How to scale company culture for distributed teams
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Part of your job as a manager during these unprecedented times is to keep employee engagement high. One way to do this is to get creative in your employee recognition ideas. Offering meaningful recognition will help keep your team’s morale high because employees perform best when they know that their contribution has a positive impact. However, with the transition to remote work, the employee recognition tactics you had in the past might be harder to apply.
Managers, it’s time to lead by example and implement some creative remote employee recognition ideas to build a culture of appreciation and value.
Check out Officevibe’s recognition guide for best practices on appreciating your team!
In this article:
Employee appreciation increases empathy, productivity, and activates a positive company culture. This is especially true for teams who work remotely. Here’s why:
Build your team’s engagement and morale. Develop a positive employee experience by putting these recognition ideas into action.
During your next one on one meeting, prepare an example of something your employee recently did well. Explain its impact.
As a manager, you support your team. But they also support one another. While formal recognition resonates, so does informal recognition.
Think about it. Every day, people use social media for public recognition amongst friends. A similar approach in a professional context is possible. Use communication tools like Slack or Teams to share how each team member has impacted the other. Make this a habit to create a positive collective dynamic.
At Officevibe, we programmed a Kudos “formula” through Slack to ensure that every moment of recognition is thought out and thinks beyond reaching goals to demonstrating company values.
Give kudos to one team member in a shared Slack channel and ask them to pass it on. Here’s example of staff recognition:
Thank you, [Team member] for your [help, positive attitude, support, ideas, or other]. Thanks to your contribution, [describe impact]. Please pass on a kudos to someone else on the team who has impacted you this week!
Bonus: You can also use this tool to celebrate a teammate’s work anniversary!
Great leaders don’t take all the credit. Citing engaged employees publicly demonstrates that you value their contribution. It also validates asking for help when it’s needed.
Exemplify that a great idea can only be executed with multiple people applying their strengths. Pass the mic to others who have contributed. Allow them to recognize another outstanding employee, and so on. Recognizing effort and good work builds team morale, confidence and employee satisfaction.
Recognize the context in which your employees are working. Point out where they are doing well. When it comes to remote work, let them know that you understand the difficulties during this time, appreciate them for being part of the solution.
Topics you can cover:
Bonus: Increase employee engagement by asking teammates to share remote work productivity hacks. Sharing hot tips helps connect your team!
Getting creative inspires people to do their best, and jump in when help is needed.
Even while remote, employees are celebrating big milestones such as work anniversaries or the end of a big project.
In a new context of work, people might need more, or different forms of recognition from their managers. Instead of trying to guess, take the time to ask each employee:
Recognize employees on a regular basis
A 2017 report from Gallup shows that if 60% of employees were recognized daily, managers could reduce absenteeism by up to 27%. Checked-out employees exist in virtual offices too, although they’re difficult to track. Regular recognition can help prevent this.
Gift cards and money do not always provide lasting impact. Instead, offer personal verbal or written feedback on a person’s performance that is explicit about the job they did, and the impact it had.
“Thank you for helping me on Project X today despite your busy schedule. The impact of your help for me personally was Y, and for the team was Z!”
Deloitte shows that 54% of employees would prefer to be recognized with a “Thank You,” versus 7% who would prefer a gift.
Colleagues, managers and executives benefit from recognition too! Promote peer-to-peer recognition across the hierarchy to build a meaningful culture of recognition all around.
Recognition isn’t limited to a top-down approach. Let your team know that part of their job is to support one another. Express how you value their participation. Doing this builds positivity and an overall satisfactory work environment.
A lot goes into a project. Remember to recognize those who may not be seen but who still provide valuable contributions.
Encourage your team to highlight habits, projects or tasks that were achieved by those who fly under the radar. Not only with this hone their leadership skills, it further develops a sense of empathy within the team.
Try: Host a brainstorm when your survey shows low metrics, and encourage direct input from the team. Take advantage of the brilliant minds in your company to find a solution.
With all that’s happening in the world, it’s crucial to keep your team’s motivation and engagement high. Employee appreciation takes time and effort. Use these tips and refer to the recognition guide to boost employee appreciation in no time.
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