How to Reduce Employee Churn in a Virtual Work Environment


Change is inevitable in business. While work from home becoming the new normal during the pandemic era has been great for many companies, the increased rates of employee turnover has definitely not been as good. When too many employees leave a company voluntarily, it can sometimes be quite costly thanks to the dramatically negative effects on their bottom line.

Therefore, understanding why many virtual employees decide to leave is essential in order to manage your turnover rates before it can cause any serious problems for your business. With that in mind, here is how you can devise an effective employee retention strategy in a virtual working environment.

Encourage Communication

In order to start reducing employee churn, you need to open up channels of communication between management and staff members. Directly address the expectations for effective communication by providing written guidelines to remove any ambiguity regarding how you expect your teams to interact.

Discuss which mediums should be used to send messages, and encourage honest interaction between all members of your organisation. If you lead by example as an effective communicator, they will be much more likely to pick up your good habits. Checking-in often and providing regular updates will certainly help foster communication, especially when your team is located in multiple cities, states, countries, or time zones.

Hire The Right People

When your team is working remotely full time, it’s super important that you are hiring the right people. Not only do they need to be able to communicate digitally via emails and messages, but a good phone manner is usually expected. That being said, you should always arrange in-person interviews for long term hires as face-to-face communication is usually very telling.

The interview process is an excellent way to accurately gauge and evaluate how successfully you believe each applicant would be as a member of your virtual team. That’s why having multiple managers there during the entire process is also a good idea, as you will get multiple opinions of each new nominee. Plus it also gives them a glimpse into the culture of your company which helps them determine whether or not it’s a good fit for them.

Culture Matters

Company culture will always have a huge impact on employee turnover. Because when your employees are dedicated, love what they do, and enjoy being part of their team, they’ll usually become your company’s biggest champions. Simply by providing a positive work environment you can maintain quality experiences that will ultimately empower your employees. Because creating a supportive company culture is a highly effective strategy for retention of staff.

Have Virtual Team Building Exercises

Leveraging remote technology will also go a long way toward helping remote employees feel included as a necessary team member. From creating a virtual watercooler online to investing in virtual happy hours each week, you need to utilise team-building tools and activities to promote a cohesive work culture for dispersed team members.

Facilitating the creation of enhanced virtual communication between remote colleagues will not only create teams with stronger bonds, but also enhance engagement, lower stress levels, and improve efficacy overall. That being said, the whole team should also get together as a group whenever possible in the real world, as it will give remote employees the opportunity to team-build in person.

Give Praise

Whenever your team members do something correctly or above what is usually expected, it’s super important to show them your appreciation. Give them shout-outs for all staff to see via your internal messaging platform for their great work because most employees respond well to recognition and generally work better when encouraged. You can also consider building a virtual wall online that is used to specifically recognise the achievements of your remote teams.

Your remote staff members are much more likely to stay in your team when they feel as though they’re genuinely respected, motivated, and acknowledged. And not just by managers, but by their peers as well. That’s why you should also encourage your remote employees to be positive with each other when they’re sharing strategies, bouncing ideas, and discussing their experiences. Because ultimately, the goal is always the creation of a positively encouraging work environment for all.

Final Thoughts

Managing virtual teams is challenging at the best of times, but it’s even more so when you don’t have much experience with them. That’s why creating a positive and engaged work environment is so worth the extra effort. Simply by working on overcoming the above challenges, you’ll start reducing employee turnover rates by creating a cohesive and empowered virtual team.