Business Tech

4 Alternative ways to reward employees in a virtual workforce

One of the most effective things we can do to retain the best employees is to reward and recognize them. It is, of course, important to pay people fairly and compensate for exceptional work, but most employees report being motivated by recognition and reward. I am a huge fan of in-person recognition but in today’s virtual world it isn’t always possible or practical. Even when real-life recognition is possible, it can be heightened and improved with the addition of digital recognition and reward.

Employees want to be recognized by their direct supervisor. But they also want an opportunity to be complimented by co-workers, vendors, clients, other departments, and upper management. Giving these groups simple, digital access to say positive things will increase the opportunity for workers to step into the spotlight. The digital aspect also allows for the positive moment to be on display.

Who doesn’t want their boss’s boss to see the kind words a co-worker shared about how they helped move a client through a tough spot? Enabling others to comment on these positive moments allows more members of the organization to contribute words of agreement that show support or their own positive experiences with the same employee.

We now live in an immediate gratification world. I order my morning latte on an app and it is waiting for me at the shop like an old friend upon my arrival.

Digital sharing rewards offer the same “NOW” adrenaline rush. You no longer need to wait 30 long days to announce one employee of the month. If someone does something great at work, you can hop online and reward them within minutes.

Human behavior is more strongly influenced when the reward appears in close proximity to the desired behavior. I learned this 17 years ago when I handed salespeople $100 bills as a sales bonus for a deal they had just closed. This program was exponentially more successful than burying $100 in their paycheck two weeks from a sale.

How can you start using Digital Sharing for Reward and Recognition more effectively today? Here are 4 tips:

1) Remove the middle-man and create a small digital reward that can only be given peer to peer once per week. There are so many moments of excellence that go unseen by managers.

2) For those who work in-person bring digital into the real world by picking a time once a week where those who have been recognized online are called out in an in-person meeting as well. Consider printing the digital reward out and putting it on the wall for a week.

3) Rewards do not have to be exorbitant when budgets are limited. One of our most coveted awards was an hour in the company hammock and a $15 credit to a food delivery service.

4) Once a month reward a person who rewards others. Pick a person who consistently shares positive stories about others and surprise them with their own reward and a few words of thanks. This continues to stimulate participation and feelings of team camaraderie.

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Business Insights and Ideas does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. You should contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.