Many of our previous blogs have discussed the challenges present in the transition toward remote work. One pain point experienced by our clients over the past few years was knowing how to recognize employees that were no longer in an office. In our blog “Recognizing Employees in the Workplace VS. Remotely. Is there a difference?” we asked our recognition expert Roy Saunderson to explain the difference between recognizing in-person or remotely. Roy believes there is a difference in how you recognize employees in-person vs. remotely, but the principles of recognition are the same.
Hybrid and remote work environments have become extremely popular, if not part of the “norm.” We’ve seen that 47% of people prefer working remotely from our Trendicators ™ research. As the number of hybrid and remote workers increases, it is crucial for organizations to create remote recognition strategies. Our research also finds that nearly three-quarters of candidates looking for employment say that the presence of a recognition and reward program is “important” or “very important” to them. So, how should a recognition program work for employees, regardless of where they work from?
Here are a few points to consider:
When engaging remote employees, the most important thing to remember is to make recognition part of the daily process. Since recognition doesn’t come as naturally when working remotely, setting recognition goals with your team can help it become a habit. Employers have found that gamifying recognition helps motivates people to take part in their programs. Try giving points to those who have sent a certain number of eCards, for example. You will notice that employees will get creative in reaching out to others when there is a “reward” for acting.
Face-to-face interactions have been reduced now that hybrid work or full remote arrangements are part of the norm. The opportunities for spontaneous encounters with colleagues are less common, so leaders need to create more occasions to connect. Monthly one-on-ones or weekly team meetings make an immense difference – connecting people and understanding what others are working on. Create moments for recognition from peers or leadership by sharing a team’s latest accomplishment and opening the floor for recognition by showing appreciation first. Others will follow and will most likely share an achievement from their peers.
While a thank you email is a great way to recognize your team members, try a more personal means like a quick video. If you want to push your recognition even further, sharing these interactive messages on your company’s recognition programs platform allows more people to participate in the moment, and it enhances the sense of community. Don’t hesitate to make recognition more inclusive, but always make sure you respect the recipient’s preferred method of receiving it.
Creating new ways to apply recognition in today’s work environment is a fundamental step in the future of the workplace. Organizations must constantly find innovative ways to have an inclusive culture that engages employees to participate in recognition – whether in person or via a digital channel.
To help make recognition more meaningful in your organization, download our recent Trendicators eBook, “Six Ways to Make Remote Recognition More Meaningful.” The ideas and recommendations in the report are a result of the guidance of several of our clients and the observations and challenges they have experienced.