No commute, more time with family, fewer distractions — these are just some of the benefits that remote workers enjoy.
The downside to working from home? Less in-person interaction with managers and co-workers. As a result, it’s very easy to overlook employees who work remotely, both in terms of recognition and engagement.
No wonder they frequently feel isolated and underappreciated. Nearly 40% of hybrid employees and 30% of remote employees feel less recognized than their onsite counterparts, according to a 2022 Workhuman survey.
Sending virtual gift cards as part of your employee recognition program can help your organization foster greater connection — and higher retention — with your WFH team.
But it isn’t enough to just send digital rewards — you want to make an impact. Here are some tips to help you make sure all your employees feel appreciated when you recognize them for their contributions, milestones, and hard work.
Whether you’re congratulating your remote employee for five years with the company or meeting an important deliverable, be sure your virtual gifts for remote employees include a personalized message.
When we say personal, we mean you should get specific, both with the message and the choice of reward. During your weekly calls with your team members, actively listen for things that they have been doing during their spare time. What do they talk about? Do they listen to certain podcasts while they work at home? What excites them? What have been their thoughts on working remotely?
When you come across little nuggets of information, write them down and refer to them when a future gift or bonus is necessary. Here’s an example:
“Thanks for your outstanding contribution to the team these last few weeks. I want you to know how much I appreciate your help getting us across the finish line. Here’s an REI gift card you can use on your next camping adventure!”
Recognition often means more when it’s given publicly, and employee rewards are no different. Even if your team is hybrid or 100% remote, there are still plenty of ways to give shout-outs to your top performers in front of your team.
Why not deliver your virtual gift cards for remote employees instantly during a live virtual meeting? For example, BHN Rewards now integrates with Microsoft Teams, so you can announce the reward during the video chat, where all attendees can see and comment on it. You can also share rewards in Teams channels. That social amplification makes it more impactful because others can see and can comment on the recognition post.
“Let’s hear it for Rowan this week! Rowan, we’re delighted to give you this virtual gift card you can use to spend on whatever you want. Thanks so much for exemplifying our core values!”
Because you typically send virtual gifts for remote employees through email, it’s important to add a creative spin to ensure it has the impact you’re hoping for.
Think virtual gift cards are too boring or impersonal? They don’t need to be. All you need to make virtual gifts for remote employees more special is a fun way to present them.
Hosting a virtual appreciation event, either once a quarter or once a month, is a great way to make the rewards stand out. Throw a hybrid team party and send each person a digital gift card for a restaurant or food delivery service like DoorDash or GrubHub.
With virtual meeting platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, you can get together to break bread, mingle, and share exciting announcements for what’s coming.
You can also take this opportunity to single out top performers with an on-the-spot virtual gift, making this an event your team will be sure to attend. Blackhawk Network found that 86% of those surveyed said a gift card or prepaid card from their employer would make them feel valued.
No matter what you give them, though, employees want their reward quickly. More than half said it becomes less impactful if it takes too long to receive. Instead of promising them a small bonus on their next paycheck in two weeks or a celebratory party next month, incorporate virtual gifts for remote employees into a meeting or event and distribute them on the spot.