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How to Adjust your Employee Recognition Program for Virtual Work

If you are like many businesses these days, your workers have gone virtual because of COVID-19. Both you and your employees likely went through a huge initial adjustment process just to keep the workflow going. Now, as things have settled into a routine, you may be wondering how to keep your employees motivated as the pandemic drags on. To keep employees engaged with their work and loyal to your company, it’s very important to show them that you care about them through as much human connection and interaction as possible. You will also need to provide workers with the resources they need to succeed such as a new laptop and to create an employee recognition program that is suited to the stressors we are all experiencing as people and virtual workers right now.


How to adjust your employee recognition program for virtual work

Your old employee recognition program simply won’t work in today’s environment. We are experiencing all kinds of stress and possibly isolation that we were not before, combined with the need to re-learn how we accomplish our jobs. Whatever changes you make, be sure to communicate them to your team and update the employee handbook as needed. Here are some ideas to adjust your employee rewards program to suit the times:

1. Recognize your employees often

It’s more important than ever to recognize the efforts that your employees are making on a regular basis. Consider an employee recognition platform such as Kazoo, Bonusly or Bucketlist that makes it easier to recognize, celebrate and reward your virtual employees. Without this extra recognition, your employees may burn out quickly and lose focus.

2. Provide money for your employees to invest in a charity

Talk about how your company values giving back and offer employees a paid day to volunteer for a charity or provide a bonus to spend at a charity of their choice or from a list of charities that you support. Giving back to a cause that you believe in feels good and as a bonus, supporting your employees to be able to do this shows that you are living your values.

3. Choose a video conference platform to allow for face to face communication

Many people are feeling isolated because of the pandemic so even though communication wouldn’t have fallen under a recognition program in the past, it is an important tool today. None of us can socialize the way we normally would and many aren’t seeing their co-workers around the water cooler at the workplace. Choose a video conference platform like Zoom and spend the monthly fee to ensure that your whole team can interact regularly. Video calls can be used for meetings yes, but they can also be used to setup a weekly or even daily water cooler check in and/or to recognize employees who are doing great work. Another fun idea is to schedule a weekly call for employees to share their pets or introduce their kids to their co-workers. These sorts of enjoyable calls will go a long way to establishing a virtual workplace culture.

4. Reward with local gift cards

Many businesses are still open and in need of the support of local customers. You can support the local business community and reward your employees by allowing them to choose a gift card from a list of options. You can even email or text a digital gift card to them.

5. Encourage professional growth

This could be a great time to pay for online courses that support professional growth or to pair employees up with older / more experienced employees who can provide mentorship for the skills they would like to develop.

6. Keep the fitness budget in place

If you used to allot money for a gym membership or had an on-site workout room, then this is the time to reallocate that money in ways that virtual employees can use. One idea is to pay a yoga or other type of fitness instructor to provide online workout classes. Another idea is to allow employees to use the former gym budget to put toward home fitness items like a small set of free weights or running gear.

How partnering with a PEO can support your business during COVID-19

A PEO provides small businesses with many advantages that they might not otherwise be able to afford. These advantages have become even more important during this international health crisis.

When small business owners’ partner with Makai HR they:

  • Gain peace of mind that they are complying with all of Hawaii’s labor laws, which is especially important when decisions are being made about how to handle a health crisis.

  • Can provide comprehensive health care plans that will give your employees peace of mind about going to the doctor for treatment and testing.

We are also here to support your business if you are working remotely:

  • Our cloud-based platform means that your employees can manage their HR needs through a computer, tablet or phone, making it easier for them to work from home.

  • Our cloud based HRIS platform means that your HR team can manage HR remotely if they are sick or everyone is working remotely.

Pro tip: this is a good time to encourage all employees to update to Direct Deposit to reduce in person bank transactions and continue timely payroll payments. Do not delay. Contact us today to get started!

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