Remote employee appreciation is gaining a lot of attention as more companies across most industries are incorporating telecommuting and remote working arrangements in their company's culture to make the working experience easier for their employees. It has brought about some benefits for employers and employees. Benefits include less commute time, reduced work burnout, and more time to spend with friends and families.
All this has led to more productivity in those companies as people can now commute less and spend more time with their families. However, working remotely also comes with challenges like work burnout, less connection with onsight colleagues, and employee appreciation, which is often overlooked by most companies, especially those working remotely. Moreover, remote workers often lack face-to-face interaction with their employers and team members, so they often feel lonely and disconnected from the company's culture and values. And if not addressed, employees may lose their sense of connection to its culture and values.
At the core of addressing this issue is showing appreciation and recognition for the contribution of your remote workforce. For remote workers that have done so much for the company, how can the company appreciate and recognize their efforts? To help, we have put together ten creative and unique employee appreciation ideas for businesses and companies looking to reward their remote workforce.
What is Remote Employee Appreciation?
Human beings are social beings who need interaction from time to time. This also applies to the working environment. Since remote workers conduct their activities outside the office space, they might feel disconnected from their work organization. One way o remedy this is by showing appreciation. Without being appreciated, employees might feel demotivated and lose interest in their jobs, which is unsuitable for the team or company. Later in this article, we will discuss various ideas you can use to appreciate your remote workforce. But first, let's know what we mean by what is employee appreciation.
Employee appreciation is celebrating or acknowledging the contribution and commitments your employees make to your company or business. It is an act of showing how much you care, value and appreciates your remote team. This is not about recognition for something an employee has done for you. Instead, it is the value the employee brings to your organization. Interestingly, there is a day dedicated to appreciating employees. However, we advise that you do it from time to time to keep your employees motivated.
Type of employee Appreciation
1. Peer-to-peer appreciation
This is when an employee appreciates another team member's work. For example, a product manager might thank the marketing and design team after the successful launch and promotion of a new product.
2. Manage appreciation
Some company policies or rules might mandate managers to appreciate their team's efforts from time to time. It can also take the form of organizational appreciation, where senior leaders recognize an achievement.
3. Event-based appreciation
Appreciation might be based on events like a work anniversary, the meeting of a professional target, or an exceptional accomplishment at work.
4. Regular appreciation
This is the standard type of appreciation where employers appreciate their employees for doing their jobs and being a part of the company.
5. Proper appreciation
This type of appreciation is the most popular type of employee appreciation. Employees often appreciate their workers by recognizing them in their newsletters, social media channels, award ceremonies and other forms;l events like dinners.
6. Informal appreciation
This is a casual way of showing appreciation. Instead of a formal method like awards ceremonies, employees can get a shoutout during meetings or a call from other colleagues. This is essential to keep employees motivated on a day-to-day basis.
Why is Employee Appreciation Important?
Appreciating employees can serve a lot of purposes. It can be beneficial for both the employees and the company. Benefits the employee in the sense that it creates a happy, healthy, and motivated workforce while the company experiences growth, productivity, and prosperity as a result of a highly motivated workforce. Furthermore, they can help you celebrate special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones. Plus it helps you acknowledge achievements, offer appreciation, and show concern during tough times. All this can be highly beneficial for remote employees since they often feel isolated and even unrecognized at times due to working from home.
So by showing appreciation to remote workers, your company:
- Boost motivation and morale
- Encourage work relationship
- Appreciate your remote team for their effort
- shape company culture
- Take care of their welfare
- Improve mental health
- Cultivate gratitude
- Shape company culture
Cultivating the habit of appreciating your employees can go a long way in building a positive and happy work environment that benefits both the company and your remote employees.
Difference between Appreciation and Recognition
Appreciation and recognition are two words used interchangeably. Both are used to reward an employee. According to the dictionary, recognition identifies someone or something or a person from previous encounters or knowledge. It means that an employee is being recognized based on something the employee has done or achieved for the company. It might be closing a deal or bringing in a new client to the company. On the other hand, appreciation is a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude. It is an act of recognizing the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of
people and things.
Recognition can be both formal and informal. The traditional way of showing honor includes bonuses, promotions, and pay raises, while the casual can be a pat on the back.
On the other hand, appreciation is not based on an employee's performance but on their inherent value to the company. This can include their work ethics, knowledge, skills, relationships with other employees, and good behavior. Appreciation doesn't necessarily imply non-compensational rewards. However, employees can still get a bonus or an additional raise. What differentiates it from recognition is that you are not getting it based on a task or project. You are getting it because you are part of the workforce.
10 Thoughtful Remote Employee Appreciation Ideas For your company
1. Start by saying a Thank You
Although most employees often overlook this, a simple thank you can go a long way in motivating your employees. Just saying thank you can improve an employee's day, especially for workers who are often burned out, anxious and exhausted. This act only can keep your remote workforce motivated and productive. Working remotely can be tedious, and many workers often feel unappreciated and disconnected from their other colleagues. Saying a “thank you” can help them feel motivated, valued, and engaged when leaders. It shows that you appreciate and respect them, which will go a long way. Alongside the thank you note, you can add redeemable reward points through company reward software. Your employees can use this point to buy tech, treats, company swag, or just anything. With these redeemable points, your employee chooses how they want to be rewarded.
2. Provide Remote Work Tools and Equipment
As we established earlier, remote work can be tedious because you are often disconnected from your colleagues due to limited interaction. Apart from this, remote workers also suffer from some challenges like back and neck pain, bad posture, and carpal tunnel, which can be because they lack some equipment found at the office. This can lead to some health challenges over time. One way to combat this problem and show your employees that you care about their welfare is to provide a catalog of office equipment to help alleviates this stress. You can also help them with subscriptions for remote tools like Zoom, Grammarly, Canva, Slack, Mailchimp, Google Drive, and other relevant tools.
You can compile a list of work-from-home equipment that you can provide to help your employees and send it out to them, asking them to tick or underline their choice. Once they submit the request, you can have the items shipped directly to their doorstep. Or offer them funds or gift cards to get at their favorite store. This act will not only boost employees' morale and happiness, but it will also help them maintain a good health culture.
3 Offer Care Packages
One way to appreciate your remote employees is by sending them a care package to their door. Sin e remote work happens mostly on screen, there is little interaction and physical face-to-face meetings. This makes it challenging to offer care packages as they do in the office to appreciate employees. However, this is now a digital world, and things can be delivered right to your doorstep. Why not surprise your remote workforce by sending them a care package with a bit of an appreciation note to go with it? Employees will appreciate this more than the ordinary thank you virtual card, which will explain earlier. T gesture will not only make them happy, but it will also make them feel connected to the company. Here are examples of things you can send to your remote employees:
- Gift cards
- Thank you cards
4. Celebrate Them on Social Media
One way to appreciate and celebrate your employees is to showcase and give a shoutout to them on your social media channel. You can take a good photo of your employee and list their name, position and department. Mention a few of their key achievements and share a mini-interview. You can use Typeform or Google Form to gather information for the post. Ask random questions and gather fun personal facts to present your employee as a well-rounded human being. You can even give them recommendations on LinkedIn to appreciate them. You can also post the profile within the company blog or internal emails.
5. Virtual Parties
Throwing virtual parties is an excellent idea for employee appreciation. Not only does a virtual party help your employees connect with other employees, but it's a way to appreciate them for their efforts and contributions to your company. One way to hold a virtual party is to send calendar invitations to employees' emails with video meeting links. You can use most video conferencing software like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc.
You can encourage games like trivia or Bingo during the event or facilitate more intimate conversations.
6. Organize Regular Games And Contests
Remote workers as often isolated from their workplace, so they need to feel a sense of community, collaboration and connection. One way to tackle this is to introduce online games, activities, competitions, points, badges and rewards. Employees are more motivated when they are asked to do fun things like a trivial night or game night where employees compete with themselves online or ask some interesting questions about an employee. As a reward, employers can offer gift cards to buy snacks and drinks to enjoy during the events. This gesture does not only help employees have fun, but it also helps them build a relationship that will last outside the working environment.
7. Offer a discount on food
Food is essential, especially for remote workers. Eating healthy food will help you be more productive. This is one area where employers need to show appreciation. You can show appreciation by offering discounts on takeout and lunch. Moreover, you can surprise your employees with a free lunch, email them free delivery gift cards, or even support them with food items.
Another thing you can do is Invite everyone to eat a free lunch together on Zoom. You can send a food gift card so your employees can purchase the food before the meeting. You can also replicate this at dinner.
8. Organize an Online Awards show
Awards are significant when it comes to employee management. These awards or badges are to recognize and show appreciation towards your team. Since you cannot meet each other physically, most team leaders hold virtual or online ceremonies to celebrate employees and award them. Most video apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams should be a good asset in hosting these events. Make sure you have a slideshow explaining the award type and the winners. The winners can be announced during the event to keep things fun and engaging. After the ceremony, you can mail the winners their trophies or badges. You can even send them gift cards to get food and other items.
9. Give breaks
Communicating burnout and stress is often difficult for remote workers due to less communication and face-to-face time. This can contribute to fatigue, tiredness, boredom, and unproductive. Using incentives like breaks, vacations, retreats, and even mental days can significantly impact your company's culture and appreciation. This is a way to show and appreciate your employees' hard work and that you understand the toll it can take,”
10. Celebrate virtual work and birthday anniversaries
Even though the popularity of working remotely is increasing daily, that does not mean you can't celebrate your employees' special day. Birthdays and anniversaries are significant and should be integrated into a company's culture. Celebrating your staff's anniversary or birthday gives them a sense of purpose and belonging and allows you to celebrate them. This can be a fun experience in the company. You can gather people and host a virtual party and have all staff or team members say some words about the celebrant. Colleagues and team members can send virtual gifts or deliver food items to celebrate the staff. Or Send a cake, goodies, or snack baskets to the employees' home addresses.
Appreciating your remote workforce brings about positive outcomes like more productivity, loyalty, less work burnout, and a well-mentally balanced workforce. Furthermore, it brings about positive relationships, more collaboration among workers and an overall healthy working environment, which is excellent for business.