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12 Amazing Virtual Employee Recognition Ideas

6 min read   |  
Last Updated on

Appreciation is a simple thing to do. Yet, it is often underrated and underused. However, some people, such as you, see the impact of how a simple gesture or praise can have on employee morale. Especially in remote workforces, the need for recognition grows even more crucial. Thus, answering the question of why you need some great virtual employee recognition ideas in your arsenal.

Before 2020, flexible work options such as work from home, remote working, or telecommuting was seen with a lot of distrust. After 2020, it has become a compulsion that companies offer such flexibility to their employees.

However, a remote worker is quite unlike a regular employee. These people lack the daily interactions that form an integral part of one’s work-life. Remote workers miss out on some crucial moments- such as peer to peer recognition, appreciation from their boss, experience the company culture, or even form connections- that make employee engagement possible.

Yet, even remote employees need to feel like they are a vital part to the growth and success of the company. Thus, recognizing these employees for doing a stellar job is probably the most incredible boost to their happiness and productivity that you can give.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some interesting virtual employee recognition ideas that are fun while being practical. Many of them are also easy on the pockets so that even small businesses can easily implement them. So, relax and scroll down.

12 Virtual Employee Recognition Ideas That Every Remote Worker Would Love

1. Virtual Thank Yous Are Underrated

It might seem like an obvious thing to do. So obvious that people sometimes disregard to say it.

A simple “thank you” can make anyone’s day better. Especially when it is a stressed-out, anxiety-ridden, and exhausted remote worker- the effect of such small acts of kindness are magnified.

The remote company culture is full of isolated and unappreciated people for whom work-life balance is a myth. In such situations, it helps us feel motivated, valued, and engaged when leaders and team members respect the efforts that a worker puts in every day, despite their personal problems.

2. Social Media Shout Out

I remember reading a phrase that resonated with me a lot. It goes something like,

Recognize in public. Reprimand in private.

Any good leader will recognize the truth of the above words. The people who give their best efforts to accomplish a particular goal should be celebrated and their successes being made known widely.

Social media platforms are the perfect virtual tool to utilize in appreciating the efforts of your remote workforce. It is easy, cost-effective, and is more likely to reach a broader audience.

Public recognition, especially when it involves one’s peers, is a potent motivator. As remote workers are usually deprived of the necessary peer connection and peer to peer recognition, it becomes even more pivotal for recognizing employees publicly.

3. Virtual Experiences

Employees working remotely are more likely to miss events that lent excitement and joy to their lives. Post-20202, major events have gone virtual- including music festivals, stand-up shows, and concerts. Thus, offering an outstanding remote worker the favorite watch their favorite events, activities, or shows (from their homes, of course) is a perfect virtual employee recognition idea.

It will not only make workers feel comfortable and valued, but it will also help them bond with other people in a safe manner.

4. Celebrate Virtual Birthdays And Work Anniversaries

Just because the corporate world has gone virtual is not a good enough reason to stop celebrating your remote workforce’s special days. Celebrating days such as work anniversaries and birthdays are vital parts of your company culture.

Turn virtual work anniversaries and birthdays into a memorable occasion by taking some easy steps to make your employees feel recognized and appreciated. Here are our favorite ideas:

  • Recognize and reward employees by giving some great virtual benefits such as electronic gift cards, reward points, etc.
  • Host a virtual party to celebrate the day and get all the employees' team members to come together to deliver a sentimental message.
  • Send a cake, goodies, or snack baskets to the employees’ home address.

5. Face-To-Face Appreciation

One major disadvantage of the remote world is that people are being subjected to conditions where human connection grows rare. When you consider appreciating a team member or employee for a job well done, face-to-face interactions play a big part in validating the compliment’s authenticity.

Thankfully, the virtual world is full of tools that allow us to recognize people in a timely and frequent manner. It ensures that on-the-spot appreciation is made possible through apps such as Zoom, Skype, etc. Taking a few minutes out of your day to appreciate a person who put in 100% of their efforts to reach crucial goals is a great way to show that they are valuable to the company.

6. Surprise Meal Delivery

Everybody loves the convenience and joy of receiving a free meal, especially on a busy day. It is also an ideal way to thank an employee who has a difficult day (or week) and demonstrates your appreciation by providing choices for food delivery or vouchers. I am sure that everyone will like and benefit from this particular employee appreciation idea.

7. Virtual Class

Learning and development is an important part of what an employee seeks from their careers. However, work from home lifestyle has reduced the opportunities for employees to upskill themselves as frequently.

Recognize your remote workforce by removing the above-said barrier and offer to cover the expense of their online learning endeavors. Offering company-wide eLearning opportunities is an effective way to demonstrate that you take your employees’ upskilling seriously.

8. Surprise Day Off

Unlike popular belief, work from home is hardly the walk in the park that people think it is. Work-life balance is almost non-existent with unclear timing boundaries. Thus, the best way to recognize an employee working under such conditions is to give them a day off.

Day offs are beneficial to the employee in multiple ways. It would not only allow them to rejuvenate and relax, while helping them bond and connect with their family members. The beauty of this initiative is in how easy it is to make an employee feel happy and appreciated. To put it simply, this is one of the best virtual employee recognition ideas.

9. Wellness Perks

The one thing that 2020 has taught us is that wellness is the priority of every person right now. The same sentiment extends to your employees, making employee wellness a vital part of every business plan right now.

There are several wellness benefits and perks that would elevate the life of your employees. Here are some of the best virtual wellness benefits:

  • Meditation app subscriptions
  • Healthy snack hampers
  • Care baskets consisting of sanitizers, masks, etc
  • Fitness bands

10. Online Leaderboard

Gamification is a big part of employee engagement. As humans, we are inherently motivated when it comes to some form of competition. Thus, when your name comes on the top of some leaderboard, it induces a feeling of excitement and joy in us.

The same scenario happens when you gamify and keep track of who your organization’s top performers are. Scoring the maximum points will make an employee be on the top of the leaderboard while ensuring that the employee gets the satisfaction of being the best performer.

11. OTT Subscription

Another amazing virtual employee recognition ideas are giving your employees a choice of subscription to one of the various OTT platforms. It might be a simplistic appreciation idea, but trust me- it works wonders. When people are stuck at their homes all the time, such gestures from your part will prove to be the savior from wallowing in boredom.

12. Send A Care Package

What better way to show that you care, appreciate, and are grateful for someone’s contribution than sending them a care package?

The great thing about care packages is that they are amazingly dynamic. It can be anything and everything that your employee wants while ensuring that the price is flexible.


Which virtual employee recognition ideas was your favorite? Is there any good virtual appreciation idea that you know of? If yes, then do drop us an email. We'd love to include your suggestions on this list.

This article is written by Barasha Medhi who is a part of the marketing team at Vantage Circle. Barasha can be found either searching for interesting HR buzzwords to write about or looking at pictures of cozy Bel Air mansions. For any related queries, contact

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