Offering gratitude to team members and employees is something most leaders are continually striving to do. Somehow, in the fast pace of everyday business, it’s easy to forget to say thank you or show appreciation for a job well-done. Yet, 69% of employees say that they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being recognized by their employer (hubspot.com).
Despite being off-site, we can do more as leaders to acknowledge the results and efforts of others. Here are a few reminders.
1 – Call to personally say thank you. With a remote workforce, it’s often easier to send an email praising a team member for a job well done. Instead, pick up the phone and call them (or Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.). Offer specific details about their effort and achievement, and how it made all the difference.
“Matt, I want to acknowledge you for the incredible effort you put into this project. I saw that you planned your time around meeting the deadline. I liked how you communicated clearly with everyone involved, and how you shared the spotlight for a job well done. Thank you for the impact you made on reaching our goal.”
2 – Organize a video chat from a senior leader. Recognition from another leader in the organization, or a more senior leader, can often have a tremendous impact. It demonstrates that others are recognizing the accomplishment or effort too. The next time a team member’s result or effort is exceptional, invite a senior leader to jump on a quick video chat to thank them “face-to-face”.
3 – Send a public email. Emails can have impact too – especially when sent publically. Rather than sending a personal email, send it to the entire team or organization (when it makes sense). Highlight the achievement or success and encourage others to join in the congratulations. This creates connections with others outside of that person’s immediate team members, and elevates pride.
4 – Foster a culture of appreciation and camaraderie by encouraging team members to show appreciation to each other. Appreciation is not necessarily a top-down exercise. Team support and recognition is memorable, and can be nurtured within teams first by modelling it, and then by encouraging it.
5 – Cheers for Peers! Allow shout-outs on video-chats with the whole team. Building on tip #4, give people a chance to feel supported by their colleagues with a round of applause. Make it a standing-agenda item in your meetings to offer the opportunity for colleagues to share their appreciation for one another. Invite team members to share their positive feedback with their colleagues and share their thanks publicly.
6 – Mail a handwritten note or card. When was the last time you received a card in the mail? It doesn’t happen often. But when it does, it’s memorable. This is another great way to recognize a team member remotely. The note can be short – a simple “thank you” or “I appreciate you because X.”
7 – Send a surprise delivery. So many of our favourite restaurants are offering delivery services via UberEats, Skip the Dishes, etc. The next time you want to recognize a team member, try sending them a surprise from their favourite lunch spot, or something as simple as their favourite latte and croissant. When you place your order, you can enter a note requesting the restaurant to include a message with the delivery.
8 – Post meaningful recognition on LinkedIn or social pages. If a team or staff member went above and beyond creating a significant impact for your organization, you could state the achievement on your company’s social pages (with the employee’s permission ideally) and share the success.
9 – Host your monthly meeting, or quarterly review – even if it is by video-chat instead of in-person. Your ongoing feedback on the employee’s performance and contribution matters now more than ever. Make these feedback or reviews meaningful by doing more preparation, and taking into account the employee’s state of mind in this current remote environment.
10 – Intentional weekly check-ins with feedback is important. Employee engagement doubles with feedback that occurs every week, and this can be done easily over video-chat.