Employee appreciation and recognition should be a top-of-mind concern for companies who want to retain their staff and strengthen their employer brands. According to a survey conducted by Achievers, an employee recognition and engagement solution firm, 69% of employees said that better rewards and recognition would increase their loyalty to a company.
While an annual employee appreciation lunch is a good start, it’s not enough to keep employees feeling appreciated year-round. Moreover, this approach only works if your workforce is in the office.
Showing remote employees appreciation is just as — if not more — important as doing so for in-office employees. The lack of day-to-day, in-person interaction can make it more difficult for employers to carry out regular acts of gratitude, such as saying, “Hey, good job today!” and planning larger-scale acts of appreciation.
If you’re wondering how to show appreciation for remote employees, but don’t know where to start, here are five simple but effective ways to show your telecommuting employees you value them and their work.
One of the most common complaints among remote employees is that they feel out of the loop – a lack of communication can lead remote employees to feel underappreciated. To avoid this from happening, consider scheduling a weekly or daily check-in meeting with those employees. This check-in meeting could be between managers and employees or with the whole team. During these meetings, communicate how much you appreciate the employee for a job well done. Be specific in your praise to come across as more genuine – what did they do well and why?
Another way to show gratitude to employees who are working remotely is to schedule some fun into the workday. Hold a virtual happy hour, online game night, or a team building activity where everyone can connect and get to know each other on an informal basis. If you go this route, consider sending gift boxes or supplies to employees’ homes so they’re well prepared for the event, and be sure to be respectful of their working hours.
Receiving unexpected rewards or kind words in the mail or via email is always a nice surprise. Consider showing gratitude to remote employees by sending them personalized recognition for their work. This could involve mailing a handwritten thank-you card to their home, sending flowers or another gift, or even calling out their hard work in a companywide email. Again, remember to be specific in your communication so that it seems more authentic and heartfelt.
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While working in a physical office, it's common for there to be the occasional free meal given to employees. Because they’re not physically in the office, remote employees miss out on enjoying this token of appreciation. However, thanks to technology and delivery services, it’s never been easier to treat remote employees to a meal. Next time you want to thank a remote employee, consider sending them a gift certificate to a local restaurant or food delivery service.
Evaluate your wellness and benefits offerings for any gaps you can easily fill. For example, employees today want access to low-cost wellness and mental health resources. Offering free or deeply discounted services to your employees – including those who work remotely – can be a simple and formalized way to show that you value their hard work and that their health and wellness is a priority to your company.
While these five remote employee appreciation ideas are great ideas to consider, be sure to evaluate whether they’re right for your organization, and know that you don’t have to implement all of these strategies at once. However, the most important step in showing gratitude to employees and retaining remote employees is the first one: starting somewhere.