Boost Your Business with eCards

Create customizable eCards to impress your audience! Choose a design, add your logo and message, and let your audience share them with their friends.

Spread Love and Raise Funds with eCards

Show your supporters how much you appreciate them with our heartfelt eCards. Our platform allows you to collect donations directly through the eCard, making fundraising easy and effective.

Celebrate Your Employees with eCards

Empower peer-to-peer recognition with customizable eCards that enable employees to appreciate and recognize each other’s hard work. Foster a culture of appreciation.

Thank Your Donors with eCards

Recognize and thank your donors with heartfelt eCards that also streamline the giving process by collecting donations directly through the eCard. Show your gratitude and make a meaningful impact with our convenient solution.

Other Popular Use-Cases :   Customer AcquisitionEvent InvitationsCelebrate HolidaysRecognition eCardsGreeting Card SoftwareCelebrate Team-Member Anniversaries And more

Remote and hybrid work are the new normal with a Pew Research Center survey reporting that 41% of individuals with jobs that can be completed remotely work in a hybrid environment and 35% work entirely remotely. 

If your workplace has hybrid or remote employees, you’re likely seeing several benefits as the same study reported general satisfaction across the board on topics related to remote work. However, you may need to rethink your retention and engagement strategies to better cater to remote employees.

While offering remote employment has its advantages, in-office strategies for improving workplace culture, retention, and loyalty don’t always apply. To help your business make the leap to a positive remote environment, this guide will explore ten proven retention strategies:

  1. Provide clear expectations and objectives.
  2. Maintain open and consistent communication.
  3. Recognize your remote employees.
  4. Foster connections between employees.
  5. Create opportunities for professional growth.
  6. Offer a workplace giving program.
  7. Provide wellness and work-life balance support.
  8. Offer competitive benefits.
  9. Optimize your remote workers’ workplaces.
  10. Encourage feedback from remote employees.

By implementing these strategies for remote employee retention, you’ll cultivate dedicated, fulfilled employees no matter where they’re located.

Click to explore our Employee Appreciation Day eCards that you can easily customize.
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Remote Employee Retention FAQs

What is remote employee retention?

Employee retention is a measure of how many employees continue to work at your organization rather than seeking other opportunities. You can calculate your employee retention rate for a given time period by dividing the number of employees who are currently employed by your business by the number working at the beginning of your chosen time frame. 

The employee retention rate formula: Number of employees working at your organization / number of employees hired X 100 = employee retention rate

Remote employee retention specifically refers to an organization’s ability to retain its remote or telecommuting workforce. As such, your remote employee retention efforts will be focused on keeping these employees engaged, satisfied, and motivated to stay with your company. 

Why is remote employee retention important? 

Remote employee retention is crucial for several reasons, including:

Employee retention benefits listed: cost-effectiveness, continuity, expertise, and morale and culture,
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Turnover is expensive with reports estimating that replacing an employee can cost up to twice their annual salary. Employees, whether they’re remote or in the office, who don’t need to be replaced save your business money. Plus, if you need to send remote employees equipment, you ultimately save on shipping costs by retaining your current team. 
  • Continuity: When an employee leaves, they take all of their knowledge on current projects, day-to-day tasks, and specialized skills with them. As such, high turnover disrupts workflow and impacts productivity. Retained employees provide stability and help maintain consistency.
  • Expertise: Remote employees often possess specialized skills or knowledge, and they build up knowledge about your company’s general practices and operations during their time with you. Retention ensures that this expertise remains within the organization and can help your business cultivate a highly competent, well-trained workforce. 
  • Morale and Culture: High turnover can negatively affect team morale and company culture. Companies that retain employees can build a cohesive work environment and keep employees reassured about the business’s future. 

Recruiting new team members can be exciting when you’re looking to grow but demoralizing when you’re putting out fires. High retention rates are signs of a healthy business, and you should strive to keep your turnover as low as possible for all employees, including remote ones.  

What is an acceptable remote employee retention rate? 

Ultimately, retention rates vary by industry with an overall average turnover rate of 41% in 2023. Whether remote work improves or hurts retention is still up for debate, but it’s generally agreed that businesses of all kinds should aim for a retention rate of 90%.

A remote employee retention rate above 90% is considered strong and indicative of a healthy and stable remote workforce. Additionally, if your business has a mix of remote and on-site workers, compare their retention rates to see if you need to adjust your strategy. 

10 Proven Remote Employee Retention Strategies

1. Provide clear expectations and objectives.

While Owl Labs’s annual State of Remote Work Report notes that two-thirds of remote employees feel more productive working at home than in the office, the key to harnessing this productivity lies in establishing expectations and objectives. 

Strive to build a culture of accountability at your business, especially for remote employees. The more responsible and connected they feel to the impact of their work, the more invested they’ll be in their outcomes.

Maintain motivation and efficiency among your remote employees by:

  • Defining objectives clearly using relevant metrics and measurable results.
  • Connecting their work to larger company outcomes. 
  • Educating them on the company’s core values.
  • Asking for feedback and questions related to expectations.
  • Documenting expectations for future reference in an accessible handbook.

Many remote workplaces offer flexible hours, where employees can either work a set number of days per week or a set number of hours per day, with no specific start or end time. In these workplaces, defining expectations and objectives upfront is crucial for helping employees stay on track and work as productively as possible.

2. Maintain open and consistent communication.

With a remote team comes the need for effective digital communication. After all, without in-person meetings, there are fewer natural opportunities to check in with colleagues and share information.

To overcome the communication challenges of physical distance, empower remote employees to communicate with one another by:

  • Leveraging hybrid work software, like video conferencing tools.
  • Making it easy for remote employees to provide feedback via surveys.
  • Scheduling regular one-on-one check-ins with remote employees.
  • Sharing significant updates promptly to keep remote employees in the loop.

At the same time, look out for the well-being of your remote employees by encouraging them to set strict boundaries around work communication. With remote employees putting in an average of 50% more overtime than those working in the office, establishing when employees are expected to answer work messages and when their inboxes are closed for business is paramount to avoiding burnout.

3. Recognize your remote employees.

Since your remote employees won’t typically receive day-to-day praise and acknowledgments the way in-office team members will, it’s all the more important to build a comprehensive recognition program

By standardizing recognition based on established company values and priorities, you ensure that every employee gets rewarded for their outstanding work. This regular appreciation can go a long way toward retaining remote employees. Some popular methods for recognizing your remote employees include eCards, awards, and corporate gifts.

Companies can improve their remote employee retention by recognizing employees with eCards, awards, and corporate gifts.
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Employee recognition eCards

Digital greeting cards, also called eCards, are an informal yet creative and impactful way to recognize remote employees for their contributions. With the right software, managers and fellow employees alike can reach out to their teams with branded, customizable cards to acknowledge a job well done.

Circa Logica Group, for instance, has created several achievement-based eCards for excellent teamwork and other company values. Each eCard features the option to include a personal message alongside the card image, allowing senders to elaborate exactly on how the person they’re recognizing went above and beyond.

Circa Logica Group serves as an excellent model for using eCards as a remote employee retention strategy.
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Team members can send and receive these eCards in a matter of seconds, making it easy to promptly recognize remote employees located anywhere in the world. This facilitates frequent appreciation and in turn, boosts motivation among employees.

Create eCards that celebrate special occasions like birthdays and Employee Appreciation Day with eCards, or design ones that connect to your organization’s values, like taking initiative, showing respect to others, and being a problem solver.

Read about how Modivcare uses eCardWidget to manage its work anniversary cards and daily recognition cards.
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Recognition awards

For a slightly more formal means of recognizing and ultimately retaining remote employees, consider incorporating recognition awards into your current strategy. These awards are accolades that you can give at intervals throughout the year, and they might take the form of:

  • Trophies
  • Certificates
  • Plaques 
  • Public posters
  • And more! 
An example employee award certificate.

For example, you might present an “Employee of the Month” award or awards for milestones such as work anniversaries. Sending virtual certificates or mailing small mementos to remote employees gives them something to hold on to that symbolizes how appreciated they are at your company.

Corporate gifts

Gifts, whether for holidays or remote employee retention, are powerful ways to brighten your team’s day and show them that they’re valued. To strengthen remote employees’ relationships with your company, find opportunities to send them small, meaningful gifts to recognize their accomplishments and efforts.

Depending on your company’s resources and preferences, send gifts such as branded merchandise, gift baskets, and snacks to your remote employees. Or, you could partner with one of the numerous companies that facilitate corporate gifting, ensuring that every employee receives the recognition they deserve.

Looking for inspiration for your corporate gifts? Explore our complete corporate gifting guide that shares more than 170 exciting ideas that any employee will love.

4. Foster connections between employees.

According to a survey conducted by InComm Incentives, 59% of full-time employees feel less appreciated and connected to their team while working remotely. With limited face-to-face communication and in-person interactions, many remote employees struggle to build relationships with colleagues, negatively impacting collaboration and workplace loyalty. 

To address this issue, your company can take several measures, including:

  • Promoting peer recognition. Receiving positive feedback from peers can be just as important as being recognized by managers and company leaders. Therefore, encourage your employees to get in the habit of appreciating one another. For instance, you can make eCards available for anyone within your company to send when they feel a fellow employee deserves recognition.
  • Creating virtual breakrooms. Your remote employees don’t have many opportunities to socialize or catch up with their colleagues over non-work-related topics. Encourage them to create connections with one another by setting up a time during the week for them to gather online and socialize.
  • Arranging a company retreat or meet-up. A company retreat can be a valuable and memorable experience for all employees, especially remote ones. They’ll not only be able to meet their colleagues in person but also develop a feeling of closeness and collaboration with them as well through team-building activities.

Employees who have friendships and strong ties to their colleagues are more likely to stick around. By overcoming physical distance and finding ways for employees to connect, you’ll cultivate a sense of investment and belonging within your company, boosting retention.

5. Create opportunities for professional growth.

Employees want to advance in their careers, and feeling stuck can be a make-it-or-break-it experience for many. However, Buffer’s State of Remote Work report notes that 45% of remote workers believe career growth is more difficult for them to achieve, with 44% indicating that they wished their company provided clear career development opportunities.

With this in mind, review your company’s current professional growth opportunities, and determine whether you need to make adjustments for remote employees. Let’s take a look at the standard career development path and consider how it can translate to remote work:

The steps in career development, listed below.
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  1. Master current role. Assess remote employees’ work output like you would for any other team member. Establish benchmarks that signal an employee may be ready for advancement, such as the number of successful projects completed, years at your business, or any other metric relevant to your company. 
  2. Expand skill set. Provide your remote employees with dedicated networking and training experiences, like online courses and webinars, that will improve their skills. Or, try sending them to relevant conferences in their area to learn about current trends in the industry. 
  3. Meet with leadership about advancement. As there are fewer opportunities to casually discuss advancement with remote employees, managers may need to be more proactive in starting these conversations. You may plan to make them a part of annual performance management meetings or advise managers to openly ask employees about advancement and their paths for development during one-on-one check-ins. 
  4. Take on new responsibilities. Give your remote employees the same opportunities for growth that you would in-office workers. For example, you might implement a mentorship program to address remote employees’ goals and challenges while working for your company. 
  5. Advance in career. Remote employees who have put in the work to improve their professional skills and demonstrated their expertise should be able to take the next steps in their careers. This might mean managing other remote workers or simply taking on more complex and important assignments. 

Above all, advancement for remote employees relies on strong communication. By talking with your employees about their career goals, you can understand their aspirations more in-depth and be better equipped to help them progress and find fulfillment year after year.

6. Offer a workplace giving program.

Bring remote employees closer to your company by allowing them to contribute through your corporate philanthropy initiatives. After all, many people want more than just a sense of workplace community and success in their roles; they want their actions to make a meaningful difference in society as a whole.

By launching a corporate giving program, you can help remote employees feel more fulfilled at work and show them your company cares about the same causes they do. Consider offering these popular giving opportunities:

  • Matching gifts: When remote employees give to eligible nonprofits, your company will match their donations, typically at a 1:1 ratio. This means that employees can double the impact of their donations and know that your business is helping them contribute to an important cause. To establish a matching gift program, you’ll need to set specific criteria, such as the minimum and maximum gift amount you’ll match per employee each year, what types of organizations you’ll match gifts to, and which of your employees are eligible (i.e. make sure to mention that remote employees are!).
  • Volunteer grants: Volunteer grants are similar to matching gifts, except you distribute funding to nonprofits where your remote employees volunteer. Determine how many hours employees will need to volunteer before submitting a volunteer grant request to your company. Then, your company will contribute a predetermined amount to that nonprofit based on the hours your employees volunteered. 
  • Payroll deductions: Automatic payroll deductions make giving easy for remote employees. Through this option, they can donate a percentage of their paycheck to a nonprofit of their choice on a recurring basis. These consistent contributions allow employees to build a direct connection between their work and making a positive social impact.

When engaging remote employees, it’s vital to have the right tools for creating easy, rewarding experiences. For instance, to offer automatic payroll deductions, your company needs workplace giving software that has payroll integrations. Additionally, this type of platform can help you process matching gift and volunteer grant requests, as well as report on the impact of your giving initiatives.

Click through to learn more about how eCardWidget can improve your remote employee retention efforts.
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7. Provide wellness and work-life balance support.

Remote work can sometimes blur the boundaries between work and personal life, potentially leading to burnout. Burnout in turn can result in lower productivity, lower quality work, and lower retention rates. 

Here’s a brief look at the difference between engaged and burnt-out employees:

An image depicting the difference between engaged and burn out employees.
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To retain remote employees, consider offering wellness programs or initiatives that promote work-life balance. Provide resources and guidance on stress management, time management, and maintaining a healthy work routine. 

For an example of this type of program, Adobe offers employees both physical well-being and emotional well-being programs. Through these programs, Adobe employees can be reimbursed for purchases related to their wellness and receive free access to company subscriptions to meditation and lifestyle improvement apps. 

8. Offer competitive benefits. 

Ultimately, remote employees work for your business due to the numerous benefits they receive in exchange for their labor, such as their salary, health insurance, and allotted time off. Even if employees enjoy your workplace and their colleagues, they may still leave if another company offers them better compensation. 

As such, stay competitive with other organizations in your field when it comes to benefits. These might involve:

  • Regular raises and bonuses. Many companies provide raises not just to award high performers but also to continue providing their employees with wages that counteract inflation. This helps your employees retain their current lifestyles and feel like their employer cares about their well-being, especially in times of economic uncertainty. 
  • Communicating compensation decisions. When you decide to make a change in your compensation package, whether it’s just one employee’s benefits or a company-wide policy change, be as clear as possible in your communication. This means documenting why changes were made, what those changes are, and when they will go into effect, all in writing and far in advance of their implementation. While a sudden windfall can be a nice surprise, for the most part, employees do not want their benefits to be a guessing game. 
  • Being open to negotiations. In many industries and workplaces, salary negotiations are a standard part of the advancement process. Be ready to have open, non-combative discussions with employees about changes to compensation whenever it’s time for your performance assessment period. 

Remember, benefits can also include more than just monetary bonuses. Increased paid time-off, access to a workplace giving program, and compensation for professional development activities may all be considered benefits at your business. 

9. Optimize your remote workers’ workplaces.

Make sure team members have everything they need to succeed, including a chair, desk, computer, monitor, and extra perks like a branded mousepad or comfortable headphones. Provide them with equipment by shipping it to their homes in a timely manner so they can get to work right away on their start day. 

An example set up of an employee's at-home workspace.
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For employees new to a remote work environment, consider providing tips for creating an effective in-home office, such as developing a designated workspace, limiting distractions, and setting firm on-the-clock and off-the-clock hours.

10. Encourage feedback from remote employees.

Ultimately, to determine the effectiveness of your remote employee retention strategies, you’ll need to gather input directly from them. Evaluate new and long-standing initiatives by sending out surveys for feedback. Some useful questions to ask include:

  • Do you have a good understanding of the expectations and objectives surrounding your work?
  • Which communication channels do you prefer?
  • Do you feel supported and recognized by leadership and team members?
  • How connected do you feel to your teammates?
  • How satisfied are you with the learning and career development opportunities in your role?

Make a consistent effort to solicit this information from your remote employees to inform any improvements in your remote employee retention strategies moving forward. This demonstrates that you value their input and are dedicated to optimizing their experience with your company.

More Employee Retention Resources

It’s clear that engagement and appreciation are significant contributors to retaining your remote employees, whether you are a business or a nonprofit. Therefore, prioritize your company’s efforts toward building a culture of accountability and recognition. This will boost your overall reputation and produce a healthier, happier work experience for all of your employees, no matter where they’re located. 

To discover more tips and best practices for maximizing productivity, fulfillment, and results among employees, take a look at these helpful resources:

Learn how eCardWidget can help you boost your remote employee retention results.
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