In our new remote world it’s important to know how to motivate your employees and help them do their best work yet.

Everyone likes to be recognized
for their efforts – whether it’s a very public kudos or a hand-written note
discreetly mailed to their home. In fact, employee recognition is considered one
of the top ways to motivate people to do their best work and increase

According to the Society of Human
Resource Management
,79 percent of employees say recognition
makes them work harder and 78 percent say recognition makes them more
productive and better equipped to handle change.

In today’s business world where more
and more companies are shifting to a remote
and spending less time interacting face-to-face, finding new ways
to reward your employees is more important than ever.

Here are 10 ideas to reward your
remote employees and help them stay motivated to do their best work yet.

1.  Be flexible

One of the best ways leaders can reward their employees is
by granting them autonomy and showing grace when they don’t follow your way of
doing things.

A lot of decisions are being made by a lot of people. Not
everyone is going to agree with every decision.

Robert Cagle, Customer Relationship Manager, Houston,

2. Know your employees

Offer a varied work schedule or allowing for non-traditional
hours as business allows can be a great perk. But remember that a gift is
something someone wants to get, not one that someone wants to give. 

For example, If I’m an early bird – my manager telling me I
could sleep late, start the day at noon, stop for dinner and finish up at 10
p.m. would be a nightmare for me, though others might ride the joy of that for

Truly knowing
your employees
and what would be a reward to them is one of
the greatest gifts a manager can give.

Cathy Kolcun, Customer Relationship Manager, New York, New York

3.  Offer learning opportunities

One way to reward your employees is to
provide them with classes they can access for free or at a reduced cost.

By giving them an opportunity to take part in
a wide variety of options such as exercise, cooking and meditation in addition
to professional
courses you can support their
mental and physical wellbeing.

You can also check out professional
development classes offered in your local area and sign your team up. This
supports both your employees and your community.

10 ways to reward your remote workforce

4. Give timely gifts

  • Supply remote employees
    with a stay-safe kit that includes a cloth mask, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc.
    These items could be branded with your company logo.
  • Put together some
    virtual team building events such as playing Pictionary, participating in a scavenger
    hunt or in a game of charades.
  • Give out movie gift
    cards so employees can choose movie options online from the comfort of their

Roger Carbajal, Human Resources Specialist, Irving,

5.  Don’t forget the company swag

Everybody likes a great polo shirt with the
company logo.

Mailing company branded items to your
employees for a job well done or as a simple token of appreciation can be a
great way to give them a company branded boost.

10 ways to reward your remote workforce

6. Stay connected

  • Celebrate each other’s
    successes through team appreciation. Beginning weekly team meetings with a
    kudos for each other is a great morale builder.
  • Hold a weekly virtual
    social with a theme to do together. Some ideas could include dressing in your favorite
    decade or a word teaser. It’s a great way to have a little fun without
    interfering too much in after-work hours.
  • Simple check-ins via
    chat and Skype makes it easy to connect, but it’s also important to make the effort
    to check in directly with team members who might be disconnected and bogged
    down due to meetings.
  • It’s also helpful to
    reach out to colleagues from other teams via chat or phone to connect with
    others across the company and hear how they are doing.

Alison R. Entis, PHR, SHRM-CP, Customer Relationship Manager, McLean, Virginia

7. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition

recognition programs
are another great way to
motivate your employees and build a strong team comradery while boosting
employee engagement.

You can recognize employee achievements by
highlighting them on your company intranet to encourage company-wide
participation. When employees are recognized by their peers it raises the bar
for everyone involved and helps solidify a positive company culture.

10 ways to reward your remote workforce

8.  Make it a team effort

  • Send electronic personal or team-wide thank-you cards.
  • Acknowledge employees’ birthdays and anniversaries in regular team meetings.
  • Send out a team-wide e-mail acknowledging your employees’ work and how they went above and beyond.
  • Incorporate virtual team building activities during video zoom calls – name that tune, bingo, pet picture day.
  • Send random instant messages to the group: “just checking in” or an HR appropriate joke or riddle.
  • Ask employees to name a few of their favorite things – food, restaurants, hobbies, etc. and incorporate their personal perks when rewarding them such as sending a food delivery from their favorite restaurants and grocery stores or merchant gift cards from their favorite stores for online shopping or home office supplies.
  • Consider giving a half day of paid time off or an early “unplug” with pay to support a healthy work-life balance.

Sims, PHR, SHRM-CP, Senior HR Specialist,
Worth, Texas

9. Provide a personal touch

Reviving the lost art of the handwritten thank-you note can be a thoughtful gesture in this age of virtual technology.

A short thank you received in the mail shows
that you value your employee and have invested time in acknowledging their

Taking the time to share your genuine
heartfelt thoughts with your employees can make a huge impact on them and go a
long way in relationship building. Great leaders know that behind every
successful business there is a caring culture.

10 ways to reward your remote workforce

10. Embrace diversity

Your team members are all unique. They have
different ethnic backgrounds, live in different areas of the country and are
all ages. Take the time to educate yourself on their varied backgrounds and
cultures and acknowledge the individual traditions and holidays that are meaningful
to them.

One way you could do this is to invite your
team to participate in a casual “get to know me” activity that gives people the
opportunity to share a family tradition, custom or favorite family recipe with
each other. This creates an opportunity for dialogue with all team members to
share their unique life experiences with each other.

This level of interest models a healthy, diverse
company culture
and shows respect and
recognition for them as individuals.

10 ways to reward your remote workforce

In summary

In today’s dynamic working environment, it’s essential to
maintain a cohesive company culture that supports remote employees and recognizes
their achievements. When you invest in the success of your employees your business
is more likely to thrive.

To learn more about how to support your employees and promote
a healthy company culture – like ideas on how to reward remote employees – download
our free e-book: How to
develop a top-notch workforce that will accelerate your business.