Employee recognition is a vital component of the employee experience, contributing to engagement, productivity, retention, and wellness. By consistently recognizing your employees for their hard work, you help them to see the value in their work and motivate them to engage with their responsibilities.
It's common sense, really. In any relationship, whether it's personal or professional, if your effort goes unnoticed for too long, you begin to lose interest and see that relationship as less valuable.
As companies navigate the ramifications of the pandemic, learning to work, manage, and connect from home, employee recognition should be a top priority. Now that you can't just walk down the hall to thank someone in person, you have to make a much more concerted and intentional effort to ensure your employees are feeling recognized.
It is also very possible that due to the pandemic, your employees are working harder, for longer hours, doing tasks they're unfamiliar with. This by itself is as good a reason as any to celebrate their hard work.
But when your employees are working remotely, it changes the landscape for how you interact with them. And that includes how you thank them. Here are four ways to show your employees some love from a distance.
1. Send them a handwritten note
You may roll your eyes at this one, "Why can't I just send an email?" Because emails aren't personal, and they don't take any effort. You're recognizing someone for their hard work, and an email saying thank you feels impersonal. Writing a handwritten note is both personal and genuine. It's the kind of thing someone might keep on their desk to remind them of that invaluable feeling of feeling valued. If you really want it to sink it, write it down.
2. Write them a recommendation on LinkedIn
You may be thinking, "But I employ them…I don't want them to be looking for other jobs on LinkedIn." This makes some sense, but in reality, LinkedIn is a professional network for everyone, not just job seekers. Writing them a glowing recommendation is as public as you can get with showing them recognition. Plus, your employees should look outstanding on LinkedIn—it's good for both them and you. If you want them to feel like you support their entire life as a professional—not just in relation to you—this is a great way to show your support.
3. Celebrate with the whole team
If an employee or team has reached a big goal, completed a difficult task, or brought in a win of any kind, a great way to show them some love is to bring it up on your next virtual team meeting. Mark it as part of your agenda and give them some communal space to feel recognized within your company. Allow for time to just chat and relax together as they celebrate. Use it as an opportunity to bring your team closer and make them feel the value of their work at the same time.
4. Get them a quarantine gift
When you may have taken an employee out to lunch or dinner to celebrate their hard work, now you can replace it with a gift they can personalize to their own needs. Consider sending them an Amazon gift card with a note saying something like, "Since we can't take you out to dinner, help yourself to something special on us. Thank you for all your hard work—you are valued!" Although it may feel a little impersonal to give them a gift card, it's a great way to allow them to get something they've wanted for a while. They can personalize it to their wishes, and you can personalize the sentiment in a card.
Celebrating value adds value
Use employee recognition as a tool to help your team get through the difficult challenges posed by COVID-19. They've been working hard for you. Show them you see their work, and value it. Demonstrating to your employees they're valued can help to energize them in the most stressful times, and bring a renewed dedication to their work that they—and you—need so much.
Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Raffa, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health.
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