Remote work presents a unique opportunity for organizations to amplify how they support employees working from kitchen counters and makeshift home offices. If you establish routines for recognizing your team’s hard work, it can have a powerful impact on retention and loyalty.
In the office, recognition has a higher chance of happening spontaneously. Before extended remote work, a manager may have left a quick thank you note on someone’s desk, or had the team applaud a big win on an individual’s project. Many companies are missing this social atmosphere, making new practices for recognition come into the spotlight.
Why Recognition in Remote Work Is Critical For Long-Term Success
Without in-person chances for acknowledgement, managers have a responsibility to enhance their approach to recognition virtually. Think of it this way, recognition can be used as a tool to support people’s psychological needs. In-depth virtual communication, mental health support, and showing care for employees as people with complex lives have been staples of successful leadership this year.
Also, dedicating time for individual and public recognition can influence the visibility of your brand and strengthen your company’s culture. Frequent and authentic acknowledgement of employees invigorates your company values from within, drawing more talented professionals to your organization.
New Ideas To Shake Up How You Recognize Employees
Ask, what do we value?
Identify the types of actions and behaviors you want to see more of from your teams. Open up this conversation to your team and ask do we value showing compassion and care? Do we value supporting productivity or encouraging creativity and innovation in our processes? By simply asking people what matters to them, you bring awareness to positive feedback loops that are already happening, and inspire more productivity.
Make recognition exciting!
Recognition can and should come in forms that delight and surprise people. We’re talking about company swag and perks here. Have fun with branding and connect it with recognition. People love extras like restaurant gift cards, activity bonuses, or receiving gifts that represent their company in a mailed care package. Talk about going the extra mile.
Remember when e-cards were all the rage? Another idea is to make e-cards or memes specific to your team that have jokes and encouraging notes to send to one another. We could all use a little comic relief this year.
Refresh outdated recognition practices.
While employee of the month may no longer mean getting your photo framed on a wall, the practice of honoring employees can be refreshed for the digital age. Get employees involved by asking for nominations of fellow coworkers on categories like innovation, partnership, or reliability. Then, whip up a digital or printable certificate to post on Slack channels and send to recipients for their home offices.
Recognition goes beyond crushing the latest project.
Think outside the box of achievement-based recognition. To build a layered approach to employee recognition, “companies can shift their performance benchmarksto emphasize skills like adaptability and communication.” Meaning recognize people for checking on their coworkers, handling an emotionally charged moment with a client, or excelling at adaptability. Get ideas on what else people would like to be recognized for by asking team members to share something they were proud of this week every Friday. This practice of affirmation shows that there is an ongoing effort to appreciate the nuances of remote work.
Flex your employees’ talents on social media!
If you watched the Social Dilemma on Netflix or just heard about it, we all know we are hardwired to feel good when someone gives us a mention or shoutout online. In addition to social media, recognition functions best when it exists across a variety of social platforms. If you normally send an email, trying calling someone on the phone. You could make their entire week with a genuine compliment or recognition of their hard work. If your team uses Slack heavily, try making time for positive call outs in a Zoom meeting where people can see happy expressions and verbally cheer each other one. Connecting across numerous platforms can make physical distant less noticeable.
What Else Can Your Business Do To Make Recognition Engaging and Authentic?
The pillars of great recognition are when it is timely, genuine, and specific. Don’t wait for month-end or quarterly overviews to applaud an employee’s dedication. Acknowledging individuals more frequently or in the moment of a small victory builds an environment of morale and encouragement. Leadership can set the precedent for a cultural practice where employees support each other as well.
In terms of being genuine and specific, telling someone they are doing a great job provides a boost, certainly. However, providing specific feedback on a project or situation someone handled well can have a lasting impact. Whatever way you approach recognition in remote work, it is worth the effort to make your people feel appreciated.
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!