With more people working from home, it can be challenging for them to feel like they are a part of the team.
It doesn’t take much effort to make your employees feel appreciated, and a little bit goes a long way.
If you have remote employees accustomed to working from home, they will need less affirmation because working from home is how they have always done their job. Those who are new to working from home will need more activities or interaction to feel like they are still a part of the team.
Here are nine ways to show your remote employees appreciation:
Flexible Work Schedules
Most people struggle with finding the balance of work and personal life when they start to work from home.
An employee who is accustomed to working at a separate location may have a hard time shutting out distractions from being at home.
Give your employees the flexibility to make a trip to the grocery store or pick up their kids from school. As long as they are putting in the work hours and getting the job done, an hour or two in the middle of the day to take their kids to the park or walk the dog isn’t going to do any harm.
Create Fun Activities
Instead of having back to back meetings every day, create a fun activity that gets everyone out of their chairs and racing to beat the competition. A fantastic example is to have a scavenger hunt that employees can complete in their own homes. Make a list of everyday household items and see how fast everyone can complete it.
If you don’t want to take time away from important meetings, create a competition within the work tasks that need to be completed.
For example: Who can complete their timecard the fastest and the most accurately? Or who can come up with the best new product idea for the business? A little healthy competition can create joy within the workplace.
Stock up on small amounts of gift cards to various restaurants or coffee shops and reward your employees for the small victories. When an employee finishes a problematic task or completes a job that they were not excited to do, reward them by sending a gift card in the mail.
A $5-$10 gift card can be enough to keep your employees engaged. These gift cards can also be used as prizes for competitions and can serve a variety of purposes.
Recognize Life Events
While work inside the office building may have come to a halt, life outside of work moves on.
Keep a calendar of birthdays and other life events of your employees to show them that you care. A simple reminder email to everyone on the team that someone’s birthday is the following day can make your employees feel special.
If one of your employees is getting married or having a baby, ask them if you can throw them a virtual shower. It can be fun for everyone to get together and have a virtual party and celebrate significant events.
Take the time to chat with your employees on a personal level as often as you can. Set up a schedule of monthly or biweekly chats between you and each employee to hear what they have to say.
Many people are only listening to meetings and not participating, so an individual conversation can help them feel heard and appreciated. These conversations do not need to be long. A quick 10-minute check-in is all you need to boost the morale of your employees.
Providing your remote employees with personal development opportunities will show them that you care about their growth.
Whether you provide seminars directly from your company or access to an online learning database, they will have the opportunity for growth and personal development.
Classes can be related to the job they are currently in or be completely unrelated to their work. Your remote employees will appreciate that you want them to grow and develop as a person and not remain static.
Some companies have discretionary funds to provide their employees with the latest technology or a new office chair. Everyone’s needs are different, and having funds to give to your remote employees that they can use on a personalized level, will create a better work environment.
By providing flexible funds, each employee can evaluate their needs and spend the money on what works best. Some may need an external monitor or a wireless keyboard. Each employee has the opportunity to create a work environment that fits them best.
Virtual Wellness Programs
Working remotely can be detrimental to your employees’ health. There is often no need to go outside or do any physical activity when everything they need for the day is in the same place.
Virtual wellness programs can encourage healthy habits and help your employees live happier and healthier lives. A simple guided meditation or breathing exercise can calm the mind and create a better work atmosphere.
At the end of every quarter, give out awards for the employees that were never late to a meeting or always had their to-do list finished at the end of the week. A paper certificate mailed to your employees can remind them that they are cared for and that they matter to you and your company.
You can make the rewards serious or silly, but take the time to recognize your people on a job well done.
It’s the Little Things That Count
Remote employees do not need single large gestures of appreciation. Small things spread out over time have more meaning because they are on a personal level. Remembering a birthday or having a virtual baby shower for someone will go a long way in showing your appreciation.
Every company is different, and some of these suggestions may be difficult if you have a small company with few people or fewer discretionary funds. Giving your remote employees flexibility in their schedule or scheduling a 10-minute chat every other week is entirely free and makes a huge impact.
You can show your employees that you appreciate your efforts, even from afar.