Due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19 the remote work modality has had an unprecedented boom, with it, the workload has increased and, in turn, the stress and dissatisfaction in the collaborators (1). For this reason, organizations have to take action.
This is why it is important to give constant and timely recognition to your employees so that they feel more satisfied in their working days. How can you achieve this? In this article, we give you 15 ideas so that your employees see that you are the best boss of all and feel the best working with you.
- It is useless to apply these ideas if you do not treat your employees properly on a day-to-day basis, so we recommend that you start there.
- Take into account the type of company you work for. Because, depending on its corporate culture, some ideas may be more appropriate than others.
- At the same time, consider the budget that your area manages since some ideas must be applied to all its members. Therefore, if you do not make a calculation before adopting any of these ideas, it could have a negative impact on the economic aspect.
The best thank you ideas for virtual employees: The definitive list
The alternatives you have to show gratitude to your employees are many more than you could imagine. It is important that you take into consideration implementing them in your organization since intellectual capital and human talent are determinants to increase or stop the productivity of a company (2). A good work environment helps to optimize processes and improve productivity.
This is not only limited to when we are in the office, but can also be applied virtually, where there are levels of stress that are equal to or exceed those of face-to-face work, which can affect your mental health, leading to anxiety, irritability, and even depression (3). For this reason, we present 15 ideas for thanking virtual employees.
1. Create a gratitude channel
Many times, the only thing that is enough to improve your employees’ job satisfaction is to be grateful and appreciate the small but significant contributions they make during their day-to-day work. But how can you take this to the next level? To do so, you can implement a thank you channel.
What is a thank you channel? Simple, it is a virtual place where you can add all the members of the different areas of the company.
The dynamics consist of a system of “micro recognition” which is given through messages to credit the daily efforts and successes. All collaborators must participate so that when congratulations are communicated for the merit of a worker, all the others congratulate him/her.
2. Dedicate a section on the team’s web page
You can give visibility to your team by including them on the company’s website. To do this, you can create, or request to create, a “team” section within the website. In this profile, you can tell about your team’s experiences and success stories, as well as highlight their contributions to the company. Obviously, they must give their consent.
This is not a costly alternative, as you can record the team when they are working together, giving people the option of expressing their opinions out loud. Another alternative is to have them appear in a “why work for us” segment. This, in addition to being an acknowledgement, can attract new candidates who want to work for your organization.
3. Merchandising Gifts
This option is a bit more expensive. If your organization manages considerable capital, you could present this idea to Human Resources to implement. But isn’t it too costly to give employees merchandising gifts every time they do something well? No, doing that would be counterproductive, this idea must be implemented strategically.
So how do I implement it? You can announce performance contests, and set a goal for a certain area and the winner gets, for example, mystery gift boxes or personal care packages. You could even post these contests on the company’s social networks, increasing the number of followers and interaction, benefiting the company.
4. Personalized vouchers and custom gift boxes
Like the previous one, this virtual recognition idea depends on the size of the team and the budget you are willing to set aside for gifting options. It is important to be realistic about how much you are willing to spend on wellness packages or coupons.
You need to know the personal preferences of each employee, you can do this by using surveys, so you can give away a variety of things that you know they will like and use. These don’t have to be strictly gifts but can be vouchers or discount coupons for their favourite restaurants or stores.
5. Make virtual games/contests
Virtual contests are a great way to get your teams to have fun while being challenged. This alternative can be used in conjunction with some of those mentioned above.
For example, you can use a virtual quiz game with questions about your company, and whoever gets the most correct answers is congratulated via a gratitude channel.
Giving space for games at work helps to increase productivity, so you should take this alternative into consideration. It is worth mentioning that they do not have to be contests related to the company, they can even be online board games, sports simulators, such as online billiards, among others.
6. Birthday Celebrations
“How awful, my birthday fell on a work day!” is what many of us have thought at some point in our lives. Birthdays are dates when we all want to have a good time, so it’s not irrelevant to give your employees a special experience on their birthdays.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to be thoughtful with them. For example, little things like simple emails that you can automate or announcements in group chats are measures that show the employee that you care. You can even give virtual employees the option of taking the day off or working shorter, more flexible hours on their birthday.
7. Give them the day off on important dates
If you want to take gratitude to your employees to the next level, and if it does not affect the profitability of your area and organization, you can give your employees the day off on dates that are important to them.
Remember, we are not referring to holidays, but too important dates for each employee, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and children’s birthdays, among others. To do this, you need to collect this information in a database, it has to be collected with their consent.
8. Hall of fame
A hall of fame can be in a tool that works as a whiteboard, such as Jamboard. What does this dynamic consist of? It is quite simple. In the aforementioned virtual board, employees who have made merit or outstanding contribution to the company are placed.
What data should you include? Mainly the name of the person, a photo of the person, the department, and the reason why it was posted on the wall. It is recommended that you designate an administrator for this tool, who can moderate what goes on the wall and add employees of the month when appropriate, saving you work.
9. Recommend a colleague
Not every show of appreciation has to come only from the top. This initiative consists of employees showing their appreciation and gratitude to their colleagues anonymously.
To do this, virtual employees are digitally surveyed where they can nominate a co-worker they feel deserves recognition. This improves the work environment, fosters teamwork, which helps increase productivity and reduce costs (4), and prevents colleagues from being taken for granted.
10. Subscription service
Today almost everyone, if not everyone, consumes online entertainment, we use streaming platforms such, as Netflix, to watch our favourite series. Some companies give outstanding employees, or winners of internal contests, a temporary membership as a reward for their contributions.
This also serves as an incentive for your other employees to engage and increase their efforts.
This measure can be used in addition to some of the previous ones, such as virtual contests or hall of fame. We recommend that you map the preferences and tastes of your employees so that you can choose a platform that is suitable for everyone. If you are going to offer streaming services, we recommend the following platforms according to the tastes of your employees:
11. Virtual course
As was mentioned above, knowing the interests of your staff, you could give a virtual course as a gift. As human beings, we have multiple interests, which we cannot always explore due to lack of time. Giving your employee the opportunity to learn something that always intrigued him/her is a great gift, like knowledge in general.
Derek Bok – Former Harvard Chancellor – “If you think training is expensive, try ignorance”.
As you well know, the pandemic accelerated the development of e-learning and educational technologies, giving them a greater role (5). Today there are many platforms that offer online courses, that offer an infinite number of courses of all kinds taught by experts. In addition, if you choose to give courses related to your employees’ jobs, you will be investing in something that will help them obtain better results that will benefit your organization. Remember, e-learning is a very practical tool that brings adaptability, communication, and interactivity (6).
12. Celebrate your individual victories
Each person is a world. Do you know if any of your employees were thinking about buying a car? Did they have a sick family member who got well? Did they get a VISA? I think you get our point.
Each person has his or her own battles, therefore, if it is known in the area that a collaborator has managed to overcome a challenge, either work or personal, everyone should show their joy and support for it.
This will increase the closeness between collaborators and will make them feel that there is a real concern for them, improving their interpersonal relationships, which will impact their performance as a team.
13. Virtual party
On special dates, you can make space during the day to celebrate the occasion. For example, it can be shortly before the end of the workday. Remember, always do this type of thing with prior approval from your superior.
How much fun can a virtual party be compared to a conventional one? Don’t worry, you can recreate the atmosphere of a party by having everyone dress up, have snacks at home, and play a series of games, among other things.
Consider that, since it should be done during or after working hours, it should be relatively brief, since your employees may already have plans after work.
14. Vacation extension
Although the end of the year is usually one of the stages in which the agenda is extremely full, there are times when the workload decreases. If this is the case, and you see that your collaborators have had an outstanding performance during the year, you could postpone or stop some activities.
In addition, there is an increased demand that remote workplaces among employees, which is why they will appreciate a few extra days off, which they can spend in the company of their friends and families, especially since it is the holiday season. In addition, time off will make your employees come back motivated and more productive.
15. Provide facilities
Empathy for your employees can make a big difference in their perception of the work environment. Earlier, we mentioned that everyone deals with their own personal issues.
Therefore, if one of your employees is going through a difficult or problematic situation and finds it difficult to adapt to the current work rhythm or schedule, find a way to support them so that they can perform their duties correctly.
In summary, you can keep your employees happy in many ways. The important thing is to be creative and empathetic. In addition, depending on the type of organization you are in, some ideas may fit better than others. Don’t forget to consider budget, organizational culture, flexibility, and the factors we mentioned in each idea before implementing it.
That’s all from us, now it’s your turn, to evaluate which of these options best fits your company’s current situation and start working on its implementation. It’s time to take the work environment of your area or company to the next level. Let’s go for it!