Employee appreciation for remote workers is just as important as it is for in-office workers, maybe even more important. All employees need the resources, feedback, and appreciation of their work that helps them do their best. Remote workers get the perks of working from home but miss out on communication that in-office workers benefit from. Here are some employee appreciation tips to invest in your remote workers. Searching for a free online recruitment system? Check out Recruiteze today and for free without obligation!
Employee Appreciation for Remote Workers
Employee appreciation for remote workers is very similar to all employee appreciation. Employers can still optimize working conditions, provide positive and negative feedback, and offer rewards. It just requires a little creativity to adapt our typical approaches to employee appreciation to the remote environment. Considering that many businesses haven’t mastered the concept for in-office workers, it’s easy to see why remote workers have barely even been considered yet. Let’s change that.
Nothing works right in the workplace without effective communication, and since communication is all you have with a remote worker, it is your primary area to improve working conditions and show appreciation.
Out of the office, miles, states, or countries away, remote workers see a screen all day, hear no voices, and often work with no knowledge of what’s going on in the office. They feel isolated and apart, worse yet, it feels kind of like working with a blindfold on.
Remote workers need defined guidelines, frequent feedback, and interaction with other team members to work their best. Keep it simple by sending regular emails, making monthly phone calls, or sending videos. Or share a social media account or internal communications hub with the remote worker where they can keep up with the company’s successes and opportunities for growth, new goals, and what team members are doing.
Ask remote workers for news from their end and give them an opportunity to provide input. All employees need to have a sense that their input matters, but giving remote workers this chance powerfully promotes their investment in the company.
Get team members whose works impacts each other to communicate often and as close to real time as possible. Team members should at least have each other’s email addresses, but having a project hub like Wrike or Trello helps everyone collaborate on assignments together. You can also have meetings with multiple team members at one time via Skype.
Encourage employees to praise and reward each other, through Wrike or Trello, their email accounts, or any other way that fits your business. Have a separate thread going on whatever platform you use just for employees to share fun and interesting things that don’t have to do directly with work. This will help them bond and form stronger teams.
As Flexjobs suggests, share the inconvenience of long-distance communications. If your remote workers live in a very different time zone, alternate who has to be put out by talking at a bad time.
Feedback is important enough to need its own section.
In a prior post, we said, “Feeling unnoticed and unappreciated is one of the most common reasons for productivity and engagement to suffer for in office or remote workers. Again, remote workers may suffer from this even more than in office workers because they are not physically present to be noticed. Managers may also assume remote workers don’t need feedback, because they are supposed to be self-sufficient. While remote workers do have to manage their own time, they still need to be integrated into the workflow in order to produce quality results.“
First, make simply saying “thank you” routine. Then designate a certain time to give more individual positive feedback, pointing out particular things that were exceptional about the work. You can do this every day, week, or month or whenever a milestone is reached, depending on what makes sense with your business’ workflow. Constructive feedback should be given as soon as the inspiration for it is noticed. It is quite confusing and ineffective to receive constructive feedback a week or month after the incident.
Keep in mind that you can use fellow team members in the positive feedback department to help keep each other motivated between your regular check-ins. It’s also uniquely good to get praise from your peers, so having feedback from supervisors and peers is particularly helpful for morale.
Make sure remote workers know how their work is impacting the company. You may be surprised to realize that this is actually important to them. Tell them when the company is doing well and how their work in particular contributes to that success. You can include them in goal-making for overall company improvements as well.
A results-oriented approach, whether that work is done in the office or remotely, greatly boosts morale and productivity.
In a previous post, we illustrated this point very well, “Productivity and engagement in the office and when working remotely both benefit from a results-oriented approach because it focuses on what is achieved. This mindset inspires workers to put their all into what they are doing because it matters. When hours spent is most important, it gives workers the mindset that if they’re sitting there, they’re doing their job. That sounds boring and depressing just reading it. But if an employee knows they can invest in the job, produce results, and call it a day, that is exciting.
A results-oriented approach also helps employees see and measure real success, much like gamification. The accumulation of something is satisfying and motivating.”
Remote work is particularly suited to counting progress by results rather than hours because so many of the tasks they do involve submitting projects or solving problems. Take advantage of this aspect of remote work and see workers getting more work completed in a shorter period of time.
A results-oriented approach also enhances the flexibility aspect of remote work. This freedom to work outside of a regular schedule, around things that need to be done, attracts many people to remote work, and using a results-oriented approach helps maximize that benefit.
Regarding employee appreciation, it is important to reduce any hassle associated with completing the work by investing in better tools. Remote workers control most of the tools of the trade themselves, but if businesses address the tools they are responsible for, they can see an increase in both morale and productivity.
Ask yourself what programs you use to communicate with employees or expect them to use to complete or submit work? Is a smarter, easier to use, cheaper, or less buggy version available? Consider switching to that program to eliminate distracting and frustrating elements in your remote workers’ day.
Do you pay for or supply any tools? Make sure you’re sending them the most convenient ones you can.
Remote workers often use expensive programs to complete their work. Even if they don’t, they have to maintain devices, internet connections, and more resources. Consider repaying employees for a job well done by giving them a little money to help pay for the expenses on tools they use for your business.
Get to know and appreciate your remote workers
Learn about your remote workers.
Knowing about their cultures and their individual lives helps you appreciate their unique viewpoint on the world and how it might positively impact your business. These unique viewpoints and strengths are why people talk so much about the benefits of diversity, and you can use them with remote work. In fact, because remote work allows us to team up with people all over the world, this is a special opportunity to create a diverse workforce and enjoy the innovation and varied strengths that go with it.
Getting to know your remote workers also helps you be more considerate of them as individuals. If they’re getting married, having a baby, experienced a loss, going to college, or pursuing a new goal, you can give them thoughtfulness that means more than a bonus or pay raise. During important moments in a person’s life, they may need time off, more flexible hours, less stressful work duties, help with an expense, understanding if their mood isn’t as chipper as it always has been, or just a note to say you care.
Perks they can use
When people think of employee appreciation, they usually picture perks like a provided lunch or a special parking place. There are two problems with that idea. For one, many of those ideas don’t apply to remote work. For the other, business owners need a broader view of perks.
So how do we apply perks to remote work? There are some limitations, but not as many as you might think. It just requires a little creativity and thoughtfulness.
Perks for remote work:
- Bonuses included with their payments rather than in the form of gift cards
- Gift cards to stores that are relevant to the employee’s location
- Help paying for education
- Help paying for hobbies and projects that help them grow
- Support of causes that are important to them
- Encouragement of their charitable efforts with paid time off or funding travel expenses
- The opportunity to try out other jobs in your company and then vary roles from time to time
- Employee discounts on products and services you sell
- Vacation time and sick leave(though they usually don’t need as much time as in-office workers)
These perks invest in your employees’ personal growth and/or their mental and physical health as well as simply making the job more enjoyable to perform. The investment doesn’t have to be very costly. It’s usually the thought that counts, little amounts of money can go a long way, and creative techniques can save you money on your employee perks. Check out our employee perks blog post to learn more.
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