The world is changing – and remote workers are taking it by storm! Working from home has some fantastic perks you can’t get in any other working environment. But there are also a couple of downsides.
My Favorite Ideas At A Glance
- Top pick: Host a virtual company event with a corporate emcee
- Most meaningful: Offer to help your team when you can
- Most generous: Give some free time off
- Simplest: Post a social media shout-out
- Most personalized: Send your team a care package
- Tastiest: Put together a virtual team lunch
If you’re a remote worker, you’ve probably felt a little disconnected from your team at times. After all, it’s hard to stay close when you’re miles apart.
So when it comes time to show your remote team a little love and appreciation, you can’t just sit idly by. You need to be active in showing your employees some gratitude!
Wondering where to start? Keep reading, and I’ll let you know everything you should keep in mind when it’s Employee Appreciation Day (plus some great gift ideas!)
What It Means To Show Employee Appreciation
We all need a little appreciation now and then.
Especially at the workplace, it’s easy to start to feel the pressure rise and our stress levels peak. But an easy way to fight these negativities is with employee recognition and team appreciation.
And as a leader, it’s your responsibility to lead by example!
We can look at it from both a business perspective and a human perspective. When employees feel appreciated, job satisfaction soars, and productivity can reach alarming new heights. But from a human perspective, showing gratitude at work can make our workplace an enjoyable place to spend time and our team fun to be around!
Create A Company Culture Of Giving Thanks
No matter where you work or what your daily job duties look like, our company culture says a lot about who we are. So here is where it’s critical to make strides each and every day to cultivate a culture of gratitude and appreciation.
Whenever I feel not so appreciated and not so valued somewhere, I don’t typically feel enthusiastic or excited to go there. We all know this feeling in one way or another – and we don’t want our employees to feel that way about their workplaces (virtual or otherwise).
Your employees are susceptible to these emotions. So if they’re in need of some appreciation, it’s time to give it to them!
Keep In Mind – Remote Employees Aren’t The Same As Onsite Employees
As I said earlier, remote work is on the rise. It’s pretty apparent, and there’s no use denying it!
Obviously, there are some pretty significant differences between a remote work environment and an onsite workplace. For example, remote workers need to place a substantial emphasis on communication to be able to work together seamlessly with each other.
And so, showing your appreciation virtually will look much different than showing it in an in-person environment. Now, that can seem daunting for some.
But when you know exactly the right way to reach your employee’s hearts, it gets so much easier!
The Best Virtual Employee Appreciation Ideas
We’re all a little different. For some people, thinking of creative ways to show appreciation and emotions might be hard. So just keep in mind – the key to expressing affection and gratitude to your remote team is by giving THANKS!
What can that look like? I’ll let you know.
#1. Treat Your Team To A Company Event
Getting together with our team can do much more than it might seem – even if it’s virtually.
And the best way to do that is by putting on a virtual event. The first step here is to find a hilarious keynote speaker who really knows how to reach the audience. After all, laughter is the best gift you can give someone!
And luckily, it’s pretty easy to find virtual or hybrid event speakers that know a thing or two about entertainment and comedy. Want to take it up a notch? You can even get a magician speaker and really wow your employees!
#2. Help Out Where You Can
Sometimes we get carried away planning trinkets or personalized gifts to show our thanks to our team. But we all know that actions speak louder than words (or, in this case, actions speak louder than things!)
Appreciation can look like many things, but helping out where you can is one of the most underrated ways to show it.
When someone needs a helping hand, be the one to give it to them! Even if it’s not in your job description, offering to help says a lot more than a physical gift would.
You can start by:
- Offering to cover some work if someone is falling behind
- Respecting your team’s time outside of work
- Stepping up to be a leader in team projects, if you’re not already
Working remotely has never been so cooperative!
#3. Allocate Some Extra Time Off
Nothing says “employee appreciation” like some extra time off!
Who wouldn’t enjoy getting an extra vacation day or two?
Whether you are just giving the entire team the day off or a staff member, a surprise day off takes the meaning of “employee appreciation” to another level. You can allocate extra time off in honor of special occasions or just because, but either way, it’ll be a great employee appreciation gift!
#4. Never Say Never To A Little Fun!
The working world can sometimes make us feel a little stingy. Maybe we are trying to come across as professional and driven. But it’s essential to take a little time to let our hair down and connect with our team on a more personal level.
Quality time is a common way to show people we care about and appreciate them. So it should be no different for your remote team!
Find ways to have a little fun with your team. Need a great idea to get it started?
A remote team is probably pretty in-tune with their devices. So invite them to play some online games together – maybe even with a hired emcee if you want to make things a little bit competitive – and embrace the fun!
#5. Know Your Employee’s Birthdays
No matter how old we get, we all want to feel valued and special on our birthdays. I still get excited when someone I haven’t connected with in a while makes an effort to wish me a happy birthday!
So remembering the birthdays of your virtual team members can definitely help them feel some appreciation. Making a special occasion out of a simple day shows them that you care about their happiness and individuality.
You can also recognize work anniversaries or other memorable milestones if someone isn’t big on birthdays. It’s never bad to make an excuse to celebrate someone!
#6. Send A Care Package
Nothing says “employee appreciation” like a good ol’ fashioned care package! Getting a goody box or bag full of your favorite items, snacks, and memorabilia can really touch someone’s heart.
Fill a package full of sweets and your team’s favorite coffee beans or tea leaves to give your staff members a delicious treat. You can also send a spa care package full of bath bombs or face masks to help them de-stress from work.
Plus, if you need some help with assembling care packages, many sites out there will make and deliver them for you.
Bonus: Make a package full of company swag and let your remote teams show their company pride!
Sometimes, A Little Bit Can Go A Long Way
Taking the time to properly celebrate and acknowledge virtual teams on Employee Appreciation Day can go far in helping your employees feel valued and appreciated.
Finding the right way to say your thanks can seem hard, especially when you want your contributions to have that amazing personal touch. So here are some more virtual employee appreciation ideas if you haven’t found the perfect one for your remote workforce!
Employee Appreciation Ideas You Can’t Pass Up
Any of these ideas are sure to touch your employee’s hearts!
#7. Write a personalized note or letter and mail it to their home
#8. Orchestrate a team lunch and bond over your favorite foods
#9. Put together a virtual happy hour or a virtual party, and let loose!
#10. Give virtual shout-outs via LinkedIn, Slack, or a company-wide email
#11. For those hard to shop for, send them an e-gift card
#12. Give them a work-from-home office stipend to elevate their workspace
#13. Send them some tasty snacks to give their brain fuel to be productive
#14. Treat your employee’s pets with a fuzzy-friend gift box!
Take Any Idea, And Run With It!
When it comes down to it, you know your team better than anyone. So take some time to get to know their personal preferences, then make your employee appreciation contribution with it in mind!
What goes around comes around – treat your employees well and watch how they shine at work. After all, work is more than a place filled with coworkers – it’s our home away from home.
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Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.