Face-to-face interaction is important in business relationships as well as personal ones. Unfortunately during the pandemic, this has not always been possible. In a business environment, impressions are made by close observance, and management tends to recognize and reward those employees that they see as diligent, hard-working staff. Remote workers are often unseen and can feel that their efforts are not fully recognized by management. Remote employees need to know that they are valued and the effort they are putting in every day is appreciated. A quick text of “Good Job” is better than nothing but unfortunately, not much better. So, how can a company reward its’ hard-working employees who are working remotely?
Working remotely often presents numerous distractions which were avoided when headed off to work. Kids, spouses, deliveries, pets, etc. can all require attention when you are “right there.” If a remote worker is not required to directly interact with co-workers, is it really necessary that they start and stop at specific times? The flexibility of working hours is a major benefit of working remotely, and starting 10 minutes later than normal office hours should be of no impact if assigned work is completed. Generally, people should be paid for what they accomplish and not merely for attendance. Offering the flexibility of hours can be of a major benefit to both early birds and night owls without jeopardizing work efficiencies.
Opportunity to Learn
Good employees are always willing to learn and expand their horizons. This could be business, skills-related, or on a personal development level. Providing the opportunity through pre-paid courses is a benefit that your most valued workers would appreciate, and by creating a more well-rounded individual, could benefit the organization as well.
While working remotely it is encouraged to include employees in all learning opportunities; perhaps a virtual prospect client meeting, a conversation with an existing client on a technical matter, or a current challenge the business is having. Because we are all not back to work, these development opportunities have been missing.
Recognizing a hard-working employee’s efforts remotely is more difficult than having everyone gather around a cubicle and providing a quick speech and applause but it can be done thanks to our modern technology. Extra effort should be noted and broadcast to the group. Recognition that is directly sent to a specific worker is valuable, but not as much as that seen by co-workers. Let everyone know who is doing a super job and that they are appreciated.
Shirts, coffee mugs, pens are always a good way to provide an employee with a feeling of belonging and being a valuable member of the team. Sitting at a remote screen all day an employee can lose their corporate identity. Seeing the company logo on a cup, or even wearing an embroidered golf shirt is a nice reminder as well as an appreciated gift. Stay-safe kits can also be used as a welcome gift. Masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer especially with the corporate logo could be a big benefit and welcomed graciously by employees.
- Conduct online team meetings to celebrate members’ successes of the week
- Organize a virtual social event such as music favorites discussions or online games
- Identify and communicate closely with individuals who may not be thriving in a remote environment
- Set up inter-team communication so company-wide coordination is maintained
Create an online newsletter that would be informative about company progress during the pandemic and explain proposed plans for getting back to normal. A company newsletter would also be an ideal vehicle for broadcasting kudos to employees that have excelled even with the stress of the remote working environment. Use the newsletter to replace (temporarily) the office chat where personal information is shared. “Water cooler” chats about birthdays, baby showers, vacation plans; general chat are some of the most missed memories of being in-person vs. remote. Allowing employee contributions to the newsletter would also foster team spirit.
Working remotely can be efficient without office distractions but most people miss the personal touch and interaction with their hard-working co-workers. Recognize your employees’ need for camaraderie by checking in occasionally, sending a quick email or text just to let them know you are aware of their efforts and that you are available if they need you. Encourage the same exchanges with team members and other teams.
Remote or Not?
As the restraints of the pandemic lockdown begin to ease, the necessity of remote working may be declining. But over the past year, some of your employees may have embraced the new working environment, and if given the choice, might prefer to continue working remotely even if on a part-time basis. Allowing this new working environment can be a reward for those interested and if you can maintain flexibility, it could benefit all.
For further ideas on how to reward your employees who are working remotely, or how to help them transition back into the office, please contact us:
Klein HR Solutions:
Call (305) 775-5640
E-mail: [email protected]