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8 Ideas for Rewarding Remote Employees

By Stephen Jolley
Illustration of Carl the yeti sitting on the floor on his laptop. There is a trophy and lightbulb hovering above him.

In 2019, Gallup suggested that voluntary turnover had an estimated 1 trillion dollar cost on US businesses. Wait…I don’t think you heard me. I said 1 TRILLION DOLLARS!!! As if businesses weren’t impacted enough by Covid, I can’t help but think that number has grown drastically with retention and turnover at all-time highs over the last 2 years.

As more businesses return to the office, employees looking to maintain their remote work status (it’s hard to beat the flexibility) have either shifted roles or relocated to a new opportunity. Remote work is here to stay! But as some employees are migrating back into the office, let’s not forget all we’ve learned about connecting in a virtual world. Remote employees can often fall to the back of mind, and that doesn’t make anyone feel good. So, here are 8 ways you can make your remote team feel like a million bucks!

Set them up for Remote Success

When you think about your in-office team, there’s probably little to no hesitation about investing in solid work environments; from standing desks to double monitors and elite office chairs. One way you can keep your remote employees engaged? Make sure they get the same attention and investment in their at-home work setup! You might provide a budget with reimbursement allocations, or better yet, use Motivosity’s ThanksMatters card to allocate dollars for employees and easily track expenses. It’s a great way to let your employees know you trust them and feel like you’re invested in their success!

Create Flexible Work Schedules

Some employees might prefer (and maybe even need) more formal structure in their schedule, but a great way to reward your team is to create and communicate flexible work schedules. Not all roles allow this kind of flexibility, but if it does, giving your employees that level of trust not only makes them feel good, but it might even help them unleash their most productive hours! That’s something we can thank remote work for: helping us understand the benefits of more flexibility. Let’s face it: both in office and remote employees will want flexible work schedules down the line.

Distribute Swag

It’s a lot easier to think about the in-office workers and create awesome desk drops with fun branded swag, but make sure you don’t forget about your remote teams! I think too often, we fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” cycle. Remote employees can be GREAT brand ambassadors, especially in locations where your company presence isn’t buoyed up by brick-and-mortar offices! If you’ve been treating your employees with respect, they’ll be proud to represent their company. HR leaders can use tools like Motivosity to help access virtual swag stores giving employees the choice to select what they’ll actually wear.

Mail a Thank you Letter

It might sound outdated...but managers can make a huge impact when they actually put pen to paper. It doesn’t need to be often but there’s something about a handwritten letter and the effort of going through postage to say “thank you”. I know, for me, I’m still holding on to a few handwritten praises from previous managers and coworkers. It just might be the words they need to stick through tougher times!

Play Virtual Team Games

Have you ever heard of Jack Box games? It’s important for team leaders and managers to encourage team interaction, there’s a reason why engagement surveys ask if you have a friend at work and companies that encourage opportunities for friendship are usually benefitting. A great way to pull both in office and virtual members together is a virtual game. Jack Box games has a variety of fun games that can be played together using a cell phone and zoom connection. Give it a shot!

Don’t Forget their Birthday

Gallup research has shown that employees who don’t feel like they’re recognized at least once in a 7 day period are twice as likely to leave within the year! Now imagine if you’re missing their birthday or work anniversary on top of lacking in the ‘thanks’ department. Keeping up with all of this can sound like a logistical headache, but there are simple ways to keep milestones top of mind. One way Motivosity helps is through leveraging the team. HR Leaders can allocate and automate giving for employees on their birthdays and anniversaries and remind peers to celebrate with them. We see teams engage in fun ways whether they’re remote or in office, by helping make sure the whole team knows when it’s someones birthday.

Invest in their Career

As more employees become interested in investing in their future and careers, it’s guaranteed they’ll be watching for opportunities to get involved in the right events and trainings. Employers can benefit from investing in their employee development by allocating budget and identifying programs, conferences, and trainings that reward employees and enhance the skillsets within the organization. For remote employees, this can also be using some budget to bring them in the office for visits and trainings! It may not always be necessary, but remote employees can build greater sense of purpose through some occasional face-to-face interaction.

Enable Peer to Peer Recognition

If all your recognition is top’re leaving too much on the table. Your employees are your best asset in recognition, and they should rally to recognize each other! Remote or in office, peer recognition helps bring your team together in new ways. Using a message board for shoutouts or slack channel dedicated to recognitions is a good start. If you really want to add fuel to the fire though, this is what Motivosity does best! We recommend giving a small amount of budget to each employee to say ‘thanks’ to their peers every month; with Motivosity Recognize, we see 95% of users engaging monthly in peer recognitions.

When done right your recognition and reward efforts should motivate team members and promote positive engagement. Motivosity is a solution that helps leaders build positive culture around gratitude, with an easy-to-deploy solution for all types of employees.