Demonstrating appreciation for your organization’s employees can easily fall victim to the busyness of day-to-day operations. The best of intentions to make appreciation a priority can evaporate faster than water puddles on a scorching ninety-five-degree day—and that’s under normal circumstances. Now, that the pandemic has scattered the workforce to remote locations, it takes even more thought and effort to carry out those best-laid plans.
Bottom line: expressions of appreciation will have to be more deliberate in this era of the virtual workplace. For one, those little moments of appreciation exchanged throughout a workday are no more. Where once a word or gesture expressed simple gratitude, that opportunity no longer exists. No more fist bumps or high-fives in the hallway. Gone are the thumbs-up moments in the break room or the brief conversation at the coffee bar.
The loss of these small gestures, which can add up to a big impact in the stress-relieving department, comes when many folks are feeling the weight of extra stress. So, let’s cue these deliberate, pandemic-tweaked strategies for keeping appreciation at the forefront.
Remember the important days
Whether it be a birthday, a work anniversary, or another event specific to an individual, make a deliberate effort to extend a greeting, via whatever means best fits the situation—a telephone call, an email message, a text, or a video chat. This type of personal-touch outreach says, “You matter. I’m glad to have you on the team. I appreciate you.”
Offer a small stipend toward the work-at-home environment
Considering how the remote workplace scenario was thrust upon millions of employees with little to no warning, the State of Remote Work 2020 Report’s findings, should come as no surprise, namely, that these new office digs range from the dining room to the couch to a closet. So, why not extend appreciation in the form of a stipend to make the remote office more user-friendly and welcoming. A desk, a comfortable chair, a coat of paint to freshen the area are but a few of the ways a home office can become a more productive workspace.
Include the family
The closure of in-person schools thrust homeschooling scenarios upon millions of families. The concern for elderly family members placed extra responsibilities on family life. And the uncertainty of what lay ahead encouraged families to hold their loved ones close. When you embrace the reality of these changes and their impact on family life, the door opens to multiple, tangible ways to express appreciation for your employees’ continuing commitment to their job. Consider what would be helpful to families as they navigate new and challenging waters on the home front, including
- Streaming service subscriptions (such as PBS Kids, Netflix, Disney+)
- Educational resource subscriptions (such as Reading Eggs, Spelling City)
- Meal service offers that provide healthy, convenient meal prep options (such as Hello Fresh, Home Chef)
Continue or institute “Employee of the Month.”
While the structure may require some adjusting, the finer points of an “employee of the month” program still apply. Consistently recognizing the “above and beyond” efforts of employees provides an incentive to go the extra mile. Sing this person’s praises in a company-wide email, highlight him/her on the company’s social media feed, and include an extra little perk, one especially appropriate to the times, such as a late-start or early-exit Friday.
A.R. Mazzotta appreciates the challenges facing businesses across Connecticut. We are committed to finding the very best employment solutions that will work for you as we continue in this post-pandemic environment. Call or text us today to connect with a real person at 860-347-1626, or apply online.