How to Set up a Reward System for your Remote Employees
Despite the barrage of negative news that we’ve been facing since the pandemic began, the resilience of the human spirit has never waxed as strong as it has in recent times.
It’s important to celebrate our gains, no matter how small, such as successful digital transformation strategies and the possibility of shifting to remote operations, etc.
However, it’s hard to ignore the sweeping changes caused by the pandemic in our personal and professional lives. Changes are likely to leave many disillusioned, dissatisfied, and burnt-out employees.
To help ramp up your remote employees’ engagement levels, morale, and focus during these times, it’s imperative to develop and deploy a well-thought-out reward system.
With an effective reward system, you can motivate your remote workers to take the initiative and assume responsibilities to meet goals and fulfill commitments.
This document will show you how to put together a reward system that encourages your remote employees to take creative initiatives and remain motivated and productive.
You’ll also get to learn how to choose rewards effectively to ensure that your employees feel recognized and accomplished.
1. Understand your Employees and Their Needs
The first thing you should do to lay a good foundation for your reward program is to create a supportive corporate environment. Your remote employees should feel that their voices are heard. They must also be adequately trained to fulfill their duties.
Take the time to understand your employees, where they come from, their personal stories, interests, and goals when working alongside you. Please get to know them individually, but also create the right setting to have a group conversation and allow each member to interact with each other. This way, you’ll be giving everyone the chance to feel related as a team.
When your remote employees feel like they have a place in your organization, they’ll feel empowered and would gladly put their best foot forward in their respective roles with the right level of support and attention.
2. Gather Feedback from your Employees
Don’t just ask for feedback from your employees to understand them. Your employees might also have great ideas about how to optimize operations. Ask for their input to get insight on how to address better your organization’s obstacles, not just their problems.
For your reward and recognition program, ask them questions such as their experience the last time they were rewarded or recognized, what they wish could happen differently next time, or how certain rewards would make them feel.
It’s also imperative to ensure that your remote employees feel comfortable enough with the communication channel providing the feedback. The environment must be laid back and convenient enough for them to express themselves sincerely.
3. Be Clear About Expectations and Functions
Without clear goals, it can be pretty misleading to assess the real impact of your reward program.
You need to set clear goals that consider your possibilities and your team’s needs and interests. Make your employees feel empowered enough to participate actively in building these goals.o
Are you looking to increase sales? Do you want to improve the work culture? Or are you just looking for a way to improve employee engagement? These are questions you need to have clarity about.
Let them know that there’s more to look forward to besides their compensation plans. This way, they’ll want to strive to achieve the agreed expectations.
Another important thing to note is that it’s imperative to set goals but not necessarily the strategies and roadmaps for achieving them. Depending on your team’s proven track records, you can give them some creative liberty on how to meet goals on their terms.
4. Apply Several Rewarding Strategies
Your reward program doesn’t have to be perfect from the onset. Instead, you can try out various reward strategies and ask for feedback to determine which works best for whom. Some effective reward strategies you should try out first include:
i. Learning opportunities
Many remote employees would be happy to get sponsorship to acquire new skills and knowledge that can help them advance their careers and learn new things.
ii. Wall of Fame
Recognition programs like the wall of fame or employee of the month give your employees a sense that they’ve earned a place in your organization. Try to make the criteria easily accessible by everyone to promote fair competition.
iii. Offer Improvement Gifts
Celebrating small wins and surprising your employees with freebies and bonuses can go a long way to inspire them for bigger shots and opportunities. Plus, this would be a great chance to take advantage of important dates like birthdays, holiday seasons, special occasions, etc.
You can either plan group holidays or allow each employee to choose when to take time off.
v. Team-building Conferences
Not every single team conference that you hold has to be business-related. You can also organize meetings to try many different team-building ideas that are fun, inspiring, and rewarding.
vi. Tech Gadgets
You can also surprise them with tech gadgets that make their remote work even more convenient and effective.
5. Be Consistent with your Business Values
Trust and transparency are critical factors for employee engagement. Unlike traditional employees, companies need to use particular policies and methods to build trust with little or no physical interactions with remote employees.
Remote employees need to trust that their organization works with corporate values that will guarantee success and a brighter future for the company. They may lose faith in the company’s sustainability if the management flip-flops on their values.
Even if you dangle juicy rewards in their face, they may still hold their reserves about the capacity of senior executives to steer the company forward.
6. Encourage Positive Recognition
Engagement and productivity rates can be significantly enhanced in a healthy working environment that regularly recognizes employees for their contributions.
You can use recognition programs like the mentioned ’employee of the month’ to spotlight employees regularly rather than keeping their achievements in the dark until the end-of-the-year reviews.
Also, employee recognition needs to be organization-wide, coming from the top-down and colleagues and team members.
Encourage peer-to-peer recognition with measures like leaderboards, bulletin boards, or web forums. These recognition models are shown to improve the working environment and your customer satisfaction levels significantly.
7. Make Your Employees Feel Acknowledged
Besides encouraging positive recognition for notable achievements, you should also make your remote employees feel acknowledged at all times. They shouldn’t have to wait until they do something remarkable before they’re rewarded and recognized.
It would help if you always took time out to acknowledge their passion, drive, and whatever efforts they’re putting in to meet the objectives and expectations of the company.
Everyone feels more motivated to do something when there’s an attractive reward for it. However, to ensure that your reward program produces the right outcome, you need to ensure that you and your employees are on the same page about your organization’s goals and expectations.
You also need to ensure that the rewards resonate with them, and they must also be adequately empowered to dispense their duties effectively.
You can give them the creative license to find their way around problems and use various reward strategies to motivate and encourage them.
However, you need to set clear boundaries, adhere to, and lead by example by sticking to the values and principles you espouse.