In an earlier article we discussed how to create an effective recognition program for an organization. But specifically recognizing remote workers can be even more challenging as they might not have the same visibility as their peers working in the office. Here are some ways to ensure you give your remote/dispersed workforce their due:
- Connect recognition with development. When recognition becomes an integral part of the performance management and review cycle, it enhances the chances of promotion for team members and ensures that recognition is institutionalized. Offer rewards in the form of access to prestigious training programs and courses from reputed institutes, or as delegate fees at an illustrious industry meet. This shows that you care for their professional development while giving them a break from ‘remote’ work to interact in person with peer group members.
- Go social. An active enterprise social network (ESN) like Workplace or Slack helps remote workers stay connected, engaged, and updated about the organization. Ensure that your ESN seamlessly integrates with your recognition platform to include features like a social Wall of Fame, People Choice Awards, or even funky e-badges that are displayed on work DPs. Leaders can also share individual or team contributions on company handles.
- Think ‘phygital’. While virtual recognition has its advantages, distributing merchandise, care packages or even takeouts on specific days adds a personal connect and makes appreciation more tangible. Food delivery apps make it relatively easy to organize virtual celebrations over pizza.
- Encourage peer recognition. Recognition by peers could be a great motivator for remote workers who might be concerned about lack of visibility. Often, colleagues understand the effort behind tasks and achievements more than senior managers or C-suite members. Enable peers to offer instant recognition through easy-to-use and quirky ecards, or by simply sending an email of appreciation.
- Focus on outcomes. Shift the focus of the recognition program from in-person interactions and face-to-face activities to results and outcomes. Get team leads to emphasize these desired outcomes in review meetings. This ensures that recognition is fair and transparent.
As you plan your recognition program, remember that recognition and even appreciation don’t always have to be in the form of a gift or a card or involve a monetary aspect. As Susan Schmitt Winchester of Applied Materials suggests, there could be ‘no meeting’ periods in a week to acknowledge the blurring of work-life boundaries for many remote workers. Something as simple as that can help your remote workforce feel valued and recognized.