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10 Ways to Reward Remote Employees And Why You Should Do It

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

#WorkTrends Recap: The Value of Employee Recognition

Smart companies and leaders are figuring out that rewards and recognition programs have a lasting impact on employees. From a small thank you to quick feedback on a job well done, recognition can improve employee engagement and productivity, as well as help retain top talent. All of which can improve the bottom line.

And yet, not every company has figured out how to incorporate rewards and recognition into their work culture.

This week on #WorkTrends, host Meghan M. Biro welcomed Salvador Barros, CEO of Tap My Back, and Jason Lauritsen, Keynote Speaker and Best-Selling Author, to the podcast to discuss the barriers to adoption and the value of recognition programs.

As CEO of Tap My Back, a tool that helps leaders promote recognition across the organization, Salvador Barros has seen first-hand what recognition can do for employees, leaders and companies. Jason Lauritsen has studied hundreds of workplaces to determine the keys to real employee engagement.

Here are a few key points Salvador and Jason shared:

  • Sustainable employee recognition starts at the top. Leaders need to be an example to the rest of an organization
  • Companies aiming to improve customer experience should first focus on having engaged employees
  • Organizations need to pay more attention to outward facing issues to realize the value of employee engagement.
  • Peer-to-peer feedback is just as valuable as management feedback because your peers see the effort you put into your work, and managers often focus on the results.

Did you miss the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here: http://bit.ly/2tn6mAG

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to this week’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the podcast and chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT).

Remember, the TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following our #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

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#WorkTrends Preview: The Value of Employee Recognition

Employee Recognition and Rewards are pulling up from the outside and gaining in speed quickly. Companies that are smart are already ahead of the curve and are playing to the strengths of their employees by encouraging feedback and recognition as a form of engagement, both from their peers and from management.

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, TalentCulture #WorkTrends host, Meghan M. Biro and her special guests Salvador Barros, CEO of Tap My Back, and Jason Lauritsen, Best-Selling Author and Keynote Speaker, will be discussing this timely topic and the myriad ways brands can value their employees through well-developed recognition programs.

The Value of Employee Recognition

The Value of Employee RecognitionJoin Salvador and Jason on our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, June 28 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT.

Immediately following the podcast, please join the TalentCulture community over on the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: How can companies begin a recognition program? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q2: What can employees do to help support recognition and rewards? #WorkTrends (Tweet this question)

Q3: What are the long-term effects of recognition programs?  #WorkTrends  (Tweet this question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. I invite you to check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed and our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group. Share your questions, ideas and opinions with our community.

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Employee Rewards: Don't Feed To Please

Why Using Food For Employee Rewards And Recognition Is A Bad Idea

At one point in your work life, you’ve been offered food by your employer. Food is a go-to for recognizing and rewarding employees.

Whether it’s donuts in the morning, a pizza lunch, ice cream snacks or some other incarnation, food is one of the ways that many employers show appreciation for their employees. What many employers don’t realize, however, is that food as a reward backfires more often than it succeeds.

1. Food Excludes

Even in small companies, there will be employees with a myriad of food preferences and restrictions. Unless the employer is willing to provide a wide selection of food, someone is going to be left out.

Imagine how you might feel if everyone was gobbling down ice cream as a reward for their hard work, but you are lactose-intolerant or perhaps a vegan, and, therefore, can’t participate. Would you feel equally as rewarded as your peers? Would you be motivated to engage with your work when the rewards promised are unavailable to you?

2. Food Doesn’t Last

Rarely do we remember the food we’ve eaten. Unless it was an extraordinary meal, once we’ve finished swallowing the last morsel we forget all about it. The excitement is gone. For a reward to incentivise employees it needs to be something that leaves a lasting impression. In psychology terms, a reward needs to be compelling enough to trigger an employee’s internal desire to repeat an action in order to receive the reward.

So you have to ask yourself if I want my employees to hit their sales targets every week, will providing a pizza party be a big enough incentive? Can my employees get pizza any time they want or is providing pizza something extraordinary that they will want to work hard for?

3. Food Is A Habit

Eating is habitual, it’s something we do all the time. It’s expected that at some point during the day we’re going to consume food. When an employer provides the food it’s nice because we didn’t have to get the food ourselves, but some employers make a habit of bringing in donuts every Friday. In this case it’s no longer a surprise, it’s expected.

When we begin to expect something without having to do anything to earn it, it’s no longer a motivation.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t bring in donuts every Friday. It’s a very benevolent gesture, and one many employees probably appreciate, however, you shouldn’t expect it to motivate employees.

Employee recognition and rewards are essential to getting your employees to engage with their work. When you effectively recognize and reward employees for their efforts you motivate them to continue the desired behavior. However, motivating through food alone won’t produce the results most employers are looking for: increased productivity, improved efficiency, and great results.  To properly motivate employees, you need to consider their internal and external drivers. Food just isn’t a strong enough incentive to motivate these drivers.

If you’re looking for some effective ways to recognize your employees, check out Top 10 Ways to Recognize Employees, by Herd Wisdom.

 

Image: bigstock

 

Could Employee Appreciation Transform Your Hiring Strategies?

Employee retention is an important business consideration because high turnover rates are costly and often detrimental to overall team performance. However, even with the best retention rates, companies usually need to hire new workers once in a while. Whether they’re expanding or filling the holes left by retirees, leaders seek talented candidates who are excellent fits for the open roles. Anyone who’s been involved in the hiring process can attest to the fact that the whole ordeal can be quite a hassle, often with less than optimal results.

So are you stuck with the traditional routine, even if you’ve had lackluster candidate pools in the past? Perhaps not. The old strategies of posting a job description, sifting through piles of usually unpromising resumes, interviewing select candidates and choosing the best of the bunch might not be the only option. That’s what Zappos is banking on: Rather than relying on people to take interest in a job description and come to them, the company is taking advantage of an engaged, passionate workforce to be recruiting partners.

Hiring: The Zappos way 

According to the Boston Globe, Amazon-owned, Las Vegas-based online shoe retailer Zappos has decided to do away with the traditional job postings in favor of a more personal, relationship-based approach. The company created a new career site and is utilizing social media to showcase its culture and opportunities. Interested candidates can chat with current employees to gain an inside perspective on life within the organization.

The company’s HR manager, Michael Bailen, explained in a blog post on ere.net that this change reflects the business’s commitment to focus more on people. To do so, he added, Zappos needed to depart from what he considers a “fundamentally broken process” that constitutes most recruiting approaches.

“Recruiting has become a walking contradiction. We care about the candidate experience, but we spend five to seven seconds looking at a resume. We are dedicated to get back to all candidates in an effort to provide great service, but the vast majority of candidates get a rejection email,” he wrote. “I want our recruiters to build long-term, sustainable relationships with people.”

Building on a foundation of company loyalty

In order for such a people-centric approach to work, Zappos had to create a corporate culture that would be attractive to candidates as well as foster company loyalty among employees to be able to have confidence that they’d participate effectively in the recruiting platform. Zappos created such a culture by focusing on employee appreciation and engagement. By offering rewards — most of which were non-monetary — to recognize and inspire employees, Zappos put its people at the forefront of the company.

By motivating workers based on intrinsic, value-driven incentives, rather than superficial cash or prizes, companies can foster the type of organization that draws top talent because it’s known as an excellent place to work. Additionally, employees become ambassadors for the firm, which is often a more effective form of recruitment since current workers are likely to identify friends and acquaintances who will be well-suited to the realities of the job.

About the Author: As Vice President of Client Strategy for TemboStatus, David Bator works with growing companies every day and helps them bridge the gap between assessing employee engagement and addressing it with action.

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How To Improve Work Culture (And Avoid Staff Burnouts)

A company work culture is defined by its employees. Their values, their motivation, and their personal goals are essential to creating a positive and successful working environment.

Happy employees bring many benefits to businesses, including a 31% increase in productivity and a 37% increase in sales. However, 68% of employees feel their company isn’t doing enough to create a work culture in which employees have a sense of purpose and a meaningful impact. Are you one of those companies?

You don’t need to be a creative genius to improve work culture and end staff burnouts forever, but you do need to care about your company and your workforce. Here are four simple ways to do it.

Have a Vision

What does your company want to achieve? Have dreams, have aspirations, have a vision. Without an ultimate goal, no one will know what they are working toward and this will cause motivation levels to dwindle. Communicate your company vision to your employees and get them as enthusiastic about achieving it as you are. Having a vision doesn’t mean just telling staff to make something happen, it’s about putting their work into a broader perspective. Explain your strategy, create short-term targets for each worker, and work together to achieve long-term goals.

How do you make that vision come alive? Don’t forget about it, and don’t let your employees forget about it either. Coca-Cola commissioned a 6.5-meter-high art installation for its new London HQ celebrating the values and culture of its brand. The display is there to inspire employees and create a sense of pride in Coca-Cola’s 128-year heritage. But you don’t need to a multi-billion-dollar company to achieve this; SMEs can do it too. Exposure Ninja, a web design and marketing company, simply painted a client testimonial on the wall of its office to motivate employees and boost camaraderie at work.

Transparent Communication

When it comes to communication, have an open-door policy. Management who make decisions behind closed doors alienate the rest of their workforce and create a breeding ground for rumor and gossip. Be clear and open about the state of the company and decisions that are in the pipeline, and always be the first to tell your staff about changes.

Worried about lost memos? Use a company intranet to send email and text notifications of important bulletins to each employee. How about inefficient meetings? Make meetings  more specific and stick to a printed agenda. Delegate key speakers to inform the team about what progress has been made since the previous meeting and invite others to contribute their ideas afterward. Most importantly, don’t let anyone walk away from the meeting room without an assigned task that they need to achieve in time for the next meeting.

Invest in Training and Development

Ask your employees where see themselves in five years. Write down each employee’s answer and help him or her achieve it. If your sales assistant wants to be heading up the sales department, offer him/her training to enhance his/her product knowledge and to develop managerial skills. If one of your secretarial staff wants to make the move into web design, let him/her shadow a designer for half a day each week.

Take advantage of apps like IdeaScale and Kindling so that employees can offer feedback on the company work culture and their own ideas. Providing staff with training, learning opportunities and a chance to offer feedback is a vital way to avoid staff feeling as though they are stuck in a “dead-end job.” When you support their career development, your staff will be re-energized and ready to face new challenges. Remember, if they are performing at the top of their games, your organization will be too.

Reward Employees for Their Efforts

Naturally, employees want to be recognized for their hard work and commitment. Reward everyone who performs at or above the level expected of them, no matter what position they hold in your team. If your cleaners always have the office spotless, praise them for it. If your sales team punch above their targets, praise them too. Let all of your employees know that they are a valuable asset in your team.

You don’t need to shed out $1,000 bonuses and 10% raises for every employee like Google to reward your employees. Simple rewards like verbal praise and buying employees a coffee can work well too. The aim is to encourage positive practices. Treating your employees equally and responding to behavior in the correct way will improve workplace culture and encourage employees to work at their best.

Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, Construction and Medical sectors. He is currently running the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical.

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3 Sparks To Recognize And Engage Employees

Employee recognition is meant to boost an employee’s performance. It should motivate. It should reward. It should satisfy.

Too often, however, management attention stops at deciding what the recognition will be. After that it’s just waiting for the performance to happen, for the recognition to be offered, and for the planning for the next go-round.

That’s a shame. Effective employee recognition includes employee engagement. Effective employee recognition does not end with the recognition; it creates and reinforces an ongoing cycle of performance>>>recognition>>>better performance. Effective employee recognition is a component to a successful employee engagement strategy.

Successful integration of recognition and engagement requires planning more than just the content/context of the recognition. It entails planning the entire procedure, including links to future recognitions. Most importantly, it means designing recognition that engages employees beyond just getting recognized.

Below are 3 employee recognition and engagement ideas. They are intended to celebrate employee accomplishments. They are motivational, they are personally rewarding, and they satisfy the individual need for recognition.

As importantly, they also generate engagement. Not just engagement by the employee in the work required to achieve the recognition. These activities reach beyond the project or process or performance being recognized. These activities provide opportunities and reasons for employees to dig deeper into their “engagement resources.”

Those engagement resources are the individual’s time, energy, skills, knowledge, and creativity. Recognition that celebrates achievement and generates the employee to put forth her own personal engagement resources contributes meaningfully to ongoing employee engagement. In fact, the contribution to employee engagement likely has more long-term benefit for the business than this year’s (or last year’s) plain ol’ recognition award.

Take a look at these sparks for employee recognition and employee engagement:

Get Talking.

Conversation between manager and employee goes along way, does a great deal, provides many opportunities. You may take an employee to lunch to recognize a significant success or contribution. If you’re smart, the real engagement recognition will not be the food on the plate. It will be the talk across the table. No matter the setting, one great recognition opportunity for boosting an employee’s engagement is conversation. A regular element of any recognition program should be manager making time (30-60 minutes) to ask questions and hear answers about the employee’s success.

Benefits: manager learns, employee feels valued, both begin to think of ways to do even more, even better.

Be Reflective.

It does an employee good to know her success is recognized and acknowledged. It does the employee and the business more good to reflect on the success. To contemplate what the situation (problem?) entailed. To recall what decisions had to be made and how they were made. To evaluate what was done well and worked, and what was not done so well and didn’t. To consider what was not necessary and can be omitted next time. To determine what was missing and should be included next time. To understand what she can do better next time.

Surround the recognition with praise. The job was done successfully and the praise is deserved. And in that context, encourage the above reflection. Invite the individual to engage fully, after the success, in what the success can mean for the future.

Benefits: manager engages in employee’s success, employee engages through in-depth reflection and learning of what’s been done, future repetition of success is more likely.

Teach Back.

Being asked to share one’s knowledge is typically deemed an honor. It can also put someone on the spot and cause no small amount of anxiety. Proceeding with care, you might invite the recognized employee to turn his successful endeavor into a lesson and share it with peers. In addition to engaging the recognized individual, the purpose of this “recognize and engage” is twofold:

  1. To share what worked and why, to key others in on the elements of success that they may achieve the same sort.
  2. To provide a realistic look at the potential threat of hard-seeking achievement. The teacher in this instance can provide a healthy dose of reality to those concerned with “doing their jobs better and faster and smarter — all at once.”

It will ease the potential burden if the logistics are already cared for. The key individual should be asked only to prepare the teaching — perhaps 45-60 minutes. Such “administrivia” as time scheduled, room reserved, notification of participants, printing any handouts, and more can be taken care of separately. In fact, if Teach Back becomes a regular part of the recognition process, streamlining the set-up can be a snap.

Benefits: an ongoing process/procedure for performance improvement and relevant learning.

There is a spark between recognizing success and engaging for success. If all that’s accomplished is giving and receiving recognition, that cycle has to be reinitiated every year. If there is engagement as part of the recognition, the motivation and satisfaction can become continuous.

 
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