Just because your team works remotely doesn’t mean you can skip out on employee appreciation. When working as a distributed or hybrid team, it’s important to develop a variety of avenues where you can publicly show your team how much you value their contributions. Research has continually shown that teams who feel valued and appreciated are more engaged, confident that they will be treated well in the future, and are less likely to quit.
Establish A Culture of Communication
If your team is fully remote, it is unlikely that you will have the opportunity to walk down the hall and say hello or good morning to everyone. Because of this physical separation, make a point to check in occasionally about things outside of work with different members of your team. Offering your team members this point of unstructured regular contact with you can help them feel supported. This can also be a great time to offer up positive feedback. If you noticed something they did well recently, these small moments are great for offering up those pieces of feedback.
HBR reports that it’s best to offer positive and constructive feedback as soon as possible, but not together. So when you have positive nuggets to share – make sure you share them!
Create Opportunities for Wider Recognition and Appreciation
While it’s important to give praise one-on-one, it’s also important to do things for your entire team to show them you care.
Do you have weekly or monthly all-hands or other team meetings? Have different members showcase accomplishments, successes, or promotions within the team. Get multiple people involved in the announcement and make a point to recognize contributions from all corners of the business. Making sure people feel seen for their individual contributions and for the impact they have on the team as a whole. These small celebrations are also a great way to remind everyone what you’re working towards and that their contributions are important to the entire team’s success. Two great options our team recommends are TinyPulse and Achievers.
Send Care Packages People Actually Want to Receive
In a remote work environment, throwing a pizza party or bringing in donuts isn’t something you can easily do, and introductory swag boxes are more often than not seldom used by new members for long. Instead, send your team something that they would actually love and use.
Every team is different, so it may even help to send out a survey every year or during your onboarding process to help you get a sense of what your team members would love to receive. Packages could be something to accompany a remote event or activity or be just by themselves. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Team sweatshirts
- Wine tasting or mixology box for a team happy hour or activity
- A nice meal for their family, like steaks or sustainable seafood (no shellfish!)
- A box of candy or cupcakes for their birthday
- A house plant or flowers for the holidays
- A card or gift card for those welcoming a baby
- A gift card to order lunch during the team all hands
- A craft box for a team activity
Remember when sending food or consumption-based activities that you are aware of any dietary restrictions or allergies team members may have. No one wants to receive a care package they can’t enjoy!
The idea of offering more flexibility to employees in our current remote-forward age is not new, but it does bear repeating! Many note that being given the opportunity to flex working hours is a huge sign of trust and recognition of a job well done from management. Consider if there are times of the day you could offer as flex-time to your team. Flex-time refers to an arrangement where employees can adjust the start or end times of their work days as long as they are still working their agreed upon hours.
There are a variety of ways to approach flex time such as allowing 8-10 am or 3-5 pm as a flex block or by implementing meeting-free afternoons on certain days where employees can choose to flex if needed. These options provide the flexibility to go to the gym, schedule appointments, or drop off and pick up kids from school. Having the freedom for employees to manage their responsibilities in a way that works best for them allows you to show them they are valued and that you respect and trust them enough to get their work done, even if they choose to do so outside of conventional hours.
To support such freedom and flexibility, your team also needs to be supported by the best possible tools. Frameable Spaces offers one of the best ways to keep your remote and distributed teams connected wherever they are. A virtual office where you can easily see who is online allows everyone to make the best use of their time and creates space for those serendipitous interactions we know and love from the office. Check out how you can set your team up for success with Frameable Spaces.