rewards for employees

Don’t Forget To Reward Your Virtual Employees Too– Here’s How To Do It

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. 

Employee Awards 

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. 

Mobile Apps 

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. 

Praise 

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.

photo courtesy of Ariel Besagar via Unsplash 

Texting Co-workers and Clients Within Your Small Business: Pros & Cons

According to Entrepreneur.com, texting may often be the fastest way to communicate when you’re operating a small business. Yet, it’s also important to consider the fact that it may not always be the best choice…

So how can you decide when it’s appropriate to text? Whether you’re sending texts to your customers or receiving them from your colleagues, it’s important to consider the consequences.

Here are some tips on how to use texting to the advantage of your small business: 

Texting Colleagues 

Texting your co-workers can be an excellent way to keep in touch and stay on top of projects. This is especially true if you’re working with a team of virtual assistants, as with VEPAA, and are separated by distance

Nonetheless, you should make sure to follow basic business etiquette.  Be clear and to the point, but don’t use standard text abbreviations. Politeness matters, so spend the extra seconds to type out “please” and “thank you”. Ensure that auto-correct doesn’t change right messages to wrong ones. 

It’s also a good idea to consider whether the situation is one that warrants a text message.  If you’re sending a time-sensitive message, texting might not be the best choice.  Similarly, consider the message itself.  Avoid anything truly serious, like hiring or firing, and try to stay focused on the positive.   

Texting Customers 

Customers often like to get coupons and other information.  Text messaging is a great way to get those messages across. 

Small Business Trends reports that text messages have a 100% open rate and a 98% read rate.  There are a number of low-cost services that offer texting tools, such as Betwext, which charges only $.02/message and has no monthly costs.  With Betwext, you can have unlimited subscribers and auto responses for when customers text back.   

In conclusion, when you send texts to your customers, remember that it’s a business message.  Follow the same rules you would when communicating with your customers in any other format.  If it’s an advertisement, send it at an appropriate time, because most customers don’t like 8 a.m. messages, even if it is announcing a sale. 

In addition, decide ahead of time how many messages you will text per month, and let your customers know what to expect.  A good initial message to subscribers should tell the customer how many messages they will get per month; warn them of potential fees their own provider might charge, and let them know how to opt out. 

 

Do you use texting for your small business? 

Share your experiences with texting in the comments section below!