If you could show all the employees on your team how much you appreciated them, what would be the first thing you’d do? Remote working is now well and truly embedded in to our working day and many believe that working remotely could be here to stay either as a whole or in part once we return to some sort of normality.
We have now experienced all seasonality’s of home working, the darker, cold mornings and evenings in comparison to those hot summer days working al fresco. It is fair to say that we definitely now have a much clearer view and understanding of both the positives and pitfalls of working from home. One notable pitfall being the loss of face-to-face communication and contact. A note or word of appreciation isn’t able to be shared over a coffee break, there are no longer the after-work drinks or evenings of team bonding activities.
The future is beginning to look brighter and with many companies and employees alike having recognised the benefits of remote working, once lockdown becomes a distant memory a mix of flexible home and office work is likely to be a staple of the working week. With that in mind it is important to ensure that your team members continue to feel appreciated for all of their achievements and that they feel supported, integrated and part of the team.
So, how do you reenact those quick 5-minute catch ups over the coffee maker and ensure your employees feel valued and acknowledged? Here is a list of our top 10 ways you can still show appreciation to your team in the current climate of remote working.
1. Encourage employee growth
Employee growth and development doesn’t need to sit on the back-burner whilst offices are closed. Show your appreciation through offering remote learning and development. There is vast array of valuable online courses that can be completed and will give employees a well-deserved moral boost and vigor for when they are able to return to the office.
2. Happy hour at home
It is so important to still carve out time for your employees to socialise and bond. Organise a games night or cocktail making evening for them, this could be a one off or a monthly night where the host rotates and there are different themes and prizes. It really will offer a little light relief, employees can bring along their favourite tipple, chat and catchup.
3. Company health and wellness activities
The past 12 months have been stressful and with cortisol levels reported to have risen, many employees and employers are heading towards burnout. It is so important to continue to take care of our mental health and wellbeing, so why not consider showing your gratitude by way of offering meditation classes, mindfulness, breathe workshops or yoga.
Thank your staff through encouraging, rest, reset and recharge.
A thank you email. This one might seem obvious, but it is surprisingly easy to forget to send a quick thank you email on completion of a task. Make it a habit and always send a thank you to show your appreciation however big or small a task is once it is completed.
Consider adopting daily shout outs for the small wins of the day. Encourage peer appreciation as gratitude really does breed positivity and this will ripple through the team. ‘Employee of the week’ is another way to recognise those employees that have gone above and beyond.
5. Virtual awards ceremonies
Look back at the past 12 months and hold a virtual awards ceremony. Print certificates, have a selection of prizes and really celebrate each and every member of your staff for all they have achieved. You could add humour to the event, it doesn’t have to be serious, but your employers will appreciate the thought, effort and recognition.
6. Theme of the week
With us all working via Teams and Zoom it could be a great opportunity to get to know your employees more. Letting a member of the team choose a theme for the week where fancy dress on a Friday is incorporated, themed music to kick off the working week on a Monday and a Friday afternoon themed quiz to wind down and bring in the weekend. The weeks host can rotate and bring a little energy and novelty to each week.
7. Holiday boost
The limit and restriction on holidays has meant that fewer employees are taking annual leave. Specifically taking the time to connect with employees to ask them about their holiday plans and reminding them to take a break will make them feel valued and seen. We all need to disconnect from technology and although we may not be able to holiday away from home yet, a technology disconnect and a week off work would help many of us.
Rewarding employees for their hard work through an extra day’s holiday or gifting them an impromptu afternoon off. Give employees flexibility with their time, maybe they would like to work longer days Monday to Thursday and regularly have the opportunity to finish early on a Friday. Give staff a long weekend and really show your appreciation for all they have achieved.
8. Give a little gift
A handwritten card really does go a long way especially in the age of everything being online. A thank you card landing through the letterbox and a personalised gift will make your employees smile.
Think about flowers, gift vouchers or take away vouchers that they could redeem at home and give them a night off home cooking. Send a hamper or a bottle of wine, a gesture of thanks such as this will be received very warmly.
9. Workspace upgrades
With staff all working from home it is important to consider saying thank you by way of home office upgrades if your budget allows, and especially if home working will stay into the future. Check-in with your employees; are they still working from their kitchen counter? Is their laptop propped up on books? Are they still sitting on a dining room chair? Making your employees more comfortable at home will be a welcome relief and ensure that they feel supported and appreciated.
You could even consider incorporating an annual technology allowance into the employee benefits.
One way to show your appreciation to your staff is through financial incentives. There could be monthly financial rewards for first, second and third place to give a boost to employees pay packets.
Incentives could be by way of winning a Monday morning off or a longer lunch hour as the weather improves and longer walks with another can be taken. Incentives work wonders for morale.
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