“Remote workers can go through periods of disassociation from their companies and colleagues without a reward system, leading to periods of poor motivation and productivity.“
Given the recent shift toward social distancing and remote work conditions, many professionals have found the change difficult to adjust to. This is where you, as an employer, need to step up and make their remote work conditions as comfortable and inviting as possible. Whether you operate as a small startup or a large company with offices around the globe, team reward ideas should be a priority. According to Small Biz Genius, 16% of companies exclusively hire remote workers as of 2020 – by 2028, 73% of companies will facilitate remote work.
The COVID-19 situation has accelerated corporate workflow into remote waters. However, this opens the possibility for loss of motivation, productivity and sense of belonging for remote workers. To amend that, let’s discuss ideas for rewarding employees in a remote workflow, as well as how you can benefit from doing so in 2020.
Benefits of Rewarding your Remote Workers
Let’s address why you should care about tips to reward remote workers before we dive into them. As we’ve mentioned, today’s professionals are very likely to prefer remote workflow as opposed to commuting and strict work hours. With the current crisis underway, companies can experiment with remote work programs to test their long-term viability.
Jim Mitchel, HR Specialist and Writer at Trust My Paper, spoke on the topic: “Companies that specialize in SAAS and digital services, in general, should look at COVID-19 as an opportunity to grow. Developing a stable remote network for your employees, including a reward and recognition system, should be a top priority. In doing so, you will make every employee feel more comfortable and productive despite a more remote, decentralized workflow.”
According to Business 2 Community, 75% of workers admit that they work remotely due to there being fewer distractions around them. Likewise, 77% of employees have noticed that remote work reduced their company’s operating costs drastically over time. Coupled with effective team rewards ideas, you can take full advantage of the tips to reward remote workers going forward. Some of the most crucial benefits you can look forward to including:
- Straight forward way to show gratitude to your employees
- Higher employee morale and productivity
- Give employees a sense of ownership over corporate achievements
- Higher retention rates and positive brand reputation
- Drastically lowered logistical costs due to remote work conditions
Having even a rudimentary reward system in place can drastically boost individual remote worker’s motivation to continue with their contributions to the team.
Tips to Reward Remote Workers
1. Company-Wide Recognition
One of the simplest and most accessible team reward ideas can be found in company-wide recognition. Simply put, high-performing and distinguished individuals can be showcased to everyone in the company via a specialized email, content piece, blog post, etc. This can significantly boost a person’s (or a team’s) productivity and motivation, especially in regards to identifying with company goals and values.
However, it’s also important to mix up which individuals or teams are placed on the proverbial pedestal, as well as how often to do it. Bi-weekly and monthly reward cycles are a great way to keep things fresh and allow every remote worker to work hard between the recognition deadlines. You can centralize your reward system in a cloud-based service such as Fond Rewards and manage how your employees are recognized. This type of reward is cost-effective and relies on teamwork and camaraderie – it is especially welcome in small companies and startups.
2. Technological Upgrades
Depending on the industry in which you operate, you can make technological upgrades and gadgets a part of your ideas for rewarding employees. If you are a graphic design studio, you can reward your remote worker with a new tablet or a laptop for landing a high-value contract.
This reward system can extend to a variety of technical upgrades and tokens of appreciation, including smartwatches, phones, etc. It’s important to note that this type of reward system should be kept for the highest performers. While tips to reward remote workers should apply to everyone on your team, you should stay in the positive with your profit margins afterwards. Despite that, these types of team rewards ideas can boost your remote workers’ productivity dramatically.
3. Professional Development Facilitation
You can aim for rewards that benefit both your company and the remote worker in question. Professional seminars, training, coaching and other forms of development work wonders as reward incentives. Tips to reward remote workers can extend to include development opportunities for your employees.
These rewards are significantly more effective than pure monetary or physical rewards since they incentivize individuals to grow as specialists. They are even more valuable as ideas for rewarding employees if you assign the seminar or coaching activity to an entire remote team. Doing so will improve the entire department’s productivity and motivation to work harder and justify the team rewards ideas you’ve implemented for their benefit.
4. Gift Cards & Vouchers
One of the simpler yet equally effective tips to reward remote workers concerns cards, vouchers and coupons. Simply put, we live in an age where eCommerce and digital goods have become just as viable as physical gifts. As such, Amazon gift cards, Netflix subscription cards and similar tokens of appreciation can find their way into your team rewards ideas.
Given that these rewards are cost-effective, you can hand them out to individual workers within a remote team to give everyone a sense of accomplishment. Similarly, these rewards can be handed out more frequently as they will incentivize teams to compete for the spotlight throughout the month. Ask about your employees’ shopping habits and digital hobbies to pinpoint what kind of cards to reward them with before you commit to it.
5. Company Goodies
Ideas for rewarding employees can extend to your business portfolio and involve goods or services you produce in-house. You can reward your remote workers with apparel items, goods from your retail store or vouchers for X months of your services free of charge.
In addition, if you work in lucrative industries which can indeed provide employees with satisfying goods and services from its own inventory – all the better. Exclusive store credit for your clothing lineup might be a very good productivity incentive for remote workers. Gifting pens and coffee mugs with your company’s logo on them simply won’t have the same effect. These types of rewards will cost very little and can be attributed to marketing costs.
6. Group Team Building Events
As we’ve mentioned previously, tips to reward remote workers can and should extend past concrete rewards such as goods or payment boosts. Sometimes, all you really need to reward remote employees is to organize team building events for everyone in your company.
Platforms such as Google Hangouts offer a plethora of ways in which you can facilitate group calls and get-togethers for your remote employees. These events should revolve around casual banter, icebreakers and friendly conversation without delving into company projects or work duties. Let your employees know that you care about whom they are and what they have to say. Adopting such an approach to your team rewards ideas will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the remote workers’ sense of belonging and overall productivity.
Large-scale, casual group chats and team building with remote workers within your company can have hugely positive effects on everyone’s sense of belonging and teamwork.
7. Vacation Time
Paid vacations, even to close-by destinations, can work in your favour tremendously. While the COVID-19 situation won’t make travel easy anytime soon, you can still reward your remote workers with time off. Whether the employee decides to travel or cash out their voucher and stay at home is entirely up to them.
However, you will undoubtedly have family types on your remote team who would be over the moon to get vacation time for a job well-done. These types of tips to reward remote workers might be on the expensive side. Despite that, they can guarantee employee retention and boost the overall morale within your company significantly.
8. Surprise Remote Lunch
Lastly, given that remote workers will naturally work far away from one another, you can coordinate surprise lunch deliveries to their doorstep. No one says that tips to reward remote workers need to be achievement-specific – you can simply treat your employees as a small “thank you”.
Find out what each of your remote workers likes and dislikes, avoiding ordering food which individuals might not appreciate. This is especially true if your company places a high emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Make sure to join your remote workers for online lunch and take a collective break together to further emphasize the moment. You can further develop this system into various ideas for rewarding employees based on professional accomplishment, so get creative.
Employee Satisfaction & Organic Retention (Conclusion)
What separates your company from others on the market lies in your company culture, values and long-term goals. The internal culture you cultivate will speak volumes about your brand and employee satisfaction, whether remote or not. Implement satisfying and fair tips to reward remote workers throughout your company.
Consult with your HR and individual department managers on what types of team reward ideas would work best for your remote workers. Once you pinpoint which ideas for rewarding employees work best for your company, your retention will reflect those efforts. Future employees and B2B companies will hear good things about how you treat employees and be more inclined to work with you as a result.
Guest: Marques Coleman is a professional content creator, writer and editor at Best Essays Education and Supreme Dissertations writing services. Her career portfolio consists of articles, case studies and research into the fields of digital marketing, business development and employee engagement. In his spare time, Marques enjoys reading personal development literature.