Statistics before the pandemic state that 3.4% (approximately 3 million people) of the US workforce works remotely. Meaning, with time, these numbers are only going to increase. As an organization, you want to ensure that your remote employees feel part of employee appreciation day.
Employee appreciation day is a formal holiday in the US celebrated every first Friday of March, to appreciate employees from different sectors in the economy.
One of the things that any successful business owner will agree on is that employees are every company’s most significant asset. Appreciating and recognizing your staff tends to bring out the best in them, naturally increasing their productivity.
According to research by UC Berkely, recognized employees increase their productivity by 23%, and valued employees increase theirs by a whopping 43%.
Employees that feel valued and appreciated tend to work better because feeling valued and appreciated fulfills a fundamental human need, the need to belong.
It is, however, important to recognize that about two-thirds of remote employees feel disconnected from their organizations because of a lack of interaction between remote workers as in-workers do.
As a team leader, you want to make sure that this is not the case for your team. Including your remote workers in employee appreciation day is an excellent way to make them feel connected.
Before we talk about employee appreciation day ideas for remote employees, let’s see the benefits of employee appreciation.
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Benefits of Employee Appreciation
1. Increase Productivity
This is probably the number one advantage when it comes to employee appreciation. Appreciating your employees makes them understand that they are valued and essential to the organization, resulting in them increasing their productivity.
2. Reduces Employee Turnover Rate
Happy employees tend to stay longer in their organizations than employees who don’t feel connected with what they are doing. Occasions like employee appreciation day tend to show employees that their efforts are not overlooked, lowering the turnover rate.
3. Builds Excellent Reputation for Your Business
With the growth of social platforms, most probably that now and then an employee could post something about their experience, or employee appreciation day.
These doings continue to build your employee relations reputation online. A prospective employee will search for the company and see their future work environment. They will probably like it and join your team with a positive note. A win for your organization.
4. Decision Making Guidance
Change happens with time; growth is part of the change. As an organization, you want to grow with employees that are contributing to your growth.
Employee appreciation helps in monitoring employee performance, this way, performing and non-performing employees can be clearly distinguished. When it comes to laying off employees based on performance, such would be a useful reference.
5. Employee Engagement
Engaged team players, is every team leader’s dream team. Employee appreciation has a vast contribution to engagement because employees feel like their opinion matters tend to be more open-minded.
Hence not limiting themselves in meetings and leaving the decision making only to the team leaders and managers.
Here are some simple employee appreciation day ideas for remote employees that you can use on the next appreciation day!
1. Request their attendance
Send an invite remote employees to attend physically if they can. Most of the time, they may be out of state, well virtual it is. Be sure to send out a link where they can join appreciation day on a video call.
This way, they would feel more involved in the day’s proceedings.
2. Gifting your remote employees
Since your remote employees may not be able to attend appreciation day, sending gifts is one way you can appreciate them. Luckily, service providers such as DHL and UPS can deliver gifts within a day or two by using their priority shipping.
Some fun gift ideas for your remote employees may include:
a. Personalized branded apparel
Having a dress code for appreciation day is a cool way to kick off the day. Send your remote employees branded apparel that they could put on in their virtual attendance.
This could be anything from a backpack, hoodie, t-shirt, cap, or a wrist band.
b. Chocolate boxes or sweet box
Chocolate is the global ‘love snack,’ and why not take advantage of it? Send your remote employee a chocolate gift box, be sure to add some fun and play to it.
Be sure to accompany the chocolate box with a personalized note. It doesn’t have to be a long note. A simple “Dear XXX, Thank you for doing an awesome job on being our (job title). We appreciate you” would go a long way. Simplicity is bliss.
c. Wine Basket
Wine is the only remote employee gift idea that will never get old. If anything, it gets better with time. Gift your remote employees’ personalized branded wine bottles and be sure they would appreciate it.
Example “Robert, coolest software engineer-2020.”
d. Office Oscar Awards
Present fun office Oscar awards for your remote employees depending on their job description or how they present themselves. For example, a creative team member that comes up with the best designs, be sure to acknowledge that and give them an award for it.
e. House Plants
Fun fact; House plants act as mood boosters and naturally bring vibrance and life into a room. House plants have become a significant part of interior decor recently. So this would be a great gift idea for your remote employees.
f. Remote training programs for professional growth
Launch training programs for your remote employees on the employee appreciation day. As a team leader, you want to continuously offer growth platforms for your employees.
Offering growth opportunities for your remote employees is a major employee retention strategy. Employees tend to stay in organizations where they feel their growth need is being met instead of organizations where they have responsibilities routinely.
g. DIY art project
This is another way to include your remote employees in appreciation day. You have a 2-hour session where your employees make art of anything, whether they are good at it or not.
For remote employees, they could have their family join in as it is a family-friendly activity. Also, it would present a window into your remote employees’ personal life.
It could be a painting or any other DIY project they want to do. This is a relaxing session, as art does have a calming effect.
3. Virtual Happy Hour
You want to unwind with a virtual happy hour. Many remote employees enjoy virtual happy hours more than they thought they would. This is an excellent chance to catch up following the limited physical interactions.
As a team leader, you want to use this opportunity to know more about your remote employees. People, in general, tend to open up more when they are relaxed.
With remote employment being an option to many nowadays, people with different cultural backgrounds are often found working together. As a team leader, you want to be familiar with your remote employees’ cultural practices to avoid misinterpretation.
Employee appreciation day now has to be for inside employers and every member of your team. Be sure to consider including your remote employees in the next employee appreciation day!