Today, 2 March, is Employee Appreciation Day. As any entrepreneur worth their salt knows, a strong, productive workforce is the backbone of any company.
Now, it’s easy enough to do this in the traditional workplace. You order pizza for everyone, end work early, and perhaps give a pretty little speech honoring your employees.
It’s a little tricky to show appreciation in a remote environment, not least because there’s no face-to-face interaction. All the more so if you’ve got a distributed team and most of your employees are on an asynchronous schedule.
But with a little effort, it can be done. Here are just a handful of suggestions to make your remote team feel the love today:
1. Give them the day off.
This is perhaps the best thing you can do for remote employees, especially for working parents. Too many people underestimate how stressful it can be to constantly balance work and family tasks. It’s even more difficult at home, where the lines between work and family are constantly blurred.
Hence, a day off being a great and relatively effortless incentive or prize. If it’s not possible to give your employees the day off today, why not give them Friday off? They’ll appreciate a long weekend even more.
Whatever you do, make sure they’ll still get paid for the day, of course.
2. Arrange for thoughtful gifts.
Coffee, tea, heck, even flowers sent to your remote employee’s doorstep can really brighten up their day. With e-commerce gaining traction everywhere, this shouldn’t be too hard to do.
3. Buy them lunch or dinner.
Alternatively, you can treat your employees to lunch or dinner. You can set a budget for each one and allocate it accordingly on the next payroll. Or you can also arrange for a food delivery service to bring your employees food at an appointed time.
Speaking of food delivery…
4. Offer food delivery or online grocery credits.
Food delivery and online groceries are the lifeblood of many remote workers who don’t have a lot of time (or energy) to go out and run errands. Buying your remote employees vouchers or gift cards for these services will certainly go a long way.
5. Facilitate virtual happy hour or game night.
There are several free platforms that allow you to host quizzes or games for your remote team. It’s all a matter of figuring out which activities they’d enjoy the most.
If you’re out of ideas, just buy everyone drinks and host virtual karaoke via Zoom. Those Youtube videos with lyrics would come in especially handy here.
6. Incorporate shout-outs into routine video calls.
Public recognition is a powerful tool. Now that everyone’s working from home, you can still deploy it by recognising key employees during Zoom calls. You can do this verbally (e.g., “Snaps to Kevin for crushing the website layout!”) or even through a slideshow presentation of that employee’s highlights.
Best of all, this option costs nothing. But you can bet it’ll mean the world to the employee in question.
7. If you can afford it, look into virtual wellness programs.
Some platforms sell packages for online yoga or other such fitness classes. If you’re worried about how the constant cycle of negative news is affecting your remote workers, perhaps looking into providing them with online therapy as well.
8. Sponsor online courses to help remote workers upskill.
Do you think your graphic artist has a lot of potential to be even better? Got a feeling that your copywriter or social media manager has what it takes to kick @$$ as a digital marketer? Why not treat them to a few online courses to help them level up?
Obviously, this might not apply to all your remote employees, so best carry this out discreetly. Do make sure that your selected recipients are indeed deserving of such as well. Done correctly, this can even benefit you down the line, especially if they end up unlocking some new skills.
9. Go halfsies on remote work equipment.
Did your employees mention needing new keyboards, headsets, or webcams? Surprising them with such would be a thoughtful gesture then.
For those who have been with you for quite a while, you can offer to shoulder half the cost of their new computer set-up, for instance.
10. Hold a company-wide virtual contest with great prizes.
Whether it’s a wacky selfie contest or something equally fun (but relatively low effort), this is a great way to let employees blow off steam at work. You can decide which prizes your team would appreciate the most, but don’t forget to throw in a few consolation prizes too.
Lastly, and if nothing else, make sure you say “thank you” to your team today. It can be in the form of a personal email, where you take time to tell them what you appreciate most about them. Or you can opt to write them a LinkedIn recommendation, boosting their morale and publicly endorsing them in the process.
Filipino remote talents are known not just for their competence, but also for going the extra mile. They’ll do that for you for years to come if you treat them well.
Here at Remote Staff, we’ve had more than ten years of experience in providing support to both parties to ensure productive and harmonious working relationships. Should you require assistance in such, we’re one phone call or callback away.