As we continue to navigate through the unprecedented COVID 19 situations, large sections of workforces have gone remote. This pandemic has transformed the way we work. From changing our buying decisions to shifting where we work every day, each process is facing changes. Indeed, remote work was already a trend rising before the pandemic. But, the COVID 19 pandemic has made it an existing reality for many employees around the globe. This ”new normal” of working comes with a range of challenges, one of them being maintaining a strong remote team. This transition to remote work can be very tedious for employees. Many are struggling to keep up their productivity levels. In such circumstances, it is more important than ever for companies to show appreciation to their remote employees.
With the safety guidelines of COVID 19, employees are working from their homes. According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, 25 to 30% of the workforce will be working remotely multiple days per week, by the end of 2021. This is pretty challenging, not only for team managers but also for employees as individuals. Being a great remote employee is tough. From mental health to maintaining a work-life balance, everything is uncertain. So, practicing constant and effective appreciation is of supreme importance now. Although employee appreciation and recognition should be practiced all year round, it is critical during this time of uncertainties.
Importance Of Employee Appreciation
It is Human’s basic nature to crave attention and recognition. Employee recognition and appreciation should be an essential part of employee engagement strategies, even in the best of the time. A little appreciation boosts the morale of employees and also, motivates them to put in their best efforts. A Gallup report shows that employees who do not feel recognized are twice as likely to quit next year than those who do feel recognized. Also, a LinkedIn study showed that about 70% of employees said they would work harder if better recognized.
Amidst the present challenges, appreciating and supporting those around you is critical. In a remote work environment, the act of physical appreciation is missing. You can’t just pop in to say ‘Great job on the presentation’, or ‘Awesome work!’. So, in a remote workforce, you need to ensure that the remote employees’ hard work and achievements are recognized effectively and in a timely manner. Here are a few tips on how you can appreciate and recognize your remote employees.
Tips To Show Appreciation To Remote Employees
Every employee yearns for public recognition and appreciation. Amidst the current times, physical offices seem a far fetched idea. So, the best and most powerful way to recognize your remote employees is through social media. If your remote workforce comprises of millennials and GenZers, social media is definitely an integral part of their lives. Social media recognition will definitely give them a larger platform for flaunting their efforts. Apart from social media, ensure recognition on public channels like Slack, your company intranet, or on any communication groups. You can also set up a social recognition program or online bulletin board where employees can express the things they’re grateful for. Encourage your whole team to engage and participate in the recognition programs as well. Public recognition can be huge morale boosters for your remote employees and enhance their productivity.
Schedule Video Calls to Extend Appreciation
Before the pandemic, your employees would gather in the office and celebrate small achievements. But now, with your employees working from home, this seems impossible. However, it is more important now than ever to show appreciation to your remote employees. So, use the video meetings not just for discussing sales and targets, but also for appreciating your remote employees. Remote work doesn’t mean that the appreciation must take place in forms of texts and emails only. You need to go beyond just emails and interact with your remote employees through video calls. By doing this, you’ll be communicating your intent and emotions as well. Recognize your employees individually on a one-on-one call, as well as in a group call with your team. Appreciate your people as a team, as well as, individually.
Recognize Your Employees Specifically
Remote work is a completely new chapter in the careers of most employees. So, adjusting to working from home can be hard. So make sure that you recognize specific behaviors and efforts. The things that you would like to see more in them. While it’s easy to send a simple “thank you” to your employees, it lacks the specific or personal touch. Your remote employees want to see their individual efforts are being recognized and valued. Acknowledge and recognize the specific efforts or tasks of your remote employees. Being specific with your employee recognition can go a long way in boosting employee engagement, and pumping up their morale.
Offer Perks, Gifts, And Rewards
The most wonderful appreciation gesture is to gift something to your remote employees. Now that most of the e-commerce websites are up and running, give your remote employees perks on online shopping. Remote employees would definitely prefer to be recognized and rewarded with a gift card instead of cash. Give them a gift card for their extra efforts. This will help you add a personalized touch to your recognition. Also, by doing this you can support your community too in the time of need. You can also send small gifts as a token of appreciation. Apart from these materialistic perks, you can reward your candidates through small gestures like giving them a day off too.
Encourage Self-Care and Personal Development
Undoubtedly, the current pandemic and social distancing norms are taking a toll on everyone’s mental and physical wellness. Uncertainties about the future have been leading to depression among people. Being stuck at their homes has deprived them of working out in the gym or going for a morning run. So, you must make sure to encourage your employees to take care of themselves. You can introduce interesting workout challenges for your team and motivate them to participate. Organize virtual yoga classes, seminars on mental health. Also, one interesting way of recognizing your employees is to provide professional development opportunities. Encourage them to stay busy and utilize their time on learning new skills. Provide them discounted or free online courses on educational platforms like Udemy or Coursera. This way, you can show concern for your employees, as well as reward them with professional development.
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