The shift to remote work has brought about many changes in how we run as businesses and organizations. One area that has changed is employee recognition. With employees working from home, it can be more challenging to show appreciation and give credit where it’s due. However, this doesn’t mean that employee recognition should be neglected. In fact, it’s more important than ever to make sure that employees feel valued and appreciated, even when they’re not physically present in the office. According to a research done by Zippia, 80% of employees report that being recognized for their work by their managers or supervisors motivates them to put in more effort! In this post, we’ll explore some ways to practice employee recognition in a remote work environment and boost employee morale

remote work environment
Image by Freepik

1. Send a shoutout in the daily or weekly agenda 

To recognize remote employees, you can send a shoutout in the weekly agenda. This is a wonderful way to recognize people who have done something noteworthy and deserve recognition. You can send shoutouts individually or as part of another team activity. 

Shoutouts can also be done at any time during the day when someone has done something that deserves recognition, so if you’re not sure how best to use this feature, try sending out one every hour until you find what works best for your team! You can also: 

  • Give specific examples of what the employee did to deserve recognition 
  • Encourage other team members to also recognize their peers for their achievements 
  • Make it a regular practice to give shoutouts at team meetings or team events

2. Keep employees aware of other departments 

In a remote model, there isn’t the same level of physical proximity that employees enjoy in traditional offices. This makes it easy for team members to lose track of what’s going on with other teams and departments.  

To ensure your remote workforce stays up to date, you’ll want to make sure everyone knows the goals and priorities of their respective teams and departments. In the communication tool of your choice, whether you are using Discord or Teams, you should be able to create custom channels where members of different departments can interact with each other. Employees should be aware of what is happening within their team, and any challenges other departments may be facing. Here are some more suggestions: 

  • Schedule regular departmental or cross-departmental meetings to discuss progress and share updates 
  • Encourage employees to share knowledge and best practices between departments 
  • Provide opportunities for virtual team-building activities to promote cross-departmental collaboration and teamwork.

3. Virtual events keep remote employees engaged 

If you’re looking for a way to bring your employees together, consider creating an event around something fun. You can use a company chat app like Slack to create an instant message contest for everyone in the company. The prize could be a gift card or something more creative, like the winner getting their name on the list of “senior executives” instead of junior executives. 
A video conferencing platform like Zoom might be useful if you want to hold an online conference with all your remote workers at once. The conference could include games and activities so everyone has something new to look forward to in their day. You can also: 

  • Schedule regular virtual happy hours or coffee breaks for employees to catch up and interact informally 
  • Encourage employees to share their hobbies or interests and organize virtual events around those topics. 
  • Organize virtual team-building activities to promote camaraderie and bonding amongst remote employees. 

4. Recognition software is a must

In addition to our previous suggestions, consider implementing an employee recognition software, like Teamflect, TINYPulse, or 15Five. In a survey, when participants were asked what would keep them from leaving their current employer, they stated that having engaging work (74%) and receiving recognition and rewards (69%) were the most significant motivations. These platforms provide an effortless way for employees to give and receive recognition in real-time, regardless of location. Employees can give virtual “high-fives” or “shout-outs” to their colleagues for a job well done, and managers can use the platform to give formal recognition, such as bonuses or gift cards. These platforms also provide analytics and reporting, allowing managers to track employee engagement and satisfaction. 
Recognition software can help you to: 

  • Use recognition software to implement your company culture with customized badges and recognition stickers 
  • Create a leaderboard of top performers to promote healthy competition and motivation 
  • Allow employees to redeem their recognition points for rewards or benefits

5. Hold regular one-on-one meetings

Like everywhere else, communication is key in remote work environments. When employees are working remotely, it can be easy for them to feel disconnected and isolated from the team. Regular one-on-one meetings and updates can help bridge this gap and provide an opportunity for employees to share their accomplishments and successes. This can be done through video conferencing, email, or instant messaging.  

Make sure to schedule regular meetings or calls to discuss progress and give employees the opportunity to share their contributions. These meetings can be used for a variety of purposes, including celebrating successes and failures, sharing information, learning new skills, and building relationships with co-workers. In addition to these: 

  • Encourage open and transparent communication
  • Ensure that all employees have access to the information they need to do their jobs 
  • Have a designated channel or platform where employees can ask questions and share ideas.

6. Create a virtual awards program

Another way to practice employee recognition in a remote work environment is to create a virtual awards program. This can include things like “employee of the month” or “top performer” awards. Awarding an employee of the month award is a great way to build team cohesion and show appreciation for your remote team members. The award can be announced at a company meeting and should go to someone who has been nominated by a colleague.
This not only gives employees something to strive for, but it also allows them to be recognized and celebrated by their peers. Consider setting up a virtual platform where employees can nominate one another for awards and then have a panel of managers or peers vote on the winners. If you want to ramp up the award process, you can: 

  • Set up a virtual platform where employees can nominate one another for awards and then have a panel of managers or peers vote on the winners 
  • Create different categories of awards, such as best team collaboration, best customer service, or most innovative idea 
  • Share the achievements and reasons of the winners on your company’s internal website or company’s social media platforms to spread the joy and motivation. 

There’s no denying that remote work can be a challenge. But with the right tools and strategies, you can make it easier for your employees to feel valued without having them in the same office or even country as you. By implementing regular communication, virtual awards programs, employee recognition software, and one-on-one meetings, managers can ensure that their remote employees feel valued and appreciated. Above all else, remember that recognition is about showing appreciation for the work your employees do—not just rewarding them because they’re doing well or because you want something from them in return.  Remember that employee recognition is an ongoing process and should be integrated into the daily operations of the remote work environment.