At VEPAA, we believe that employees deserve rewards– and the same is true for virtual employees. Rewards for employees are great ways to motivate them and keep them working. Small businesses face problems when it comes to rewarding their employees primarily because of cost, and the issue becomes all the more complex when you consider virtual employees.
In this regard, Wayne Turmel of Moneywatch points out one thing that is extremely important. He notes that unhappy managers don’t waste any time contacting employees, while remote employees, even when they’re doing everything right, may rarely hear from those same managers.
So, how can small businesses begin rewarding remote employees for producing good work? Here are some ideas:
Virtual Bulletin Boards
It may not sound like much of a reward, but one thing that virtual workers miss out on is the ability to chat with each other.
In a traditional office, there’s always someplace to gather and talk. However, in the virtual world, there are few such spaces made for socializing. Therefore, allowing employees to meet and greet using online bulletin boards is a perk that many employees will appreciate. This gives them a sense of community– something that is otherwise lacking in the new virtual business world.
Just because you cannot reward your employees in person doesn’t mean you can’t can’t present awards at all.
Most word processing and basic desktop publishing programs allow you to make certificates that can be presented virtually. You can present awards using virtual bulletin boards, email, or even e-newsletters. This way, you can reward employees publicly. In turn, these rewards will act as incentives for other employees to work harder.
For those that want to go hi-tech with their rewards for employees, there are free mobile apps to download and use. Amongst them is an application called iAppreciate.
iAppreciate lets small businesses “celebrate employee milestones, appreciate efforts, and rewards results.” It also lets employees send inspiring message to each other. Another app, Globoforce, allows employees to be nominated for awards, receive awards, and to view and congratulate other employees for awards they receive.
Possibly the simplest way to reward your employees is to praise them. It takes little time and effort, but a quick email and text message lets your employees know you care.
To make it even better, go the extra mile and use a non-virtual thank you card. In an otherwise virtual world, sending a piece of snail mail shows that you’re trying to make an impression, and truly appreciate what your employee has done.
What has your small business done to rewards its employees?
Share your ideas and experiences with employee incentives and rewards in the comments section below.