REWARDING YOUR TEAMS IS IMPORTANT, WHEREVER THEY'RE BASED
But it can be easy to focus more on the staff you see around the office every day...
There has been huge changes in the working environment in the last year. Before remote working was few and far between, with many of us spending all day in an office. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we've all been experiencing the benefits of remote working, including a better work-life balance and a lack of commute!
For many of your teams, they maybe reluctant to go back to the office full time. In fact, research from a YouGov survey revealing that 75% of employees, where working from home is possible, want a hybrid approach, with 79% wanting to work remotely at least two days per week.
As an employer, you might be struggling with engaging and supporting your remote or hybrid workers, as well as showing your appreciation to them for all their hard work. After all, a free lunch might not work for everyone and can leave some of your teams feeling unappreciated.
Here are five ways you can reward your remote and hybrid employees so they always feel part of the team.
1. Celebrate their success as part of the team, whatever the distance
When employees go above and beyond at work, they want to feel some appreciation for it. A company-wide email is a nice option, but its effects can be short-lived. Why not take the opportunity to celebrate by having a team get-together that champions everyone’s successes?
Whether you plan it for a day when everyone's due to be in the office or make use of technology, there's no reason not to celebrate your employee’s success as a team!
Your employees are more likely to continue with their efforts and hard work if they feel part of a team where their efforts are recognised and celebrated. A celebration is a great way of thanking individuals and the team for their contributions to the business. Plus it helps everyone stay connected, tackling one of the drawbacks of working remotely!
Events don’t have to be huge either, you could do anything from a light-hearted team bonding event or an online quiz, to a company award ceremony, which could be done in person or virtual. All employees, not just those who work remotely, value this type of recognition!
2. LOOK AT Alternative WAYS TO RECOGNISE AND REWARD
The best approach is to get personal with your reward scheme or employee benefits offering. The more the you know about your staff, the more confident you can be that the recognition and rewards you provide, will be appreciated. Get to know your employees so you know their needs and understand what reward will be well received and create that long-lasting connection.
Of course, there isn’t the opportunity for a quick water cooler chat with a remote worker, so it’s important that your comms plan includes methods that reach staff outside of the office and fills them in on exactly what they’re entitled to.
Providing remote workers with experiences, or financial alternatives, are a fantastic way to reward their efforts. Family trips out are a great idea – as many remote workers choose to work from home to ease childcare pressures – but discounts for their high-street shop, or even travel discounts can also be effective.
3. Get Creative - the Little things go a long way
Showing your appreciation for remote workers doesn’t have to cost the earth. Treating them to lunch, for example, is a small, simple way to show your gratitude. You could wait for a day everyone's in, or get creative – have a video call in your kitchen and make lunch together as you chat and catch up. You could even send them an eVoucher or Gift Card so they could order something in!
Take the time to talk to your remote employees, find out what makes them tick and feel valued!? It could be they’d like something as simple as a little gadget that will help them out at home, or possibly some yoga equipment to enhance their health and wellbeing. You may be surprised what they come up with.
In a list of the top ten perks employees prefer, extra holiday days, verbal recognition and gourmet treats all rank highly in the list, so there are plenty of ways to rewards staff without going over your budget!
4. Have a little fun
Many companies have reported increased productivity by allowing staff to work from home, yet remote workers might feel out of the loop when it comes to the fun stuff at work. Missing the team lunches or the impromptu post-work pint might not seem like much, but it can make your workers feel divided.
There's no shortage of fun ways of saying thanks, of course! Sports and activities for example, can bring out a little healthy competition between people, so why not have a ten-pin bowling tournament with teams made up of a mix of office staff and remote workers? Or a trip to the local laser quest to find the sharpest shooters in your team? Even mini golf can be a fun way to get people socialising.
But, it doesn’t have to be a company thing, employers can provide vouchers for activities for people to enjoy with their friends and family, from meals out and cinema trips, to pampering and adventure days .
When recognising team members, differentiating between how members of staff are rewarded can be demotivating, so make sure rewards are fair to all staff. The result? It shows you’re fair as an employer, and see rewards as a genuine way to promote company values.
5. check in and catch up in a way that connects with your team
Technology has made it much easier for us to interact with anyone, anywhere, and at any time. But not all of your teams will want to connect virtually all the time!
A bit of social interaction might be just what they need, so having a quick catch up over a cuppa or even lunch will allow you to connect and develop the working relationship further. Gallup’s report into employee recognition found the most memorable recognition is from an employee’s manager, and that’s even the same for staff who aren’t office based.
Hanging out with the boss isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but 82% of staff believe that they’re not recognised for their work as often as they deserve, so when a senior person from the company takes time for them and praises their efforts it's very likely to go down well. It means a lot when managers try to understand and empathise with their employees, and provide support and recognition in the workplace… that’s not to say following up with a nice little gift isn’t well received too!
hOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE...
Gifting hybrid or remote workers with other rewards, such as eVoucher and digital rewards, or other lifestyle offerings like experience days can show your employees that you appreciate their hard work. The quirkier the gift or experience you can offer, the more they’re likely to remember it!