Remote working is not a novel concept or practice, but learning how to reward remote employees is.
With the unprecedented outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve witnessed a quick rise and popularity of the global remote working culture.
Working remotely has quickly been termed as the “new normal.” And with that, there came new challenges and obstacles to overcome.
One such challenge is to find new and innovative ways of rewarding your newly remote workforce. Employee recognition is crucial to having a motivated and productive workforce.
According to a survey by Glassdoor, 81% of employees feel motivated to put in more hard work if they are recognized and appreciated by their employers. In the same survey, 53% of employees admitted that they would stay longer in a company if they received more appreciation from their bosses.
But recognizing and rewarding a remote workforce is not the same as rewarding a workforce that is face-to-face in the office.
Here are nine meaningful and innovative ways to recognize and reward your remote employees.
1. Be Flexible
Remote work depends a lot on flexibility. Let your remote employees have agency and autonomy to make certain decisions for themselves.
Allowing flexible working hours is an excellent and effective way to reward those working remotely.
2. Allocate Reward Points
Consider allocating redeemable reward points to your remote employees on an employee rewards and recognition tool.
They can then redeem these reward points against a fixed monetary value and spend it on any purchase of their choice, as and when they like.
Non-redeemable reward points also contribute tremendously towards boosting employee morale. These points can be highlighted on a leaderboard. Your employees will then be driven to perform better and improve their position on this leaderboard.
3. Offer Health and Wellness Benefits
Ensure that you value your employees’ health and wellness as much as you value your company’s growth and development. The latter is highly dependent on the former.
So, go beyond providing health insurance.
For instance, put in place a corporate wellness program designed, keeping in mind your remote employees’ various health requirements.
Offer them gym and yoga memberships. Cover their costs for therapy and counseling sessions. Invest in digital health services. Send them care packages when they call in sick. There’s so much you can do!
Health and wellness benefits are one of the best ways to reward your remote employees.
4. Offer Learning Opportunities
The world is full of learning opportunities. Reward your remote workforce by helping them to learn, train, and develop during these challenging times.
You can offer them online subscriptions or memberships to a cooking class or a coding workshop. You can let them join a local music class and cover their fees. The possibilities are endless!
Help your employees discover and develop their different interests and skills. These acquired skills add to the quality of their work as well.
You can also help them learn from each other by offering a virtual Reciprocity Ring.
5. Celebrate Your Employees’ Diversity
Employees can be diverse in a myriad of ways. They belong to different cultures, religions, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, ages, and geographical locations.
Needless to say, practicing and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is reflective of a healthy company culture. When employees from different minorities are represented and included, they feel recognized and valued.
In a remote working culture, HR and people in leadership positions need to put in extra effort to celebrate these diversities and practice inclusivity.
Schedule informal virtual events where employees get to share something they hold close to their sense of identities. Encourage them to participate in team-building activities so that they bond with their remote peers better. Wish them on a festival, holiday, or occasion that is exclusive to their culture. And most importantly, make them feel seen and heard in every decision-making process.
6. Invest in a Tool to Reward Remote Employees
It is always an excellent idea to invest in a rewards and recognition tool or program.
In the current scenario, when more and more employees work remotely, an R&R tool can drive better performance and boost motivation.
There are plenty of such cloud-based tools in the employee benefits market. Choose something that meets your company’s needs and adds value to your employees’ lives.
These programs often offer a vast range of benefits that cross the barrier of distance ‒ from health and wellness benefits and gym memberships to gift cards and vouchers for e-commerce websites. The choices are aplenty!
7. Offer Allowances and Bonuses
Yes, when working remotely, employees do not need to spend much on commuting. They work from the relative comfort of their homes.
However, there are expenses that you, as an employer, can take care of.
For instance, offer them an allowance to buy the necessary equipment that makes remote work easy. It can be anything – from a laptop to a comfortable ergonomic chair that helps them maintain good posture throughout their work-hours.
Such allowances and bonuses motivate employees to be productive from their homes and tell them that their company cares about them.
8. Appreciate Your Employees Publicly
When remote employees achieve a target or a professional goal, make sure to appreciate them publicly, for instance, on a social media platform or in a video-conference where other employees are present.
Public recognition motivates your hard-working and diligent employees. Their efforts are validated, and they feel inspired to achieve so much more.
9. Add a Personal Touch
A personal and handwritten note of appreciation for your remote employees will do wonders.
Staying connected over Skype and Zoom calls have become so convenient for us. Taking the time to write a few words of appreciation to your employees, or sending them a card on their birthdays and work-anniversaries, adds much more value because of the time and it takes.
It is never a bad idea to go the extra mile for the people you work with.
Remote work has its challenges.
Employees working remotely are juggling hard to achieve a work-life balance.
With the right rewarding strategies in place, employers can ensure that their remote workforce does not feel under-valued for their efforts.
Employees who are recognized and rewarded have higher motivation, better performance, and increased productivity.
After all, when people feel valued, they offer value in return.
About the Author
Priyakshi Sharma is a content marketer at Vantage Circle, an employee engagement platform and Vantage Fit, an all-in-one corporate health and wellness solution. In her free time, she is found writing about cinema, life, and everything in between.