How we reward employees is changing. New work cultures have seen a shift in the number of employees who prefer working from home compared to working in a company office. As a result, HR teams are rethinking the perk and reward systems that have traditionally benefited employees in an office environment.
Interestingly, a study by Harvard Business Review revealed that nearly two-thirds of staff are motivated to stay at their job with the presence of a motivational program for employees, and are 87 percent less likely to resign. Motivation is a powerful tool that can keep employees engaged.
Rewards and recognition for remote employees must not be overlooked, as they can transform remote culture. It’s more crucial than ever to keep employees who work from home motivated. These employees have to be self-driven and proactive on a daily basis.
With more distractions than ever and the absence of a manager looking over their shoulder, finding ways to reward remote employees is a good way to combat low productivity.
What are remote rewards?
A remote reward is a perk, benefit, or gift given to a team member that is sent and/or received digitally.
Employees who consider themselves remote workers or part of a hybrid working model may not be physically present in an office. This makes rewarding an employee in person challenging.
Remote rewards, therefore, need to be flexible as a person might be working anywhere, anytime, and in any place. Businesses should adopt recognition into their natural flow of work to ensure rewards are part of their culture.
Traditionally, you might reward an employee by giving them praise in person, buying them a gift and giving it to them during a team meeting, or even letting them work from home for the day. These rewards, while still impactful, do not work well when an employee works remotely.
Why should you reward employees?
You might be wondering if employee rewards are worth investing in? The short answer is yes.
According to Reward Gateway, 90 percent of HR workers agreed that an effective recognition and reward program helps drive business results. The return on investment (ROI) makes it worth doing.
10 ways to reward remote employees
Creating a digital business culture remotely is all part of the changing HR world, and remote rewards are just a small part of digital transformation. Try these 10 ways to reward your remote employees as part of your next strategy meeting.
1. Send a physical gift via post.
Starting with the most obvious, you could send an employee a physical gift to their home address. Food and alcohol are among the most popular ideas, but gifts are easy to get wrong. It’s always good to find out from close colleagues about personal preferences and tastes.
Another important consideration is that digital nomads and remote workers might not always be in one place. If they are moving around a lot, posting gifts might be tricky.
2. Offer a software upgrade.
Software is somewhat overlooked when it comes to perks and rewards. Although most companies will provide teams with the software they need, what about the software that is considered “nice to have”?
Premium features and additional tools can help improve an employee’s day-to-day workflow and be a nice reward with lots of upsides.
3. E-vouchers, gift cards, and subscriptions
E-vouchers, gift cards, and subscriptions are an easy way to say thanks to someone digitally. Amazon is a great choice when it comes to gift vouchers, as there is such a broad selection of items an employee can buy.
If your team members know the employee well, they might have a more personal suggestion. Below are some other ideas that are popular among teams:
- Netflix subscription
- Starbucks gift card
- Apple Arcade subscription
- Google Play gift card
- Shopping or restaurant vouchers
4. Workspace upgrades
A remote employee will spend most of their day in their workspace environment. Rewarding an employee with a workspace upgrade could be a win-win situation.
You can help members of your team maximize their productivity while also rewarding them for great work.
Typical home workspace upgrades might include:
- A second monitor
- Improved hardware (new laptop, computer, mobile, or tablet device)
- An adjustable standing desk
- Hardware accessories (headphones, webcam, wireless charging devices)
- A comfortable computer chair
- Creative/ fun desk items such as a desk treadmill
Ultimately, it’s best to ask what could be improved about an employee’s current setup and customize it to each individual.
5. A message of appreciation (get creative)
Videos, GIFs, or a simple email are also great ways to reward someone for their efforts. A nod to their achievements and a message of gratitude is too often underrated.
6. Health perks
A gym membership, spa day, personal trainer, or online fitness class are all great health perks that might be a great reward to some employees, particularly those who enjoy regular exercise and fitness regimens. Employee well-being is important, so health rewards are always a good idea.
7. Payroll bonus
Let’s face it. Everybody loves a bonus in the bank account at the end of the quarter. There is certainly nothing wrong with an unexpected, generous payout to show your employees that they are appreciated.
8. Days off, half days, and early finishes
Who doesn’t love a day off or a half-day on Friday? Employees who have worked hard and stood out amongst their peers will appreciate a moment to recharge their batteries. Even an early finish for the week could help.
9. Kudos on LinkedIn
A free and easy way to show appreciation might be to send a thank you via LinkedIn. This is a relatively new feature on LinkedIn for 2021.
Using LinkedIn Kudos is a fun and simple way to share your appreciation with team members in the LinkedIn community. Celebrate every success–big and small–directly on LinkedIn. This also has great brand awareness benefits as you are publicly acknowledging people’s hard work and efforts. Kudos to you.
10. Learning and personal development
Reward remote employees with opportunities for self-improvement; it can be great for teams. It’s a nice way to show you care for someone’s personal development and future by supporting them to upskill and better themselves.
Examples of learning and personal development rewards might include:
- Online courses such as Udemy
- An online coach
- Courses and certifications
- 1:1 mentorship programs