An important, if not the primary, task of executives is to ensure that the entire team works with commitment and willingness to perform to achieve the common goals. This also applies, or especially in challenging times, and when colleagues sit in the home office instead of sitting together in the office. But how can leaders show recognition when a pat on the back is suddenly no longer possible? How do you want to reward good performance when the company is currently writing red numbers? The fact is, your team works hard, even if you just can’t look over their shoulder. And commitment wants to be rewarded – only in this way the mood remains positive and the motivation high
In this post, we’ll give you some creative ideas and opportunities to show appreciation to your team in the home office. But first I would like to remind you again why the recognition of your employees is so important and why we can all need a little encouragement right now. Showing appreciation is an important part of running a virtual team.
Why do employees need recognition in the home office?
Employee motivation and appreciation are more closely related than you might think. Sincere appreciation should be deeply rooted in culture in every organization and goes far beyond free pizza and breakfast coffee. The remote team should also feel that the recognition does not stop where you can drink an after-work beer together at the table. why?
Probably the simplest and most obvious reason why appreciation plays a big role, especially for remote teams: We humans long for recognition. This feeling becomes stronger the more we feel isolated. The lack of interaction that usually takes place in the workplace is a great deal of problems for one or the other. If managers take time for these colleagues and show their appreciation, the feeling of cohesion remains.
Confidence to be perceived
You may notice that now that some of your employees are working from the home office, they are communicating more often than usual, giving you updates even more often. This is because some people now feel that they have to prove to their colleagues and the boss that he or she is productive. A psychological phenomenon. These employees want to break down the barrier that feels for them between them and the manager through the spatial separation. Feedback and recognition gives these colleagues the certainty of being noticed and they feel that they are valuable to the company.
Encouragement in challenging times
You and your remote team may not see the same successes as under “normal” conditions at this time. But that doesn’t mean your employees aren’t doing their best. With small signs of your appreciation, you encourage your colleagues and balance negative emotions.
Employees remain motivated and loyal to the company when they feel valued. According to a survey by the Hamburg-based salary platform Compensation Partner, most participants (45% of them) said they had already quit because of a lack of appreciation on the part of the executive.
Creative ideas for employee recognition in the remote team
Try implementing some of these ideas on a weekly basis and hopefully you’ll see the benefits in no time.
Show your employee your appreciation in virtual one-on-one conversations!
Do you regularly conduct one-on-one meetings with your employees in the home office? Very good! With these so-called virtual 1:1 meetings, you can find out how your colleague feels, what challenges he has and where you can support him. Even if your calendar is already full with all sorts of meetings – you should always take your time for one-on-one meetings. Always prepare well!
For the next 1:1 with a remote employee, write down a thing that the colleague has done particularly well and explain what impact this action had on the company. Ask yourself the following questions to find out which example you can use:
- How did this person support me recently? What did she help me with?
- How did this person’s attitude, work, or action have a positive impact on the entire remote team?
- Has this person exceeded expectations?
Make your recognition public for the entire remote team!
Digitization makes it possible. In the meantime, we communicate through a variety of tools, with each company having its own structure and strategy. Make sure that there is also extra room for appreciation here. This could be, for example, a Slack channel that is only there to praise each other – the “Kudos Channel” so to speak. Or you could reserve a little time in each virtual team meeting to publicly show appreciation to other colleagues. It is important to take into account the personality of the respective employee.
Not everyone feels comfortable at the centre, and for some, personal recognition is worth much, much more than public praise. Just ask your colleagues what appreciation means to them and what recognition should look like in their eyes.
Mention employees when you present your team projects across the company.
If you present the achievements of your remote team publicly or company-wide, don’t take all the glory yourself! If you communicate transparently and name the members of your remote team who helped you achieve your goals, this will provide motivation and commitment.
Recognize the challenges that Remote Work brings.
As the saying goes, we are all in the same boat. Tell your employees that you know about the difficult circumstances and challenges of working in the home office! Each member of a remote team must pull together, even if it is from different locations. Talk to your co-workers about:
- Working together as a remote team and what each individual contributes to it.
- The communication and what goes particularly well here.
- The support we can give each other.
For example, in a virtual team meeting, you could praise without specifying who deserves it. Colleagues can now guess who it belongs to. Or you could come up with different categories of appreciation, like an award show.
Employees could also submit small recognition notes before the meeting, which are then read out together. There are numerous possibilities and visualizations. With a little creativity, you can make the whole thing fun for your team and at the same time strengthen trust and cohesion.
Achievements, birthdays and birthdays, or simply that the weekend is just around the corner and you’ve had a brilliant week together – there’s always something to celebrate and the fact that you couldn’t be together shouldn’t stop you.
Organize a happy hour or a virtual
coffee break! If someone has a birthday, then let everyone sign a virtual greeting card.
No matter how you want to show your remote team your appreciation, you should never forget one thing: sincere appreciation that comes from the heart is much more valuable than gift vouchers and a bouquet of flowers. Appreciation makes us happy, healthy and companies successful.
Conclusion: Virtual appreciation for remote teams counts
With everything that’s going on out there in the world, we should get even closer right now. Today, more than ever, it is crucial to encourage your remote team to create a positive, open culture and to value each and every one of your employees from the heart.