There has been a dramatic increase in remote work in the past few years. While remote work has some exciting benefits, it can make the employees feel isolated. Most remote employees combine family and work responsibilities, so it's only natural that they may feel exhausted or lose motivation over time.
Remote team managers or employers of remote workers need to be aware of the effects of working remotely and ensure that their remote employees feel supported and valued for their numerous contributions to their organization.
Recent studies have shown that when supervisors recognize employees for their effort, it helps motivate them to become more productive. Now that most companies and industries are at least embracing remote work in part, it is crucial to find ways to recognize your remote employees for their efforts.
Acknowledging remote workers can seem daunting at first, but it's pretty simple. This article discusses seven ways to recognize remote employees for their work.
Methods of Recognizing Your Remote Employees
Provide Them With Regular Feedback (Positive or Negative)
One of the ways you can engage your remote employees effectively and appreciate them is by communicating with them frequently. These conversations shouldn’t just be weather chats. To recognize your remote workers effectively, you need to give them regular constructive feedback. Doing so gives the impression that their work matters and that their supervisor is invested in the work that they are doing. Regular communication also makes remote employees feel more secure, motivates them to be more productive, and improves any shortcomings noticed in their job performance.
When there is limited communication between you and your remote employees, they might be less productive or anxious. No matter what feedback you give your remote workers, comprehensive feedback will help them understand what value they're adding to the company and where they fit within it.
Calling your remote employees during their work hours, on their phone or online, is an easy way of recognizing their good work. Place a call to them directly and thank them for their effort and service to the company. Do not make a habit of calling remote employees only when things go wrong or when you have more work to give them. Positive calls go a long way to improving morale.
Moreover, calling will show your remote employees that you value them as remote workers, promoting employee engagement in your company. Most remote workers understand how busy their managers and employers are, so the fact that you took time out to call will make them feel special and appreciated.
Create Professional Development Opportunities
Every employee (remote or otherwise) wants to grow professionally in their given field. When you provide an avenue for your remote employees to grow professionally, you acknowledge their worth in your company.
This proves to your remote workers that you want to see them succeed professionally and that you're invested in their professional growth. Your employees will benefit, but your company will be able to utilize their learning for the company’s gain. It’s a classic win-win situation.
Companies can create in-house training programs for their remote employees or choose from the various online certifications and courses that fit their remote workers and their roles in the company.
Stimulate Peer-to-Peer Recognition
Another great way to recognize your remote employees is to encourage peer-to-peer recognition. This method helps to boost employee engagement and builds a solid and healthy camaraderie among your employees.
You can acknowledge your remote employees' accomplishments by putting them on the company's group messaging platform. This will encourage other employees to recognize them. Being acknowledged by colleagues helps boost team morale.
Another great tactic is peer-to-peer collaboration. Have employees share their work often with each other for edits and reviews. Working together on projects, even if it's just to look things over, will help employees better understand what other people are working on and, more importantly, make them feel more involved in the company. This strategy will recognize employees that are doing well and encourage others to take notice of their colleagues’ contributions. Often, this leads to employees acknowledging one another themselves.
Stimulating peer-to-peer recognition helps supervisors ensure that the quality of work is high and can increase overall workplace chemistry.
Surprise Them With a Break
Most remote employees juggle work and family, leaving little to no time to care for themselves. Most remote workers work for longer hours than their on-site counterparts, and studies have shown that they are more likely to feel lonely.
Therefore, if you have remote employees that work tirelessly and don't take breaks often, you can surprise them with a break. Tell them to take a day or two off to recharge and connect with their family and friends. Giving them this free time will make them feel happy and ensure that they are more energetic and productive when they return to work.
Short of a bonus or raise, giving remote employees time away from work is the most tangible way to recognize their hard work and contribution to the company.
Praise Remote Employees Publicly
Remote employees, like all employees, want to feel appreciated and valued by their employers. However, it can be challenging to praise remote employees publicly since they aren't in the office.
Nevertheless, you can use communication technology that would allow you to reach out to your remote employees easily. Many companies utilize messaging platforms like Slack and Discord for their remote teams.
If your company has one of these platforms, you can use it to express appreciation for a job well done by simply acknowledging the individual(s) who made it happen. Doing this will make your remote employees feel like an essential part of your company.
Recognizing your employees' achievements on social media platforms can help boost their confidence in the workspace. They can share the post on their page so that their family and friends can see that their work is valued. This increases their commitment to the team and can also grow your company’s social media following. Start by welcoming new employees to the company publicly, then regularly post messages acknowledging jobs well done. Whether it's content creation, big sales deals, customer service excellence, or a development project - all jobs have value and should be celebrated!
Provide More Flexibility
The reason why most people love remote work is the freedom it affords them to work from anywhere. Do not force your remote workers to keep the same hours allocated to on-site employees.
Instead, try to be more flexible with their work hours and allow them to choose when they would be most effective. Your ability to provide more flexibility for your remote worker will convey to them that you appreciate and trust their choice.
Consistency is essential to effective employee acknowledgment
Creating an organizational culture that acknowledges and recognizes the achievements of your remote employees isn’t just “best practice”; it’s critical. Employees are more likely to stay and grow in the company when they are recognized for their efforts.
Consistency and continuity are critical. An acknowledgment calendar that ensures equitable recognition across the team is one option, but other ways are less formal. What’s important is that every employee knows what they need to do to receive praise and see those celebrations regularly. This will improve morale and helps incentivize employees to perform at their best.
Another suggestion is to include employees in the process. Encourage employees to nominate their peers or provide opportunities to vote on awards. Structure this carefully to not alienate a smaller team or sub-section of your workforce through the democratic process. While receiving recognition from peers is a powerful force, the opposite can be equally devastating.
Finally, the acknowledgment you provide has to be authentic. There are no participation trophies in business. Have clear goals or standards for employees to meet and use these in the praise that you give. That way, the objectives are reinforced, and the employee knows how they’ve contributed to the bigger picture.