Why Employee Recognition is Critical for Remote Teams to Thrive

Why Employee Recognition is Critical for Remote Teams to Thrive

The near-overnight shift to mass remote working brought many benefits for workers, but also threw up a raft of new challenges for people leaders and organisations.

Aside from the essentials such as the right technology, team comms platforms and security considerations, businesses have had to think of new ways to maintain their cultures and support employee engagement in a new online workspace.

With many teams now physically disconnected, more and more organisations are turning to employee recognition to help.

What is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is the act of showing thanks for your employees’ continued contribution is a timely and meaningful way – often at little to no expense.

Recognition can take many forms, from informal ‘thank yous’ to public showings of appreciation, such as through an organisation-wide online employee recognition program.

At the core is making sure that an employee feels valued by their organisation and that their ongoing contributions are noted.

How Can Recognition Support Remote Teams?

Employee recognition has become increasingly important amongst remote teams because the opportunities for impromptu, informal moments of appreciation have become scarce. Where once a manager could lean over a desk and say well done on a piece of work, recognition now requires more planning – or at least, a system or environment created whereby recognition is expected to take place where appropriate.

Where modern approaches to recognition, such as the adoption of social recognition platforms, has also helped remote teams is keeping that sense of connection.

Working remotely, despite the use of centralised communications platforms, can become quite detached from their colleagues and interactions purely focused on work. Recognition is critical here as it elevates interactions between managers and teams, as well as peer-to-peer, to ensure that thanks and appreciation are given and shown.

And when recognition thrives, so does engagement. Since the pandemic, employee engagement has started to fall, and the lack of interaction and the inability of organisations to transfer in-office cultures and practices into a digital workspace are partly to blame.

Through regular recognition supporting engagement, teams feel more connected, more aligned with the organisation’s values, and more committed. This is especially important in the age of quiet quitting and rising employment rates – companies need more workers than what is available, so hanging on to your current best employees is more critical than ever.

And lastly, but by no means the least important, is employee health. Mental drawbacks from remote work such as burnout, feelings of isolation, anxiety and stress have risen, especially off the back of such a turbulent period for both health and the economy.

Employee recognition has an almost magical ability to alleviate some of the very real stresses of work and support employee wellbeing.

Being recognised frequently helps alleviate some of the stress that comes from fears over job security, or worries about performance in general. And there’s plenty of research that highlights just beneficial giving recognition itself can be to our health. Good social wellness, grounded in high-quality interactions, improves happiness and contributes towards a more sustained sense of wellbeing.

And with workplaces losing up to 27 days of productive time per employee per year due to wellness factors, any initiative that can improve engagement, periodicity, loyalty and health, is an investment well worth making.

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