It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way we approach work. Many employees are still working from home, or companies have a hybrid model, where teams rotate into the office on specific days of the week. These work arrangements may be ideal for social distancing, but they’re creating new challenges, like keeping teams engaged, focused, and positive when our coworker connections are primarily virtual.
There are a few things to keep in mind when showing employee appreciation, like really listening to what they’re saying and providing serious mentorship. At the end of the day, we’re all humans first and employees second.
As we continue adjusting to remote life during COVID-19, here are five ways you can show employee appreciation for your colleagues.
Shout outs during video calls
Another thing to remember with showing employee appreciation: recognize success publicly and failures privately. Save direct, constructive feedback for one-on-ones, but take the time to acknowledge colleagues who have done a great job on video calls with larger teams.
These can be a consistent part of weekly team check-ins or touch bases. You can also hold special meetings specifically designed for team shout outs. Your employees and colleagues are doing great work — let them know you’re taking notice.
On a Valentine’s Day episode of The Office, Phyllis keeps getting flowers sent to her desk. The other characters are less than pleased because they’re not receiving anything and feel unappreciated.
Don’t let that happen in your workplace. Flowers can brighten up anyone’s mood, and they offer liveliness to the room. Add a personal touch by including a handwritten card or a vase with a photo that has special meaning to the recipient.
Discounts on takeout or food delivery
In a typical office environment, ordering takeout can improve morale and give teams an energy boost to attack the rest of the day. But with current health and safety concerns, your traditional “Taco Tuesday” buffet lunch may not be possible.
Even if you’re not hosting in-person office lunches, you can still replicate those positive feelings by ordering a meal from an employee’s favorite spot and having it delivered to their home. Delivery tools like DoorDash, Favor, or UberEats allow you to send discounts or bonuses for employees that are doing great work or surprise them with a nice gesture. Several of these platforms offer corporate deals for frequent use, so you can be more efficient while spreading even more joy.
Virtual happy hours and game nights
By now, we’re all experts at virtual Zoom meetings. Turn your next virtual meeting into a new kind of experience by hosting a virtual happy hour or game night.
For a virtual happy hour, you could send a bottle of wine to employees, or encourage them to make their favorite after-work drinks. With a game night, you could either work in tandem with a company that hosts trivia parties, or select a game like Jackbox or Among Us where everyone can play from their phones while one colleague hosts using a shared computer screen.
Some companies know the importance of professional development, but don’t overlook personal development and wellness, too. Hosting a virtual wellness program can help employees keep their mental and physical fitness in good spirits. Here at Lucas Group, we’ve started our own virtual wellness program . We encourage employees to participate in challenges and offer prizes and discounts on fitness equipment or gym memberships.
Do you have a special way to show appreciation for your employees? Let us know in the comments below.