Employee Recognition for Remote Teams
With the drastic increase in remote work, many companies are still struggling to engage their remote employees. Emphasizing employee recognition is one of the most effective ways managers can better engage their employees, increase productivity, and improve morale.
The recent workforce revolution of remote work is causing employees to realize how they can best leverage their skills.. Remote work removes geographic borders, allowing employees to take their talents to virtually any company. Combined with the growing gig economy, companies may struggle to retain their top talent.
According to the Work Institute, nearly 42 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in 2019, an 8% increase from the previous year. These trends are expected to continue, and high turnover can be extremely costly. So, it’s time for companies to evaluate and address their employee retention and engagement.
The 2017 Trendicators Talent Acquisition Report stated that the number one reason employees leave their position is lack of recognition. When employees feel unacknowledged, they are more likely to disengage from their role. Managers must therefore create an environment where employees feel supported, respected, and valued. When they are fully invested in your company, why would they want to leave?
Benefits of an Employee Recognition Program
Creating a top-notch employee recognition program is one of the best ways to increase engagement and improve retention. Engaged employees are likely to work harder, stay at your company longer, and go the extra mile in their roles. According to a report from Bonusly, organizations who emphasize recognizing employee achievements see engagement levels increase by nearly 60%. All of these factors combine to increase productivity, morale, and profits.
How to Improve Employee Recognition in the Remote Workforce
In a space where you’re not able to physically pat someone on the back for a job well-done, how can you make your employee feel recognized? Your recognition doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it must be meaningful. Consider these tips:
1. Be Specific
Tell your employees exactly what they did that caught your eye. Rather than saying, “Great job this week!” opt for specific feedback like, “Great job in the meeting! Thanks for your suggestion about the upcoming presentation.” Specific recognition encourages employees to continue those particular behaviors.
2. Be Timely
You certainly should not be reserving recognition for your quarterly, or worse, annual evaluations. Make it a habit to acknowledge employees in a short time period following their efforts. This should be a continuously evolving practice that becomes a habit for managers. Recognizing an action immediately after is also more meaningful for the employee.
3. Use an Individual Approach
Each employee may be more receptive to a different style of recognition. Some may enjoy public praise, while others prefer a private acknowledgement. Become aware of how your employees react to each type of recognition. Better yet, ask for your employees’ preferences in your next private conversation or through a survey.
Creative Employee Recognition in the Remote WorkplaceNow that we established criteria for meaningful recognition, how can you provide that positive acknowledgement to your remote employees? Here are some ideas:
- Send your employee a personalized email celebrating an achievement.
- Mention an employee’s valuable contribution in an internal communication with your team, like Slack or email.
- Encourage peer-to-peer recognition, where each week your employees nominate each other for achievements or extra effort.
- Reward your employees with small gifts, like coffee, gift cards, or lunch. This can still be done virtually, thanks to the innovation of online tools. Send them a few extra dollars for a coffee or snack, with a personalized message thanking them for their hard work.
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