Employee appreciation day occurs every March, yet it’s never too early to think about how to appreciate your remote workers. Celebrating your employees remotely presents new challenges and could lead to you deciding not to do anything at all. While this may be a tempting option, it’s important that you don’t fall for it.
Showing your employees that you appreciate the work they do is important. When their hard work is recognized, employees are more productive and encouraged to keep working hard. It’s important that you know how to engage employees that work remotely and show them that the effort they make truly matters. Here are some ideas to show them that you appreciate them.
#1. Host of Virtual Coffee Morning
Even though your employees are working from home, you can still plan a coffee or breakfast morning. Invite your employees to make or buy their favorite coffee and join a friendly Zoom call with you and their other coworkers.
Virtual coffee mornings allow employees to converse with their coworkers like they would in an office. Give them the morning to just relax and chat. If you really want to show your appreciation, send out gift cards so that they can buy their favorite drink before joining.
#2. Send Gifts
Who doesn’t love getting packages? Sending your employees gifts is a great way to show your appreciation for what they do. Amazon even allows you to send something as a gift so your employees will know who the package is from.
Some great gift ideas include gift cards, care packages, notepads and pens, or mugs. You can also personalize your gifts for each employee. If you know someone likes tea, send them a mug and a box of unique tea. Why not consider a week of prepared meal delivery for those who may not have the time to cook? It's a thoughtful way to show you care about their well-being. On the same note, if your employees have children, you can help them out by offering several kid-friendly dinner kits. This way, they can cook at home (which is something most parents prefer), and the kids will love every meal!
Another great idea is to send them things to make working from home more comfortable. There are all sorts of little ways to help your employees stay healthy and prevent common issues like bad posture, carpal tunnel, and back pain. Show your employees you care about their comfort by sending them some special equipment.
#3. Host a Virtual Game Night
Game nights don’t have to be held in an office. With a little planning ahead, you can arrange a fun game night for your employees online. Encourage your employees to mix up their favorite drink and join for a night of fun.
There are lots of internet-based games you can arrange to play with your employees. Some websites offer traditional board games in an online format and other websites take you on a murder mystery adventure. You won’t have to look too hard to find great group games to play online.
#4. Give Special Shout-Outs
If you know you’ll be hosting a meeting with your remote workers soon, come up with a way to give your employees a special shout-out. Publicly recognizing the work your employees do is a great way to let them know you appreciate them.
There are a number of different ways to give your employees a shout-out. You can create a special presentation or just give verbal recognition. You can also take time to mention how they’ve improved over the last year to let them know you’re proud of them.
#5. Send Personalized Notes
Some people don’t like being publicly recognized and that’s okay. If you know some of your employees don’t like being in the spotlight, send them a personalized note instead. Whether you do this by email or snail mail, your employees will appreciate the time you took to acknowledge their accomplishments.
With personalized notes, you should mention specific accomplishments and habits that you admire in your employee. This encourages your employee to continue the behavior instead of feeling like they’re not noticed.
#6. Host an Awards Ceremony
Hosting an awards ceremony is a great way to recognize each of your employees individually, but still within a public setting. You can use a variety of generic awards or come up with very unique awards to recognize specific work your employees have done.
Creating unique award ideas can make an awards ceremony all the more enjoyable. You can base the awards on your employees’ work habits or difficult projects they’ve completed.
#7. Send a Unique Care Package
If you really want to get creative, you can create and deliver unique care packages to each of your employees. The best part about this is that you can be as creative or generic with this as you want.
Keep in mind your employees’ likes and dislikes. If one of them really enjoys reading, send them a care package with your favorite book and a few extra items. If someone loves camping, send them a s’mores kit.
#8. Hold a Contest
If your employees are a bit nerdy or don’t mind getting competitive, host a trivia night or another type of contest. You could even tie this in with a game night if you want to provide multiple options for your employees.
To really recognize certain employees, base your contest around their accomplishments. You can even use PowerPoint to make your own fun trivia game.
#9. Provide Meal Coupons
For something quick and easy, give your employees meal coupons for a night out to their favorite restaurant. Add in a short note letting them know you appreciate their work and they deserve an evening to celebrate themselves.
Meal coupons are great because employees can turn them into a date night or a full family outing. However they choose to use it is up to them, but they’ll still know you appreciate all the work they do.
#10. Offer Extra Vacation Days
Even the best employees deserve some time off. Despite working from home, long workdays can be draining and your workers deserve a break. To show you admire their hard work and appreciate them, offer a few extra days off for them to take whenever they need.
On the same note, encourage your employees to use their days off. If they don’t feel like they can skip a day or two at work, they’re less likely to take a vacation, and eventually, your employees will burn out. Even if it means you have to take on a bit more work while they’re gone, encouraging your employees to take a vacation day can boost morale.
Keep an Open Mind
There’s no one way to celebrate employee appreciation day even remotely. Get creative with your ideas. You can even ask your employees for ideas if you want them to get involved. However you choose to celebrate, making sure your employees know you appreciate them will boost the overall morale of your team.
This article is a guest blog written by Gabe Nelson. To contribute a guest post to Workast.com, please complete the expression of interest form here.