Top 10 Ways to show employee appreciation during Covid
Posted on November 04 2020
Covid-19 has created quite a stir in multiple businesses across the world. And this has directly impacted employees’ mental health and financial state. The stress of being retrenched, business instability and overall mounting of remote meetings have become quite a challenge.
Fortunately, despite the circumstances, employees have remained loyal and shown utmost dedication to their companies during this demanding time. Hence, employers need to invest time and energy to show their employees how much they mean to the company. A small thank you note, recognition programs, sending them surprise care packages or just doing employees shoutout on social media goes a long way. All you need are some thank you ideas for employees from which you can pick and choose the best ones appropriate for your organisation.
Below is an employee appreciate guide and different creative ways how you can reward employees for their hard work and efforts!
1. Shoutout their contributions
Show that the work they do matters. Whether it’s a project delivery, product launch or simply helping business expand with new partnerships - recognise the teams and the teammates who immensely contributed to the company’s success. Have an online team meeting to proudly announce which teams helped with these achievements. With the company making waves during these uncertainties, the best thing to do is proudly and loudly talk about the champions behind the scenes.
2. Moment Recognitions is the key
While the big formal employee recognitions play a good role, it’s those small informal momentary recognitions that strikes the chord differently. Either when a tiny task is performed or a casual conversation is in place, find yourself being in a habit of recognising the best parts of your employee. Amplify those small achievements or dedication shown by them and express your appreciation in a sincere, genuine and in real-time. Overall, this creates a positive culture in your organisation and enables everyone to inspire others. When given positive feedback in a healthy manner, it improves overall productivity.
And it is said, when somebody feels appreciated, they always do more than expected. So, moment recognitions go a long way.
3. Leverage the power of social media
Give a rest to ‘Employee of the month’ emails and head to social media platforms. As we all know, digital platforms are used for running businesses, knitting people from all parts of the world closer, and creating a close network. The same platform can be used to create a community feel for your company. This can also create a unique brand mission for your organisation and can potentially inspire fellow companies to create a similar employee-centric and employee appreciation culture. After seeking permissions from your employees, head to favourite social platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter pages. Create a company account if not done yet. Post a photo of your employees working hard or a fun quirky boomerang of one of their zoom meetings. Tag their personal account if required and voila, you’ve got yourself a perfect brand and company mission where you believe in boosting your employees’ job satisfaction and recognising all their hard work.
4. Give them time off when they need it
Provide flexibility with your employees’ schedules, leave plans and time off. Thanks to the pandemic, your employees could be working from home in presence of a family. This could consist of a spouse also working from home or kids who’ve been at home for more than 6 months. Since this can be stressful and overwhelming, it becomes vital for them to take a break.
Some companies give their employees regular “time-off” for them to feel valued and help them catch their breath. This is an alternative way of showing employee appreciation that could actually be of value. Especially, ones with large families who desperately need time-off to assess their situation and put everything under control.
Coming from the sales perspective, while this could be too much to ask from your company, think of this as a long-term investment for your well-deserving employees. Giving them regular breaks means you take their stress into account by rewarding your employees and help improve overall company efficiency.
5. Celebrate their special occasions
What better way to treat your employees than to recognise their special days. Whether it’s their birthdays or work anniversaries, it can be obvious yet totally unexpected. Perhaps, send them a set of delicious patisseries to their doorstep or parcel a gift-card they can redeem. Gift card such as treating them to at-home spa massages, food deliveries, or a doorstep pampering session. Create a feel-good factor which will enable them to create love and respect for your company. Perhaps, this could be a lasting memory they’ll cherish for years to come. The key is highlighting how much you appreciate all the time and energy they put into your company’s vision, goals and missions.
6. Have fun and build companionship
Your team is a bunch of people who need constant reminders that they’re all a part of one group working towards one vision. This companionship and camaraderie get enabled when they get opportunities to bond with each other. Unfortunately, due to remote work culture, any chances of building that bond is lost. So, it’s essential to go bold and conduct informal casual gatherings through videoconferencing. Similar to team outings and company lunch and dinner that happens under normal circumstances. Try conducting online games, sharing jokes, chit-chat over what’s going on in the world and even try drinks and food that people can enjoy at their respective individual places.
Take Motorola for instance,
"Taking the time to come together and chat about anything unrelated to work can help your team feel connected despite the distance," said Margie Silha, senior director of program management at Motorola. "The hardworking engineers at Motorola have a long-standing happy hour on Thursday afternoons to unwind and connect on things unrelated to work. The team has continued this tradition virtually and requires that everyone turn their camera on for the gathering. This has helped bring a sense of that culture these employees have grown to know and love into their now-virtual work environments."
7. Lend your ears to their ideas
Simple and direct - one of the straightforward ways of rewarding employees and letting them know that you recognise their efforts. If you have some super energetic, talented employees, take their ideas and suggestions seriously. Also, if they want to voice out their feedback, give a listen to them as well. Ensure you’re genuinely considering their inputs. Some of them would have path-breaking ideas and if implemented, can carve new pathways for your company. This tip could especially work for those employers and companies who’ve not yet imbibed a habit of taking inputs from their employees. Covid-19 pandemic and remote work culture could be a good time to make this positive shift and ultimately build a win-win situation.
Showing your employees you care by considering their career development is also another direct way of recognising their efforts. While company funds may be running low at the moment, creating a clear-cut roadmap for your employees with a good promotion will definitely help. It will give your employees good hope to stay dedicated and focused on the company’s mission while also creating a momentary feel-good factor. With promotion and more valuable achievements added to their resume, they can feel confident about their career progression.
9. Be transparent with your updates
If your business had to reduce their workforce, cut costs or pivot their focus - all these changes are going to impact your employees. And in extreme cases, if employees are going to be retrenched either during or after the pandemic, all this crucial information need to be conveyed to your employees from the beginning. Keeping them in the loop during every stage of your business is absolutely non-negotiable and the key to again showing them respect and consideration from your end.
10. Send a care package - Gift for your employees
This is our most favourite way of employee recognition. Sending your employees a care package such as wellness kit at their doorstep is definitely a mind-blowing and a pleasant surprise for them. A physical product for them to hold in their hand creates a lasting memory that they can cherish forever. If you know what to include in the care package and it strikes the right chords with your employees - you’ve pretty much nailed the bull’s eye when it comes to employee recognition.
Perhaps, have a separate package for men and women. Include bath scrub, bath bomb, chocolate, scented candles, stress ball, essential oil roller blend, face mask, hand sanitiser, etc. Customise packages for male and female employees. Courier them and wait for their surprised facial expressions!
You can also go a step further and create a “Back to Office Party”. Build suspense and excitement around this and gift them the care package to help them wait till the office party is on. Once the office is back to normal operations, throw a grand celebratory party to rekindle the bond amongst your employees. This could be something for the employees to look forward to.
The care packages could be a good way to pamper gift for your employees and indirectly tell them that you “care for them and their mental health”. This is a way of handing them something physical and helping them unwind, de-stress and rejuvenate after countless hours of hard work and never ending zoom meetings.
If you’re looking for corporate gifts in Malaysia, look no further. At Effortless, we recently launched a Corporate Fabulous Kit. This is specifically designed for hard-working employees and likewise managers who all need a break from the humdrum of covid life. It contains self-care essentials that can be used by both the genders and help them pamper themselves!