet make meetings more engaging across locations with features like screen sharing and recording.

Team messaging apps can also support collaboration on team projects. Your team members can share updates, files and more with one another. But if you want to take things up a notch, you can invest in dedicated collaboration tools such as Miro, Mural or Asana, where teams can visualize projects on shared boards, split tasks among each other, have a calendar view of deliverables and receive automated notifications of updates in real-time. 

3. Employee Engagement Software

With teams dispersed geographically, it can be challenging for managers to gauge employee satisfaction and morale. This is where employee engagement software comes in handy. 

Platforms like Culture Amp, TinyPulse and Officevibe help you conduct regular pulse surveys to gather employee feedback on key issues like work-life balance, belonging, growth opportunities and more. The surveys are short and frequent, providing a real-time snapshot of the remote employee experience. They can also be anonymous so employees feel comfortable giving honest feedback.

The data from pulse surveys and feedback can inform targeted retention strategies. For example, if scores show remote employees feel isolated, HR can implement new initiatives to boost connection through events, mentoring programs and online coffee chats. When the data reveals lagging career development, new learning opportunities can be made available digitally.

4. Rewards and Recognition Software

In a remote setting, managers have fewer organic opportunities to recognize their teams’ accomplishments and milestones. Without those casual “great job” comments made in passing at the office, remote workers can feel undervalued and disconnected from the team. Rewards and recognition software such as Kazoo, Kudos and Bonusly help bridge this gap by providing tools to recognize employees for their work and celebrate special events like birthdays or work anniversaries. 

Features like peer-to-peer recognition allow coworkers to shout out each other’s accomplishments through messages or badges. Managers can also use the system to send praise and spot bonuses when they observe exemplary effort or results.

The best platforms in this space often also have gamification elements to make rewards and recognition even more fun and engaging. Employees can accumulate points, unlock achievements, climb leaderboards and earn virtual badges for milestones. Points can be exchanged for several rewards including gift cards, travel perks, charity donations, and more.

5. Performance Management and Career Pathing Software 

Remote or not, fair evaluation, coaching and growth opportunities are imperative to retain employees. 

Performance management and career pathing systems like 15Five, Lattice and Paycor allow managers to set expectations, align on goal, and give timely feedback virtually. Built-in workflows automate the remote performance review process with check-ins, surveys, self-assessments and 360-degree feedback. This ensures remote employees receive the continuous coaching and recognition they need to stay motivated.

Remote managers can also leverage performance tools to identify skill gaps and create personalized development plans. These tools give remote workers visibility into possible career trajectories within the company and recommend training to help them climb the ladder. Remote employees can track completed learning modules, on-the-job stretch assignments and other measures of progress through self-service portals. This transparency keeps remote workers invested in growing within the company.

6. Employee Wellbeing Software

The always-on nature of remote work has caused many employees to leave their jobs and seek better work-life balance. This doesn’t have to happen at your company. 

Employee wellbeing apps like Wellable, Sprout and Headspace help you show your employees how much you value health and work-life harmony. These apps deliver reminders about taking breaks, outline company wellness challenges and provide resources related to topics like mental health and nutrition. Some of these apps also incorporate AI chatbots that employees can confide in about personal struggles and receive targeted recommendations without judgment. 

Remote work is only challenging for companies that don’t do it right. HR tech has stepped up with hundreds of solutions to improve employee experience, and companies who leverage these solutions can effectively retain their greatest assets – their employees – even as the nature of work evolves.

Huda Idris has been writing about all things tech for over 10 years. She’s currently a senior editor at SelectSoftware Reviews, a website focused on unbiased software recommendations.  

Image: iStock

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