Back when everyone worked in an office, it was relatively easy to recognize employees for getting a big account or shipping a product. In addition to the typical bonus check or raise, a celebratory dinner could quickly be organized or an impromptu meeting could be called to congratulate the top performers.
But now, more than one third of the US workforce is considered a remote worker, making it difficult for managers to keep their employees in the loop. As a consequence, many remote workers can feel like they are on their own island. While their supervisor might know of the great work they’re doing, they can feel at time invisible to the rest of the company.
If you’re managing a remote workforce here are some great ways you can reward your employees so that they feel they’re a valued part of your team.
1. Treat Remote Workers as if They’re All Working in Your “Office”
Whether your company has a central office or not, you should treat your remote workers like they are in the same building as you. Why? A recent study by MIT professors found that the most important part of a team was the ability to “consider and keep track of what other people feel, know and believe.”
The best way to do this is to always remember to loop in members of your team regardless of where they work and publicly recognize their accomplishments just as you would, if somebody works down the hall from you.
2. Create Transparent Goals and Rewards
A big fear of remote workers is they’ll miss out on promotions or get lost in the shuffle by management. The best way to avoid this is to set transparent team and individual goals with accompanying rewards so every team member knows where everyone stands.
For example, Google has used their Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) concept since 1999 to transparently set goals and measure their performance. By tying rewards to goal completion or attaining results, you can ensure everyone will feel they are being treated fairly based on their performance, remote or in-house.
3. Recognize Your Remote Employees With a Personal Touch
Even though you can easily meet with your employees over video chats, face-to-face time has become even more important to make deep connections with employees. Companies that seem to have mastered managing remote teams like Basecamp and Zapier have in-person company retreats at least twice a year to build company camaraderie and recognize individual employee accomplishments.
Recognizing remote workers is certainly a challenge for managers, who have to juggle many other hats during the workweek. But it goes both ways as Ellen Raineri, an adjunct information technology professor at Kaplan University, says, “The sense of belonging is very challenging for virtual workers, who seem to be all alone out in cyberland.” By empathizing with the your remote workers and making small, but effective efforts at bringing them into the fold, you can have them feel just as much a part of the team as your in-house employees.
Are you in interested in a cost-effective solution for reaching and engaging everyone in your organization? Get in touch with us to find out more about Beekeeper – cross-device communication tool for teams, and we’ll be more than happy to show you how you can engage your remote employees in a simple and secure way.