Not so long ago when a project I worked on had a successful outcome, it was easy for my manager to stop by my office or cubicle to offer a personal thank you or job well done. She might also recognize the results of my work in a team meeting; the kudos met with a smattering of applause and even “congrats, man” from around the room.
Since March when our workforces became almost entirely remote, these kinds of opportunities for organic employee recognition are harder to come by. While we may all agree recognizing and rewarding employee accomplishments is still important, it can easily slip as we struggle to balance the demands of driving new business, managing a remote workforce, and maintaining work-life balance at a time when it has never been more difficult.
But with today’s workforce less connected and facing the same struggle to maintain work-life balance and feel like they are contributing, it is fair to say rewards and recognition are more important than ever. Employees need to feel appreciated and need the reinforcement that they are making a difference. They also need ways to feel more positive connections to each other.
That’s the driving concept behind Workmates from HR Cloud. Rewards and recognition become easy and fun and encourage collaboration among employees—no matter where they happen to work. Workmates kudos feature encourages constant, incremental positive feedback so employees can inspire each other and have one another’s backs.
With management approval, employees can redeem their earned kudos for rewards points for things like gift cards to pre-approved vendors, corporate gifts, or other items. Employees can even transfer kudos points for an even stronger connection and culture.
Rewarding staff for going the extra mile is a great way to raise performance and motivation levels, especially today. As managers and HR leaders, you may need to regularly encourage peer-to-peer recognition as your workforce continues to adjust to being remote. That means coming up with some creative ways and opportunities for employees to recognize each other’s efforts, inspire their teammates, and think outside their home office.
To help, we came up with five ways to use kudos to increase teamwork and recognize your employees for the great work they do every day.
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While many of us are remote, so many employees are filling essential roles where engaging with customers, patients, and guests is especially vital. Every employee appreciates when a customer recognizes them to a manager for good service, but not every customer takes the time to do so.
Why not enable your employees to recognize each other for delivering outstanding service? Adopt a type of “see-something, say-something” policy that encourages employees to recognize and reward each other for providing good service, diffusing difficult situations, and going the extra mile for a customer.
To be specific, we’ve seen many examples where one team member will hear the customer say something great about another teammate. “Susan is so great. She was so accommodating when I was running late for my appointment and helped move the schedule around to fit me in.” Instead of letting such a compliment drop, many HR Cloud customers are now using kudos to relay this message directly to the employee.
Seems like a simple expectation, but for many remote employees work and home are colliding in ways they never expected, which can make “coming to work” every day feel like a monumental challenge.
As a manager, it is important to take the time to understand what your employees may be juggling at home: small children struggling with virtual learning, teenagers with too much time on their hands or elderly parents requiring care. Don’t overlook the challenges employees are facing at home; instead appreciate their efforts to find the right balance and encourage them to ask for help when it is needed.
In this case, we’ve seen kudos given to employees managers knew were dealing with difficult challenges at home, acknowledging how much the team (and entire company) appreciated their contributions.
We’re all in this together, and we’re all discovering new ways to cope with home office life and quarantine family raising. So why not have some fun with it?
Encourage your employees to share their “hacks” for working from home and entertaining their families during quarantine days. It could be creating fun backgrounds for Zoom meetings, a quick and easy recipe to feed your family or movie suggestions for young kids. With work and life blurring together, why limit recognition to just work? We’re all seeking new ideas.
Then, recognize the best contributor or anyone who submitted a good idea. Kudos even lets you create custom badges for a project like this.
Employees going above and beyond for the business and the extra mile for their families. What about recognizing employees pitching in to help their communities during COVID-19? From delivering groceries and meals to elderly neighbors to fostering pets in need of care, so many people are finding ways to give back to their communities in their free time. Let them know you appreciate their efforts. You may also find recognizing them inspires their teammates in unexpected ways.
Some employees may be looking for inspiration to break up their quarantine life. Create opportunities by encouraging employees to seek personal or professional development, healthy lifestyle choices and career coaching. You may also consider how to convert these into team initiatives—weight loss or exercise competitions, or peer-to-peers training for example.
Quarantine and work from home can make employees feel “stuck” but encouraging them to try new things together can be affirming for everyone.
We hope you enjoy these five kudos tips for improving employee recognition and rewards. For other suggestions on using HR Cloud’s Workmates solution to manage remote teams and enhance the overall employee experience, please download our eBook, “A Better Way to Communicate, Engage, and Recognize Remote Workers.”
About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.