Editor’s Note: This article was composed by guest author, Mia Turlington. Mia Turlington is part of the content team at The Long Reach. Mia has worked in the industry since graduating from university. When not writing, Mia can be found researching where her next adventure would be.
Covid-19 has brought significant changes to the way we work. Many of us have transitioned to working remotely from home—indefinitely or permanently.
This change has been stressful to many and has affected how we communicate and interact with our colleagues. We can no longer pop our heads over to the next cubicle for a random chat, take a coffee break with a colleague, or pat somebody in the shoulder for a job well done.
Now more than ever, people are seeking interaction—to be valued and appreciated, so that work feels a little less lonely.
With everyone coping with the pandemic in their own way, managers need to demonstrate genuine concern and appreciation for their team members’ hard work to keep the team motivated during this difficult period.
Here are six ways to show appreciation for your remote team’s hard work:
1.) Recognize Each Team Member’s Individual Contribution
Let your team members know how awesome they are. Since you cannot show your appreciation for their individual contribution face-to-face, reach out and connect with each employee virtually. Send an email or record a video with your words of appreciation as if you were talking with them in person.
You may also dedicate a few minutes during your regular meetings to give a shout out for a team member’s recent accomplishment. They will appreciate the gesture and feel special knowing that their efforts are noticed!
2.) Check-in With Your Team Members
Since the lines between personal and professional lives have blurred since most of us started to work from home, your check-ins with individual team members should go beyond asking about their work responsibilities.
If you and your team members are comfortable enough with each other, ask them about their lives outside of work and how they are coping with the pandemic. Inquire about how they are balancing work and family responsibilities, and share experiences regarding how you are executing this yourself. Try to find words to acknowledge and honor their family members for their support and patience in these challenging times.
3.) Organize Virtual Team Building Exercises
Every once in a while, break away from your daily work and schedule virtual team building exercises to drive engagement and increase team morale. This allows the team to have their much-needed break from their daily tasks.
It will also help you to get to know each other on a more personal level while exchanging a few laughs in between. A little friendly competition is the perfect way to shake things up a bit and boost everyone’s mood.
Here are a few fun virtual team building ideas you can check out:
- Virtual Team Trivia – Pick a theme (ex. Movies, pop songs, etc.) and hold a trivia game over video chat.
- Online Team Building Bingo – This is an easy game to play over video conferencing. You can even get online bingo templates to make it easier for you to organize!
- Who da Baby? – Ask your team members to share their baby photos in Slack or Google Drive. Share the photos with the team and have fun guessing who’s who!
- Lightning Scavenger Hunt – This activity will allow your employees to bond by completing the same tasks at home such as “cuddle your pet”, “show your mobile phone” or even “make a sandwich.”
4.) Email Daily Shout Outs
Be vocal about your team’s successes! Start an email thread (or group chat) with everyone on the team. Call out big and little wins that are achieved each day. Celebrate small everyday victories, giving special attention to those that highlight the employees’ strengths as well as those which will give rise to even bigger gains.
By sharing in a group space, other team members have the opportunity to join in on the praises and will learn to appreciate each other’s work.
5.) Give a Surprise Delivery
Everyone likes to receive a reward for their hard work. Even though you may not be physically together with your team members in the office, you can still show gratitude and share in their success by surprising them with gestures of appreciation.
Although sending appreciative expressions might be tricky to pull off these days, you can still practice surprise and delight with your employees by sharing the following grateful gestures:
- A Pumpkin Pick Me Up to fuel them through Fall mornings.
- A Cup of ‘PositiviTea’ to elevate their morale as we head towards cooler months.
- A ‘Berried’ in Work Treat to help them continue grinding as Q4 comes upon us.
Making these little investments in your coworkers will go a long way!
6.) Be Transparent
Reports of declining revenues, cost-cutting measures, impending layoffs, and increasing death tolls can be overwhelming and demoralizing, but employees should be aware of what is going on in the company.
Being transparent in your communications is a simple yet effective way to show respect and appreciation for your employees. Keep in mind that it is critical for you to reassure your team and set their minds at ease as much as you can. Always focus on what they are doing right and how every individual member contributes to the success of the organization.
Making Employee Appreciation a Priority
Employees are one of the most important drivers behind an organization’s success, which is why employee appreciation should be a standard practice—regardless of the circumstances that we’re enduring.
However, our “new normal” can cause a lot of worry and anxiety, and calls for more sensitivity than before.
Showing respect and gratitude to your employees who are doing their best and going above and beyond in the face of current challenges will go a long way towards keeping them engaged and driving their productivity.
Saying Thnks can help you empower your employees, enhance their motivation, and ensure that they feel valued. Within seconds, you can show them your appreciation by searching for a gift, personalizing a note, and sending it off via SMS or email. Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo!