Working amidst a pandemic has changed so many things about the workplace, as we once knew it. Employees are now choosing to work remotely and employers are modifyingexisting company policies to accommodate the new working norms.
The different ways in which organizations reward employees have also changed. Annual dinners and ceremonies which were once held in party halls, are now being held virtually.
Here are the best 10 virtual employee recognition ideas:
Host A Virtual Party
If the annual office party could not happen due to the pandemic, that’s no reason why it has to be cancelled. Shift the party online and we bet that the whole team will still enjoy themselves. Games quizzes and competitions can be conducted seamlessly online. Food and drinks can also be pre- delivered to each employee’s house so that a virtual dinner can be held.
Social Media Recognition
Every good organisation will have active social media handles. One of the best ways to let a bigger group of clients and associates know about a top employee is by celebrating his achievement online. A good photo uploaded with a short writeup about the employee and his achievement will help both the firm and the employee to get noticed more.
Internal Digital HR Newsletter
Bigger organizations with more hierarchy levels and departments can consider having a bi-weekly HR newsletter that focuses on newly implemented employee initiatives. The newsletter could highlight positive contributions made by different departments and include a ‘Star Employee’ of the month too. A newsletter in a digital format means that more employees are likely to read it too.
Virtual Concert or Show
Musicians and comedians have woken up to the immense potential that having a digital audience gives them. Today, it is actually possible for people from different continents to get together to enjoy a few hours of fun. If planned well in advance, early bird bookings for individuals and groups are also available.
Virtual Workshops, Seminars or Courses
How about gifting a few hours of learning to a star employee? A workshop is also a great bonding activity for a team or department. There are many reputed bakers who host virtual baking classes for smaller groups. There are also many other great educative online workshops to choose from too. Sites like Udemy and Coursera offer many useful online courses and the option to get a virtual certificate on payment.
Customised Fruit & Gift Baskets
Surprise gifts are undoubtedly the best and a customised fruit basket with specially sourced fruits and preserves is a great gift to give. Not only is it a good reminder that eating healthy boosts immunity but it is a thoughtful gifting gesture. A curated giftbox, on the other hand, with customised presents such as an engraved pen or gourmet chocolates will cost more but will also make the recipient feel special.
Email & Gift Vouchers
Email and gift vouchers can be used to celebrate big victories and even the smallest ones. For example, if a team has been successful in achieving their targets, an email voucher or a gift card which can be redeemed on an online shopping site or on a grocery delivery app would definitely be useful.
What’s the best way to compensate employees who have worked long hours into the night or overtime on a project? One suggestion is by offering complimentary paid leave which can be availed after getting approval from the respective superior. Even if an employee is working remotely, they can choose not to answer emails or work-related calls on their complimentary leave days.
Surprise Delivered Meals
Coordinated teamwork is without doubt more difficult while sitting behind a screen. One of the best ways to motivate a team that has a lunch meeting or is working on a project together remotely is by having a meal delivered to their respective homes. That way, they can eat, meet and work just like they would have, in person.
The pandemic has opened our eyes to the fact that wellness and health need to take priority over everything else. Organizations have started gifting health care baskets which have masks, sanitisers and snacks to their employees. Standout performers can also be gifted paid subscriptions to meditation apps like Headspace and Think Right.me. Fitness related gifts like resistance bands and skipping ropes.
Will my virtual recognition idea have any positive impact on the team?
HR managers agree that appreciating an employee in person gives them a huge confidence boost. It also reaffirms their loyalty to the organization. Studies show that employees are happier to stay in a firm where their ideas and efforts are appreciated even if they are taking a lower salary.
Here’s why it’s important to appreciate employees especially if they are working remotely:
- It’s A Huge Change
Working from home is so different from reporting to the office and working there. After all, a home is a private space where one unwinds and that’s why creating a work-friendly environment is a challenge for any employee.
- Mindset Change Is Hard
Many organizations allow employees to choose their workwear, during a virtual meeting. Shifting one’s mindset continuously between work mode and home mode is stressful too.
- Drain On Emotions
Working women who are mothers reported feeling the most stressed while working from home last year. They also felt that they were not able to work at their optimum in their respective job roles. Juggling household duties, children and fulfilling job responsibilities is a lot for a parent to handle.
- Working Longer
Many employees are working longer hours today. This is partly because there is no travel involved anymore and the working hours are flexible. Many organizations do not pay their staff overtime if they choose to work from home.
- Encouragement Matters
Employees are still performing the same roles as before even if they are working remotely. However, the constraints are more. For example, meetings in person aren’t taking place and almost all interactions are held virtually.
Appreciating an employee’s hard work and efforts have become even more important today especially when there is teamwork involved. When good work is recognized, it also proves that an organization cares for its employees and their growth. It’s no surprise then that organizations are willing to invest in virtual gifts to show their workforce that they care.