The number of employees working remotely was already rising rapidly before the global coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, but once it did, work-from-home numbers exploded. If you run a business that’s still quite new at managing a remote workforce, you may be struggling to find ways to keep team members connected, productive, engaged, and as committed as you need.
All entrepreneurs with staff who work from elsewhere must create a corporate culture known for valuing and appreciating employees, no matter where they work from. Check out the following ideas for ways you can recognize and reward your remote workforce in 2021 and beyond.
Start with a Thank You
It may seem small and simple, but a genuine, heartfelt thank you can go a long way to making employees feeling seen, heard, and not taken for granted. No matter where your team members live, you can thank them for their efforts and results.
Do so via a video chat or phone call, a handwritten letter, an email, or some other online system you use. You might also like to do this via public forums such as company blogs, social media pages, newsletters, or the business website. Other opportunities may arise at events such as company conferences, team meetings, etc.
Express how much you appreciate what your remote workers are doing for the company and how they create a positive impact. Correlate how someone’s input and assistance has made a particular difference, and they should feel more part of the team.
Give People Gifts and Perks
While a thank you is a good start, don’t be afraid to reward people with gifts and perks, too. Everyone loves receiving a special goodie that indicates how valued they are. You don’t have to spend a huge amount on presents either. You can reward people with gifts such as movie vouchers, bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates, hampers, massage or spa vouchers, store gift cards, flowers, and the like. Check out websites that sell numerous promotional products for corporate use for helpful ideas.
Plus, you can keep remote employees feeling engaged by providing them with special perks. For example, give people bonus time off, access to free or discounted health care or child care, or enable them to have more flexible working hours.
Whatever you choose, though, the options should suit the particular person and their interests and life situation. You want remote employees to feel understood and appreciated for who they are as individuals, not just as faceless workers. Personalized gifts and perks help to show that people are seen as unique and valued employees.
Hand Out Awards to High Performers
Another way to show remote staff members you care is to hand out awards to high performers. This doesn’t mean only focusing on the results people get, but the efforts they make and the innovations or insights they come up with.
You could, for instance, establish an Employee of the Month program to recognize those who make notable contributions to the business. Alternatively, hand out awards at any time when you feel they’re justified. Get all the employees together on video chats to sing someone’s praises and talk about exactly why someone was chosen for an award.
Enable Peer Recognition
While employees appreciate managerial recognition, what can have just as much impact on them is receiving peer acknowledgment. Enable workers to chat and highlight anyone in their team who has gone out of their way to help colleagues or clients. Encourage workers to vote on the star player of the period.
Give People Ways to Advance
Also, just because you may not see remote employees every day, this doesn’t mean they don’t want to advance, try new things, and learn as much as on-site staff members. Many people are very focused on progressing and growing as people and workers. They need opportunities to do just that, though.
Help them spread their wings by trying new roles, learning from mentors within the business or externally, receiving more responsibility, and getting access to training. Enable people to develop professionally and personally over their time working for you, and they’ll stay more engaged and committed to the business long-term.
Remote workers often feel isolated and that their accomplishments and hard work go unnoticed. Rectify this and make sure you’re utilizing these valuable team members as much as possible by recognizing and rewarding them. You’re sure to see the return on investment very soon.