If you’re like many entrepreneurs and managers, you’ve developed either a complete or partial team of remote workers in recent years. While it’s fantastic to give flexibility to your employees and broaden your pool of candidates, there are some downsides to managing a remote team.
In particular, people who aren’t coming into an office and interacting in person regularly can often feel somewhat left out, undervalued, and underappreciated. You can take some steps to counteract this by suitably recognizing and rewarding people over time.
Thank Team Members Individually
An affordable and simple way to acknowledge your remote team is to thank them for their results and hard work. It’s incredible how far a simple thank you can go. You can get your appreciation across on a Zoom or other video conferencing call or via a phone call. Alternatively, send an email or a handwritten note.
You might also thank people via more public rather than one-on-one methods, such as by online meetings, the company’s intranet or newsletters, social media pages, or even at a conference or other event that your remote team travel to head office or some other location for.
Either way, include specifics about what you’re thankful for rather than being too vague (which comes across as less genuine) and express how what your remote workers do has a positive impact on the company’s bottom line and you, too.
Give Out Awards
You might consider giving out awards to highlight the work of your remote employees. You could do this as you see fit, such as every few weeks or months, or you might like to set up a more structured employee of the month program where you choose one worker each time to give a shout-out and an award to.
Ensure it’s not the same people who get recognized month after month and that it’s clear that the award means something and isn’t paying lip service. Choose a classic type of physical award, where possible, that you can have engraved or printed with the recipient’s name and posted out to them. It’s nice for people to get something tactile they can hold onto, rather than simply a digital certificate.
It often works nicely to have a separate peer-recognition program that you run in your organization, too. Enable your staff members to celebrate others in their teams that they notice putting in the hard yards or achieving excellent results. Your workers may spot things that you don’t, after all.
Reward People with Perks and Gifts
Next, it’s worthwhile creating some budget to spend on rewarding people with perks and gifts, whether you do this annually or can afford to do so more often. Rewarding your remote workers in this way will help to boost morale and motivation and show that you don’t have to see employees in person constantly to notice what they’re achieving and how hard they work.
There are all sorts of perks and rewards you can choose from. For example, perks might include giving people an extra day or two off from work or having lunches delivered to their door for a fortnight. As for rewards, you might send people gift cards, bottles of wine, hampers, accommodation vouchers, tickets to a show, or other items you know will make a good impression. Alternatively, a cash bonus always goes down well with most people.
If you struggle to find the time and energy to source and send such items, though, or need more guidance, remember that you can outsource various HR functions to companies such as Workhuman. Specialist HR firms can handle single tasks or many, depending on your needs, and ensure that rewarding your team happens, rather than being constantly pushed down your to-do list.
Ensure Workers Have a Way of Learning and Developing
Keep in mind that while salaries are important, most employees these days are just as focused on staying interested in their roles and growing and developing themselves to boost their careers. As such, you can engage your remote workforce by finding ways to challenge them and help them learn new things.
For example, give people opportunities to try new jobs or tasks they haven’t before, and give them access to more training. You might conduct this online for multiple people to attend at once or pay for your team members to attend external courses, workshops, and the like. The more people see they’re making progress, building their skillset, and avoiding boredom, the more productive and happy they should be working for your firm.
There’s no one right way to recognize and reward remote employees, so test different strategies to see what works best for your business. Don’t be afraid to ask your workers what they want, too, as feedback can guide you in making more appropriate decisions in this HR area.
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