As the federal and provincial governments slowly start to lift some of the imposed restrictions, for some, this thankfully means getting back to the way things once were.
Yet strangely, for a majority of us, we have gotten used to a “new norm” after weeks of being on lockdown. With no long commutes, racing the clock for daycare and school pick-ups or even having to find that perfect outfit for an upcoming client meeting, the current climate has completely redefined the way business is conducted, and more importantly, how we communicate.
While in the past, most employers have not been in favour of their employees working remotely—due to the current global health emergency—things have certainly changed.
Many business owners, including many of the Fortune 10, now see that allowing employees to work from home can actually encourage higher productivity. A Stanford University study found that people working from home were 13.5 percent more productive than the staff in the office.
That being said, during this time, it’s also very important for employers to keep employees engaged and remind them that they are a vital part of the organization.
So how can you encourage productivity while keeping your remote employees both inspired and happy? Through recognition!
Recognition has a long history of successfully improving engagement, retention, and productivity. It also strengthens manager and employee relationships, not to mention peer-to-peer relationships, while reinforcing the core values of an organization.
Here are four ways to recognize those who are working remotely:
1. Offer rewards for remote employees. It’s important to show appreciation by highlighting employee’s accomplishments at weekly virtual team meetings or in internal communications. But it’s more important to recognize and reward employees with points-based rewards (and not just cash). With a points-based rewards program, employees receive award points every time they go above and beyond. After accumulating a certain amount of points, employees can redeem for a variety of rewards like luxury merchandise or local experiences.
2. Recognize employees for specific actions. Specific recognition is the most effective way to acknowledge employees’ accomplishments. It’s disheartening to receive a generic “thanks” after an employee puts a lot of effort into a project. Therefore, it’s important to make recognition specific to an employee's actions, values, and preferences.
3. Recognize frequently. Recognize frequently to build momentum and enthusiasm. The most effective recognition programs are used on a regular basis to encourage continuous engagement. In a study of over 23,000 employees, BI WORLDWIDE found that a 10 percent reduction in turnover is seen between employees who are rarely recognized compared to those who are frequently recognized. In this analysis, rarely is defined as receiving 0-1 recognition per month and frequently is defined as receiving 3-4 recognitions per month.
4. Use technology to recognize face-to-face. With today’s technology, not only are we are able to keep in touch, but we can continue to motivate employees, build encouragement, and show recognition. Having a quick call chat is similar to walking over to someone’s cubical to say “thank you”! You are taking time out of your day to show appreciation for their hard work.
At BI WORLDWIDE Canada, we stand behind our recognition and reward programs grounded in the science of behavioural economics (BE). Did you know 77 percent of all behaviour is driven by emotion? We look at how thought and emotion combine to drive decisions and behaviour. We then apply BE concepts and research within our employee recognition solutions.