Managing Staff From Afar
There are a variety of reasons why you’d need to up your game when it comes to effectively managing and rewarding a staff that you don’t work face-to-face with on a daily basis. Not only is there an overall increase in remote working scenarios these days – think outsourcing, telecommuting, and extended leave situations – if you factor in the global pandemic underway, it’s quite clear that we need to hone our strategies for managing our distanced employees and keeping everybody unified despite the lack of proximity. It’s been proven that when people feel valued and recognized in the workplace, productivity soars.
Here are some tried-and-true treats to offer the troops when the time is right:
Gift cards are slick, convenient, and plentiful, and people love to have them on-hand when picking up takeout food from a new place or shopping at the mall. Remember though, gift cards have come a long way in recent years and are prized for their versatility. Not only can you buy dinner for your employees via cards from nearly every restaurant you can name, but you could also get a more general “credit” or “gas” card from your desired company, and this could be applied to all sorts of other items and customizable for each recipient.
Additionally, there is often a corporate and/or bulk discount available when purchasing from certain companies or membership discount stores. Be sure to look around both online and in your area to see if there are any other bonus savings you can take advantage of.
Everybody loves a good “Employee of the Month” award, but rewards like this really only make a difference if it is regularly and visibly done. And it doesn’t hurt if there is some sort of bonus incentive as well! Take this opportunity to really heap praise on the team while elevating one member of the group. A web video conference with a ceremony of recognition could be fun, too – not all our Zoom meetings have to be task-related after all.
A fun and specific idea comes in the form of a care package, and it’s a great chance to get creative. Some companies are starting to ship edible and drinkable things to their staff at home to keep them motivated throughout the day. Consider sending out snack packs, sachets of coffee or a variety of tea bags with foil hang tags to your crew – you all can bond during the morning staff meetings with your matching snacks and drinks.
This is one of those present caches you may not have considered, but you likely already have some merchandise on hand that could be repurposed for your team. If not, consider investing in some! Useful everyday items branded with the company’s logo and colors are a simple way to load up your staff with free stuff while spreading awareness for your company. Ideas include comfy loungewear for the home office, coffee/thermal cups or travel mugs, blankets, or writing implements. Think outside the box – you can have a lot of fun with this idea no matter your budget!
Like it or not, no matter how fulfilling or lucrative someone’s day gig is, just about everyone relishes an opportunity to step away from time to time. You can be the most respected boss on the block, and this will always be true – so don’t take it personally. Imagine how sweet those bonus vacay days will feel for your teammates when they know it is based on how well they have done and is a result of how much you and upper management appreciate their efforts. It’s a wonderful feeling, so go ahead and pass on some “good behavior” time off to your crew.
One final thing to consider is simply stepping into the shoes of your employees for a few moments and try to consider what their needs and wishes would be. If you were them, how would you like to be thanked? Remember, rewards are about the recipient, so make sure you keep their interests at heart when doling out the recognition.