5 Steps to Remote Recognition

How to give employee recognition in a distributed team.
5 Steps to Remote Recognition
Jono Harris

What comes first, a great company culture that leads to frequent employee recognition or frequent employee recognition that leads to great company culture?

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario, but we have found that the two are most certainly linked! Have a look at this graph 👇

Companies that had a majority rating of an “Awesome” culture (26%) saw continuous recognition (at least once a week).

Full disclaimer, these results were Pre-COVID-19, when the world was still “normal” and the majority of us worked in offices.

Ahhh, the office. A place where people gathered, did some work and spent a bit more time socialising with co-workers. COVID-19 definitely put a spanner in this and has forced us to change the way we work, the way we communicate and share information and the way we look at employee engagement.

Hold the phone. What’s this about employee engagement? You’ve been talking about Culture and Recognition. Why are you going on about Engagement now?

Well, they are all linked. Without company culture and recognition, you won’t have engagement. Without engaged employees, you’ll have low levels of productivity.

Don’t believe me? According to Gallup, 40% of employees that are not recognised are actively disengaged with their work.

Driving Engagement by Focusing on Strengths
Interestingly, in the same survey as above, Gallup found that ignoring employees is more damaging to employee engagement than if a manager were to consistently point out employees’ weaknesses.

Now, I’m not saying it’s better to give negative feedback — I’m saying that you should be looking at creating a program that is focused on recognition and employee feedback if you don’t have one in place.

How do you make recognition easy to give, visible to all in the company and most importantly, meaningful? Keep reading. Hopefully, at the end of this, you’ll have a better idea of the importance of (and how to start giving) recognition in your remote team.

1. Recognize Publicly

Ensure that recognition is given in public and visible to the entire company. A recognition platform like Hi5, will allow all employees to view and give recognition to anyone at any time.

When given publicly, recognition can be a huge motivator.

Encouraging peers to participate in celebrating achievements only drives motivation further. Public recognition can also help your new remote employees feel more connected to the team, giving them a chance to socialize and celebrate wins from wherever they are based 🌍

2. Keep Recognition Specific

Recognition can be fluffy 🐑 and this is one of the main reasons why leadership teams look at it as a “non-essential company initiative”. Times are slowly changing and more leaders are becoming aware of the power of recognition.

If you want to get the wheel of change turning a lot faster in your company, make sure that the recognition given in your company proves to be valuable, e.g. showing what values are being lived or what value a certain behaviour generated for the company.

To be specific, recognition needs to have the following flow:

  • State what was done specifically?
  • Explain how the behaviour made you feel.
  • Point out the value it added to the team and the company.

3. Be Consistent and Timely

Positive reinforcement should be delivered regularly and given as soon as possible after the behaviour has been witnessed. Doing this greatly enhances the effectiveness of the recognition in promoting repeats of this behaviour. This keeps employees on top of their game and hyper-productive.

4. Offer Rewards

Reward employees for not only receiving recognition but also for giving recognition. An important aspect to remember is that the chosen rewards don’t need to be monetary, so even companies on a really tight budget can have a reward scheme in place. Non-monetary rewards could be things like an extra vacation day, finish work early on a Friday or if the position allows it, reward with flexible working hours (although nowadays this is more of a necessity).

If there is a rewards budget, look at gift vouchers, restaurant or experience vouchers. When a budget has been set the options are pretty much endless. If your company has an annual awards ceremony, the data gathered from the years worth of recognition could be used to reward the person with the most valuable bits of recognition and the one that gave the most valuable recognition.

5. Keep it going

A recognition program — whether in office or remote — is not a sprint but a marathon. You just need to keep plugging away until everyone buys into the benefits.

The results won’t show themselves overnight and you may even find certain individuals trying to game the system to benefit a few, but once the proverbial light bulb goes on for all 💡 your hard work and persistence will start showing the benefits. What benefits you ask? Well, these of course 👇

Recognition + Feedback = Happy Employees & Profitable Companies

At the end of the day, your recognition program doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, the simpler it is, the better. I’m sure we’ve all heard of K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid), well now you have some tips on how to do this. Remember to keep recognition in the forefront of your mind until it becomes a habit!

So give it a go, the worst that could happen is that your employees might start feeling like they’re adding more value and work a little harder. Isn’t that a terrible problem to have? 😜

Need an employee recognition tool for your company? Try Hi5 for free today >