The Most Effective Ways to Retain a Global Workforce

Global workforce retention

Employee and freelancer retention is crucial to the health and longevity of any business. Retention isn’t just about the profitability of your business; it’s about keeping your people happy, growing, and engaged.

All businesses, no matter the size and industry, face retention challenges. The 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics reports millions of Americans quitting their jobs each month.

These challenges take on a whole new form when creating a global workforce. Retaining this type of workforce can be challenging because of geography and remote work complications. You don’t want to risk losing your best workers, so here are data-based ways to retain a global workforce.

Create an environment where feedback is welcome

The truth is, the retention of employees who aren’t comfortable giving upward feedback can be a challenge. A study done by Tinypulse found that when employees feel uncomfortable giving upward feedback, retention rates decrease by 16%. 

It’s important to make sure your teams abroad are at ease because being comfortable giving upward feedback is crucial for retention rates. Here are a few ways to create an environment where feedback is welcome:

  • Encourage people to give constructive criticism instead of just compliments and clearly define what types of feedback are allowed so workers know where the boundaries lie
  • Try out an open-door policy – make sure workers can approach management at any time without fear of retribution for providing input or asking questions
  • Reward those who provide good ideas with recognition (i.e., public acknowledgement) or with tangible rewards (i.e., gift cards)

Just as it is important for workers to feel they can give feedback, management must also know effective ways to give feedback.

Cultivate quality management

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying: people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. There’s a nugget of truth here that applies to retaining your global workforce. The further apart teams are, the more important quality management is.

In a thoughtful Forbes article, Terina Allen writes: “When a boss asks for staff input, he creates an environment for staff to invest in outcomes and engage in processes. Engaged employees feel appreciated and valued at work. They are committed to organizational success because they believe their supervisors and managers are also committed to their success.”

Allen also mentioned, “[Bad bosses] lack cultural competence. Bad bosses aren’t committed to diversity and don’t value inclusion.” Diversity and cultural competence will make or break your global workforce.

Check out our article, 5 Risk Management Strategies for Your Global Workforce, to find out more about cultivating inclusivity and clear lines of communication between levels in the organization.

Invest in a good onboarding program 

We all know that first impressions are critical. Your onboarding program is part of the first impression your global workforce gets of your company.

In the SHRM article, Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Good Onboarding, they state: “69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. New employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58 percent more likely to be with the organization after three years.”

These statistics are staggering. Part of a good onboarding program for your global workforce is making it simple to upload documents, sign offer letters, and input payment information. When you hire with GreenLight, workers are ready to work in minutes with our intuitive, automated onboarding.

Showing your people that they matter to your organization is one of the reasons we created GreenLight. We provide the technology and resources needed to ensure your local and international hiring workflow is legally sound. Our mission is to make sure that workers are always paid promptly, reliably, compliantly, and seamlessly.

Provide ways for workers to continue education

Knowledge is power. 94% of employees said they would stay at a company for a longer period of time if that company invested in helping them learn, according to LinkedIn’s Workforce Learning Report.

When it comes to investing in educating your workers, it’s important to remember that online education has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Provide ways for your global workforce to continue their skills development and you’ll have a dedicated, happy workforce who wants to stick around longer.

Actively combat remote work problems

Offering remote work is a retention strategy in and of itself. However, remote work, especially for global workforces, comes with it’s own set of challenges.

Remote work, for example, can lead to workers feeling isolated or left behind. Their teammates are moving forward but they feel like their growth is stagnating because of the distance between them and co-workers.

Combat this by hosting virtual meetings or working one on one with remote workers if possible to make sure everyone feels included in team conversations and projects. It’s important to note that this isn’t about micromanagement, this strategy is about company culture and proactively making teams connected.

Know your numbers

By focusing on retention, you can save your company the costly expenses that come with a high turnover rate. Cambridge defines employee turnover as, “the rate at which employees leave a company and are replaced by new employees.” Turnover has many forms. For example, an employee might voluntarily quit, be fired or laid off.

If you want to increase the ROI of your global expansion, then solid data like a turnover rate will help you make calculated retention decisions. In order to figure out your turnover rate, check out AHP’s formulas and retention rate calculations resource here.

Offer competitive benefits packages

One of the most tried and tested retention strategies is offering quality benefits packages. When it comes to your global workforce, you may be working with independent contractors. Often companies neglect offering benefits to freelancers, but this strategy will not take you far in the Future of Work.

When you hire with GreenLight, you can offer benefits to your extended workforce at no extra cost to you. Our platform has direct integrations to provide ancillary benefits such as health insurance for US freelancers, retirement plans, and more.

Schedule a demo today so you can start hiring abroad with ease and make the most of the global talent you acquire.

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Jason Posel

Jason Posel

Founder and CEO of, Jason Posel is a sought-after expert in issues related to technology innovation in contingent workforce management, the gig economy, and the Future of Work. London > Atlanta > Miami > Palo Alto > Miami

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