It always feels great if your manager recognises the hard work you do. You want to be able to give your team that feeling, whenever they really do their best. If your team are remote though, how can you show them how much you appreciate their efforts? Remote jobs can be tough, but there are lots of ways to show remote workers how much you appreciate them, you’ve just got to get creative with it.
Here are some ways you can show your team you notice what they do.
Importance of employee recognition
Firstly, you should understand why it’s so important to recognise your employees, whether they’re remote or not. Essentially, showing a team member recognition shows them that they are valued. No one wants to feel like just another number, after all. As you recognise and reward a team member for hard work, that shows them that their efforts are valued. As such, they’ll be more motivated to keep that hard work up. Also, the rest of the team will see you rewarding that member for their work. It helps them keep their work up, as they know they will be rewarded if they meet the same standards.
How do you recognise virtual employees?
There’s lots of ways yo can reward team members when you’re all working under the same roof. However, when the team is spread out over the country, or even the world, how do you show them that you appreciate what they do? To do so, it will require some more planning ahead. You can’t rely on everyone being in the same building, so having a set time and place to reward members will be important.
For example, a weekly meeting where you mention team members who have been outstanding will go a long way. You also have the option to simply ask the team what would work for them. As they’re remote, all their working conditions are different. Ask them what they would prefer for rewards when they earn them.
Employee recognition best practice
To come up with effective rewards, you need to recognise that there are two main types of reward: Intrinsic and extrinsic. An extrinsic reward is one related to the person’s work environment, and support. This includes things like salary increases, promotions and developments. Intrinsic rewards should be ones that speak to the person’s ambition. Even simple rewards like a ‘thank you’ for extra work on a project fall under this category. When looking to reward your staff, have a strict criteria in place.
What will you want to reward them for? Problem solving skills? Being proactive? Dedication? When you have this down, ask your team what they want most as rewards when they’re recognised in this way. It could be things like gifts and coupons, or it could be concepts like time off, birthday recognition, and so on. When looking to praise someone, it’s always a good idea to do so publicly. That shows the team member that you really want to appreciate what they do.
If you need to criticize someone though, do so in private. You can then praise the team member once they’re back on track. Finally, you can gamify appreciation. Have leaderboards where the team compete via how they work. It’s a good way to motivate them, and they’ll find it a lot more engaging if they know there’s a prize on the line. That prize can be anything from gift certificates to time off, so be creative.
Best remote worker recognition ideas
Now you know the importance of recognising your team’s efforts, and have the best practice down, you’ll need to find ways to appreciate them. Here are some good ideas to get you started.
1. Meal coupons to local restaurants
Coupons always work well as a reward, as the team member can spend them on what they want. Meal coupons are a great idea here, as they can be used during the work day to order lunch in, should the member want to. Find out where their local restaurants are, and give them coupons for those establishments.
2. Complimentary time off
Have your team been working overtime on a project? They’ll have been working incredibly hard, and will need a break once it’s finished. You can offer complimentary time off, so they can get just that. Decide on how much time they should have off, and then offer it as a token they can cash in when needed. When they want to cash it in, they just need to approve it with you. Then, they can set their status to ‘Do Not Disturb’ for that time, and enjoy that time off to unwind.
3. Create ‘no meeting’ periods
Here’s an idea that a lot of people are appreciating, especially as more and more people have been working remotely right now. Many find it harder to keep up with what they have to do, as the lines between work and home are so blurred. It’s worse when there are multiple meetings throughout the day.
It’s difficult for some workers to switch focus, and others find it hard to get the space and quiet they need for meetings at home. You can show your team you appreciate them by enforcing ‘no meeting’ periods. Tell them that within a certain time frame, they won’t be required to attend any meetings. That allows them to really focus on their tasks, and not have to worry about being interrupted.
4. Offer internal rewards
There’s no doubt that being able to tell a team member ‘good work!’ is invaluable. However, it’s sometimes not enough to recognise all the hard work that your team does. If they’ve really gone above and beyond, you want to be able to show them that you really appreciate them. As such, it’s a good idea to implement an internal rewards system. This should allow you to offer actual material rewards, whenever a team member should be rewarded. You’ll see your team will really appreciate this, as you’re showing them just how much their work is appreciated.
5. Offer appreciation tools
It’s not just as a manager that will want to show appreciation to others on the team. As such, it’s a good idea to offer appreciation tools to those who would want to use them. For example, you can set up an ecard system, that allows team members to congratulate others, or thank them for help on a project. It’s very simple to set up, and you’ll be able to track its usage. That allows you to see if the team likes it and makes use of it.
6. Host virtual parties
While your team aren’t together physically, that doesn’t mean they can’t get to know each other. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen more and more teams getting together via video calls to socialize with each other. You can show you appreciate your team by arranging these get togethers. These can be regular catch ups every week, where the team can chat socially rather than focusing on work. It helps them get to know each other, something that they would do over time in the office, but can’t when they’re remote.
7. Create a website page for the team
Your company will have a website, so you can reward them by recognising their hard work on it. It’s a very tangible and public way to show that you’re proud of the team and the contribution they make. This works in two ways. Firstly, your team will see that you recognise the value they bring, as you’re asking them to represent the company on the website. Secondly, you’ll be able to show future hires just what it’s like working for your company, and give an accurate impression of what you do.
8. Have art made of the team
Here’s something that’s a little bit different, but can mean a lot. Collect photos of your team, and have an artist create paintings or sketches of them. They can keep the art as a memento, and every member of the team will have one. You’ll find that some companies will commission a watercolor or oil painting of a leadership team to hang in the office. It’s a good way to have the team there, even when they’re all working remotely.
9. Send care packages to team members
When your team members work in the office, they’ll be able to snag goodies as they come in. That can be anything from branded merch like pens and tote bags, to other treats for the team. That’s great for them, but what about your remote team? Make sure they’re included by sending care packages to them.
You can send them any treats that come in, or send gifts around the holidays. For example, you can send them card or board games, something that they can enjoy with family and friends. There are so many ways you can help motivate your team with recognition. Try these tactics for motivating your remote team, and you’ll see just what a difference it makes to their overall performance.
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