Employee Recognition in the Remote World

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“Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world.” ~Francis Hesselbein

There has been a profound shift in workplace behavior in the past few years. Millennials and Gen Zers are dominating the workforce and there is a tremendous focus on employee engagement and recognition in the workplace.

Employees today want to get their job done quickly and they expect instant recognition for the same. Delayed recognition is as good as denied recognition. Having a system of rewarding and recognizing employees have become mandatory in modern organizations.

On the other hand, in today’s digital world, striking the perfect balance between work, career, family, and having fun is a hard nut crack. Work schedules are getting busier and personal time is getting shorter. As a result, we have seen a fast-rising trend towards remote working.

Now organizations are facing another unique challenge. And that is recognizing employees in the remote world.

Even though a larger section of the workforce was expected to become remote in 2020, the current scenario was completely unforeseen. Along with dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have the challenge of adjusting to the new remote style of working.

Much like the pandemic, remote working has now become a global phenomenon. In that case, what are the steps that managers must take in order to make employees feel recognized? Let's find out.

The Importance of Recognizing Remote Employees

It is inherent human nature to crave appreciation. This becomes even more true in remote working. Lack of human interaction often causes a feeling of isolation and loneliness among your people. Especially for first-timers and ones who are forced in this setting due to the pandemic.

Secondly, one of the common psychological phenomenon seen among remote employees is their need to prove to peers and managers that they are productive. They feel that the lack of visibility in working from home might become a barrier between them and their employers. Having recognized and appreciated reassures them that their efforts are seen and they are valuable for the company.

Another important aspect is that employee recognition should be a part of the company culture. Working remotely shouldn’t become a reason for not recognizing employees in a timely and meaningful way. Managers must embrace new ways of engaging, rewarding, and recognizing employees and implement new strategies to keep the company culture intact.

Finally, recognizing remote employees is important for healthy peer-peer and manager-employee relationships. Frequent appreciation leads to stronger bonds and facilitates communication. It leads to a deeper understanding of company core values and uplifts the supportive and caring image of the company.

6 Powerful Ways to Recognize Remote Employees

1. Invest in cloud tools for Recognition

Cloud tools have emerged as the ultimate saviors in the current scenario. From project management to video conferencing, businesses are highly relying on tools to get through these difficult times. A Rewards and recognition tool can give you a dedicated platform to effectively reward and recognize outstanding efforts without leaving your table. Also, most tools come with gamification features that help in making the R&R module more fun and enjoyable.

2. Go Public with your Recognition

One of the most powerful ways to recognize employees is by recognizing them on social media. Millennials and GenZers who’ve grown up in the digital era, social media have become an integral part of their lives. Getting recognized in social media will give them a larger platform to flaunt about their hard-earned achievements.

Related: The Art of Giving Recognition at Work

3. Offer them Perks, Discounts, and Gift Cards

An interesting way to go about rewarding employees in the virtual world is through perks and discounts. Since most eCommerce sites are up and running again, employees would love to have some special perks on their online shopping. (Solution providers like Vantage Perks work with hundreds of vendors and provide special offers, discounts, and cashback to employees from corporations associated with them). Also, digital gift cards from top sites are a great way to amp up your employees during this time.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Optimising your Employee Discount Program

4. Offer Support and bonus to employees

These are difficult times for everyone. Employers should show their generosity towards the employees by offering them financial support. This sudden shift comes with new forms of remote expenses, such as high-speed internet costs, laptops, need for upgrading their equipment, and so on. These factors have direct implications on the efficiency of your people. It is important to understand their needs via surveys and direct communication and offer help.

5. Promote mental and physical wellness

Needless to say that the current situation of Pandemic and the related social distancing is taking a toll on everybody’s mental and physical health.

Uncertainty about the future, personal, and financial safety are prevalent thoughts often leading to depression among people. Additionally, since people are stuck at their homes healthy habits like working out in the gym, going for a morning run, or walking have drastically reduced. You must encourage your employees to take care of their health during these difficult times. This is the right time for organizations to offer virtual yoga, dance, workout, or meditation classes. When companies promote employee wellness during such a crisis, it makes them feel truly recognized.

6. Facilitate Employee development

Another meaningful way of recognizing is by offering online training and courses that would facilitate personal and professional development of employees.

The world we will enter post the pandemic will be much more competitive than the world prior to coronavirus. A huge section of the workforce is vulnerable to reduced income, furloughs, or layoffs as a result of the crisis. In this situation, the importance of training and development has increased by multi-folds.

Working from home comes with the advantage of saving a lot of time. Your employees would want to utilize the extra time by upskilling and reskilling through online classes. When employers recognize employees with opportunities for training and courses, it is a win-win for the parties.

Vantage Rewards: The Best Solution

Vantage Rewards is a fun, easy, and engaging tool that helps you automate and simplify your employee rewards and recognition program. Its unique features include point-based rewarding, peer recognition, virtual badges and leaderboard, interactive feed, and so on.

Here are some factors that make Vantage Rewards an obvious choice for organizations in the remote world:

Ease of Integration: Vantage Rewards can be seamlessly integrated into the SSO software or the existing systems.

Point-based-rewarding Model: Here employers can buy reward points and distribute these points to employees as rewards. Employees can then redeem the points earned by them and use them to purchase gift cards from a long list of brands. This gives employees flexibility and a sense of freedom. And for managers, it reduces their headache in deciding what gifts to give on what occasion.

Highly Customizable Interface: VantageRewards offer complete white-labeling of the program to give it company identity. This means you get complete autonomy over the look and feel of the program, starting from the name to interface.

Gamification: The program has a lot of gamified elements such as leaderboard, virtual badges, Reward points, etc that make it hight engaging.

Scalability: This feature makes it possible to sign in and start using the cloud solution in a matter of seconds. Even sizeable changes in the organization can be handled in a few minutes. It doesn’t require the program to change the entire structure according to your company size.

Global Deployment: The program offers a consistent solution across the continents and in remote locations. This helps in the easy deployment of the R&R program for MNCs and companies whose workforce is spread out in various locations.

This article is written by Darshana Dutta. She works as a Content Creator and Digital Marketer at Vantage Circle. She writes extensively on trends around employee engagement and transforming company culture. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com