If you’re like most business owners or managers, in the last year you’ve had to switch to having more employees work from home. You may have even had to hire external personnel to join your team. If so, it’s important to remember that even though you don’t see staff members in person all the time, they still want to feel valued, seen, and heard.
It’s imperative to create a corporate culture that’s inclusive to everyone, including your remote workforce. One way to do this is to look for ways to regularly recognize and reward those people who work from home.
Take Time to Thank People
An accessible yet valuable way of acknowledging the hard work your remote employees put in is taking the time to thank them. A genuine expression of your appreciation helps people feel noticed, an essential part of the team, and not taken for granted. You can thank people via a phone call or video conversation, send them an email or a handwritten letter, or use another online communication system you and your team regularly chat on.
You might like to go public with your thank you notes, by being vocal with your praise on social media posts, company blogs, or newsletters, or elsewhere. No matter which method you choose, explain how remote team members make a specific, positive difference to the business.
Provide Employees with Gifts and Perks
Provide your remote workers with gifts and perks that show you care, too. Everyone loves receiving a physical reward, whether it’s a small token or a high-value item. Work out how much budget you have available for goods, then choose gifts from there. Don’t stress if you don’t have a stack of cash to outlay on items, as there are options at every price range.
You might stock up on branded products such as custom pencils or pens, water bottles, caps, tees, notebooks, or coffee mugs. Alternatively, consider presents like hampers, wine, flowers, chocolates, movie vouchers, gift books, store gift cards, and more. If your budget is bigger, you could provide people with accommodation vouchers, luxury goods, or popular tech goods.
Perks also work well as a way to recognize and reward remote staff members. For instance, you could make free or discounted child care or health care available for your workers or give them extra time off as an acknowledgment of their efforts. Or, you could send them off to a company team-building event, so they get to meet and build better relationships with their colleagues and have some fun while they’re at it.
Give People Ways to Advance and Grow
Employees, including remote ones, are keen to build their careers and develop new skills and experience. As such, it pays to find ways to help people advance and grow within your business. For example, provide personnel with opportunities to try new roles across departments and learn from mentors, whether inside the business or externally. Give people access to training, too, such as online courses, in-person workshops, webinars, conferences, etc.
Award Top Performers
Handing out awards provides another chance to recognize top-performing workers. Focus not just on the results people achieve for the business but also the effort they put in, insights they provide, and how pleasant and helpful they are to work with. You might set up an Employee of the Month program to create a recurring opportunity to let the workforce know how much they’re valued. Or, be more flexible with your awards, handing them out as you think it’s deserved.
Set up a time to have your team get together digitally to hand out awards and sing the recipient’s praises. Explain why they’re receiving the acknowledgment and how they make a crucial contribution to the firm.
Let Workers Recognize Their Colleagues
It’s helpful to let workers recognize their colleagues, too. While people like to know their managers are happy with their work and conduct, it’s also nice to receive peer acknowledgment. When staff members can highlight colleagues who have made a difference and recognize a “star player” in the team, this helps foster connections.
You’ll end up with happy singled out employees, plus a more cohesive team to boot. Do, however, keep abreast of developments in this area so you can ensure the same people don’t get highlighted each time and it doesn’t turn into a popularity contest.
These ideas can go a long way to making the personnel who complete their roles offsite feel like a valued part of the whole. Test out different strategies over a year or two to see what works best in your business.