The office is getting bigger as more companies hire remote workers and assemble remote teams. However, just because your employees aren’t sitting in a cubicle down the hall doesn’t mean they don’t need a little motivational boost every once in a while. Wearing pajamas to work is a great perk, but so is receiving recognition from the boss. If you and your hardworking remote team have recently achieved something noteworthy (big or small), then it’s time to celebrate.
A quick word about remote workers
Remote work is no longer an oddity in the corporate world. A special report created by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics found that the number of workers clocking in from their home office is growing at a blistering pace. In the last 12 years, the number of remote workers in the United States rocketed up by 159 percent. In 2019, nearly five million employees in the U.S. worked remotely, representing 3.4 percent of the population.
Today’s managers need to learn how to effectively communicate and support remote teams. That includes showing that you value their expertise and efforts. One of the best ways to boost team morale and help your employees feel the love is to celebrate their success. Here are nine great ways to celebrate wins with your remote team.
(Guess what? One of our biggest recent wins was publishing an ebook all about effectively managing remote teams. Download our ebook, Improving employee engagement, now.)
1. Recognize the win
Words are powerful things. Sometimes just taking a moment during a team call or video conference to spotlight a team’s great work or to honor the extra effort of an individual will mean the world. Everyone wants to be recognized and respected. If the team was able to deliver a marketing plan on time or a team member stayed up all night making last-minute changes to a presentation, recognize that effort. Say a few words of gratitude. It really will make a difference. (Here are a few more remote team management tips to increase productivity.)
2. Send a little candy
Words are great, but sweets are even better. For a big success, give your remote workers a fun way to celebrate. Recently at Poll Everywhere, we celebrated a big win by sending everyone on our remote team a box of champagne or whiskey-flavored gummy bears. At our next all-hands video meeting, we opened the box of champagne gummy bears and ‘toasted’. It was fun and perfect.
3. Buy everyone lunch
Just because your team is scattered across the country (or across the globe) doesn’t mean you can’t buy everyone lunch as a way to celebrate a well-earned success. Meal delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash make it easy for you to order individual meals from each employee’s favorite eateries and have them delivered for a small fee. It’ll take a little coordination, but your employees will appreciate the effort and the yummy food!
4. Send your top employee an award
A great way to recognize an individual accomplishment is to send your employee a physical commemoration, such as a beautiful card, trophy, medal, or framed certificate. This is a wonderful gesture to celebrate a work anniversary, a big achievement like a top sales month, or an internal recognition, like the employee of the month. Bonus points if you create a unique award, like a fun coffee mug or engraved desk lamp. Need some help coming up with award categories for your employees? Here are ten suggestions from HR Technologist.
5. Throw an online party
Everyone loves a party. After a successful sales month, the end of a big tradeshow, or that pitch to a huge new client, help your remote team relax with an online party. Put on some great music. Share stories. Play fun games. Our Poll Everywhere Competitions is an ideal choice. Generate some fun and interactive trivia (maybe some office or team-specific questions) and put your employees to the test. (Here are 12 tips to get the most out of your Poll Everywhere Competitions.)
6. Gift cards, gift cards, gift cards
Here is a fundamental truth of the world: everyone loves gift cards. We guarantee that every one of your employees will find a good use for a cash gift card. You can also try sending more personalized gift cards. Does Gary always have a coffee cup at his elbow? Send him a Starbucks gift card. Is Gale a huge shopper? She’ll love a Macy’s gift card. Simple and effective, gift cards are one of the easiest most well-received ways to celebrate your team.
7. A day off
Give your remote team the gift of free time. Granting a day off is the perfect reward after your team completes a grueling project. A day off will show your team that you recognize how hard they worked. Best of all, your team will come back feeling rested and relaxed, a great recipe for boosted productivity.
8. An experience
Fun, unique, and exciting experiences are the spice of life, which is why so many offices invest in employee appreciation days. Don’t let your remote employees lose out on this great perk. After a big win, reward your team with an unforgettable experience. Some great options include:
- Dinner at a fancy restaurant
- Tickets for the whole family to a theme park, water park, zoo, etc.
- Fun and unique local tour
- Tickets a local event
The options are nearly endless. You’ll need to research options in each employee’s general vicinity, and don’t forget to tailor the experience to your employee’s interests. (Opera tickets may be a rare treat for one employee and a nightmare for another.) All this effort will be worth the hassle when your employees post pictures of their unforgettable adventures.
9. Team retreat
For those really, really, REALLY BIG wins, pull out all the stops and bring your entire team together for a group retreat. Pick a great locale and fly in your team. There’s nothing like an all-expense-paid trip to show your team members that their efforts really matter. Getting your team members together offers another bonus: Meeting face-to-face is an excellent way to connect with your remote team. These types of trips may take a bite out of your budget, but the camaraderie and good feelings they generate can be well worth the expense. (Here are seven more unexpected leadership training strategies that actually work.)
Learn more about managing remote teams
Planning ways to celebrate a big success with your remote team is loads of fun, but how are you going to keep your team engaged and motivated on a daily basis? Remote teams present plenty of unique challenges for managers. Get the most from your remote team with the help of our newest ebook, Improving employee engagement. This ebook will help you create a vision for your remote team, collaborate successfully with remote workers, and scale your company culture.