As more organizations come to rely on remote work, it’s important that we transfer over some of the successful practices that we’ve used in the past. One such practice is that of employee recognition. Employee recognition has always been important for organizations, but it may be even more important for remote teams due to the isolating nature of working remotely. Below, you’ll find an outline of how employee recognition can benefit your organization and how to implement it for your remote teams.
What Is Employee Recognition?
Employee recognition is the act of highlighting when an employee accomplishes something or reaches an important milestone. It’s a way of ensuring that your employees know that their efforts are not going unnoticed by management and that you appreciate what they do. Establish a habit of employee recognition within your organization not only because your employees will appreciate having their efforts recognized but because it will have some significant benefits for your business.
Top Benefits of Employee Recognition for Remote Teams
Establishing a practice of employee recognition can benefit your business in a few ways, such as:
For starters, recognizing your employee’s efforts can boost their productivity. According to a survey from OGO, 40 percent of workers claim that they would put more effort into their work if they felt like they were recognized more. In addition, 82 percent of workers say their employers don’t recognize their efforts enough. By recognizing the contributions of your remote team, you can boost morale and encourage them to get more done.
Reduced Turnover and Absenteeism
Recognizing your employees’ efforts makes them happier with their jobs. As a result, they are less likely to take a day off of work. You can significantly reduce absenteeism, and thereby improve your organization’s productivity even more, simply by implementing an employee recognition strategy.
Making your employees happier will also lead to fewer of them leaving their jobs. If your organization has a high turnover rate, this is likely to have a negative impact on your growth. It’s hard to grow your business if you are constantly hiring and training new employees, as it takes time to get them up to speed. If you want to decrease how often employees miss work and increase how long they stay with your organization, an employee recognition program is a great place to start.
Higher Customer Satisfaction
Finally, by making your employees happier you’ll also make your customers happier. When your employees enjoy their jobs, they are more likely to put extra effort into how they interact with your customers. This could be a salesperson giving more time to a prospective client, a web developer spending more time creating a great online customer experience, or a customer service representative going the extra mile to assist a customer.
Business growth comes from generating new customers and keeping your previous ones. If you want to do this, you need a high customer satisfaction rate. The biggest factor that determines if your customers are satisfied is your employees. Work on ensuring they are satisfied with their jobs first, as this will lay a strong foundation.
Common Types of Employee Recognition
Employee recognition can come in several forms, including:
A bonus is when you add cash on top of your employee’s regular paycheck. Many organizations use this time of complementary compensation to reward high-achieving employees, long-term employees, and to entice people to join their organizations. Your ability to offer a bonus to employees depends largely on your organization’s financial situation. However, if you have the room in your budget, just about every employee appreciates getting a bonus, making it a great way to recognize your employees.
Besides additional compensation inside a paycheck, there are other rewards you can give your employees. For example, many businesses use small gift cards to show their appreciation. They may give out a gift card to a local restaurant on their employee’s birthday or to a store they know the employee likes around the holidays. Gift cards feel a little more personal than a bonus and are often much more affordable.
In addition to gift cards, you could also reward the employee with some extra time off. Think of it like a coach giving their players off from practice after securing a big win. Most people will enjoy having an extra day off to relax or do something fun, all while still getting paid. Try to save this reward for extra special accomplishments to encourage employees to work a little harder for it.
An easy way to show that you appreciate an employee is by simply telling them. All too often, employees don’t feel appreciated because their superiors forget to take the time to praise them. A simple email message after a job well done shows that you appreciate their efforts.
When offering praise, try to do this publicly if you can. If someone in your office reaches a milestone or accomplishes something big, let the entire team know. This will encourage others to reach out with their own messages and make the employee feel more appreciated. You can do this even if you’re working with a remote team – simply send out a message to your group chat or through a company-wide email.
When to Offer Employee Recognition
There are three key times to offer employee recognition, including:
A great time to recognize your employees is when they achieve something within the scope of their jobs. For example, a salesperson landing a big client or a project team completing their work well ahead of schedule. Recognizing your employees after an achievement shows that you appreciate their efforts and that their work has not gone unnoticed. It may also motivate your team to strive towards similar achievements in the future.
While working with you, your employees will hit different kinds of milestones. Recognizing these milestones shows that you’re keeping track of this sort of thing and that it’s an important aspect of your business. For example, you could recognize when someone has their first day, their one-year anniversary, ten-year anniversary, etc. This says you value company loyalty and that you’re happy they are a part of the organization.
Finally, employee recognition doesn’t have to be all about professional accomplishments or milestones. You can also recognize employees when there is something special going on in their personal life. A simple example of this is wishing your employees a happy birthday. You could also send congratulations or small gifts during other milestones, such as having a child or getting married. Doing so shows that you care about this employee as a person and their life outside of work.
Ways to Successfully Build an Employee Recognition Program
Whether you’re looking to build an employee recognition program for your office or remote team, try following the steps below:
Pick Your Goals
Start by identifying your goals. Why are you looking to recognize your employees more? What benefits are you hoping to achieve from it? For example, maybe you’re trying to reduce your employee turnover rate or improve customer satisfaction. Whatever your aims, create specific goals to go along with them. This will help you to monitor your progress and see if your employee recognition problems are working.
Generate Recognition Ideas
Next, start brainstorming some ideas for how you can recognize your employees’ efforts. We mentioned some ways above, such as giving out bonuses and rewards or offering praise, but there are others as well. During this brainstorming session, try to get a little more specific with your recognition ideas. How much of a bonus are you willing to give out? What sort of rewards would your team like? When will you offer praise, how will you do it and what will you say?
Asking yourself these kinds of questions can help you generate a list of ideas. At this stage, don’t worry about finding the best solutions, just generate as many ideas as you can. Create a list of your ideas along with a few notes as to why this is a good method for recognizing your employees.
Implement Your Best Ideas
After you have a list full of recognition ideas, pick out your best ones to try first. You don’t want to implement all your ideas at the same time, as this can lessen the impact of each and overwhelm your employees. Instead, start with one or two. Think about which of your ideas your employees will like the most or which ones might have the most impact.
Then decide if you want to formally announce these new recognition strategies or if you want to surprise your employees. Both methods can work, depending on how you plan to recognize your employees. For example, if your plan is to start a rewards program based on achievements, it could be a good idea to let your employees know, encouraging them to work a little harder for those rewards. On the other hand, offering some public praise unexpectedly in a nice surprise for any employee.
Develop your ideas, then put them into practice. Start recognizing your employees and giving out any of the benefits you decided on. Make sure you’re consistent with this praise so that employees come to expect this as a part of working for your organization.
Track Your Progress
As you’re running your employee recognition program, make sure you’re tracking the results. Are you seeing a rise in customer satisfaction? Do your employees seem happier with their jobs? Refer back to the goals you set and see how you’re progressing. Don’t worry if you don’t see results right away as sometimes it may take a little while. Continue your strategies and keep monitoring the results for at least a few months before you draw any conclusions.
After running your employee recognition program for a little while, gather some feedback from your employees. Are they enjoying the rewards you’re giving out? Do they appreciate it when they receive public recognition or would they prefer it done in private? Gathering feedback is one of the best ways to learn if your employees like the changes you’ve made and can help to ensure you’ve implemented the right strategies.
To get this feedback from your employees, consider sending out an anonymous survey. By making this survey anonymous, your employees may feel more comfortable sharing their true opinions. Ask them a series of questions about your employee recognition programs and see if they have any suggestions for changes you can make. Seeking feedback from your employees not only provides you with essential insight into how they’re feeling but demonstrates you care about what they think, which your employees will appreciate.
Finally, after gathering some data about your programs and some feedback from your employees, look to see if you can make any improvements. Just like any other area of your business, there’s likely always room to improve. For instance, maybe your employees would prefer if you sent out smaller gift cards to more employees rather than large ones to a select few. You’d end up spending the same amount of money but would make more people happy.
Come up with some ideas for how you could improve then work to implement them. As with before, continue to track your progress towards your goals. If the changes you made help move you towards your goal faster, keep them. If not, revert back to the old method or try something new. You don’t want to change up your employee recognition program every week but making the occasional adjustment can help you find the best methods for maximum effectiveness.
Start Recognizing Your Remote Team’s Accomplishments Today
When you work remotely, it can often lead to feelings of isolation. You’re working by yourself and only interacting with your employer through a computer. These feelings of isolation can then lead to dissatisfaction with their jobs, which then result in poorer performance and higher turnover.
An easy way to help alleviate this problem is by recognizing your employees’ efforts. Setting up an employee recognition program for your remote team doesn’t have to cost a lot or take that much time. By doing so you can demonstrate that you appreciate the work someone does for you and help your business grow.