How to Reward Remote Employees


Tracy Givens

Feb 23, 2023


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Human Resources

The rise of the hybrid-remote workforce has altered the landscape of many business models. When your workers aren't required to be physically present, figuring out how to reward remote employees for excellent work can take time and effort. Here are ten creative ways to reward them.

Why It Matters

Man posing with an award

It goes without saying that employee appreciation is one of the keystones of a solid workforce. Everyone likes being rewarded for their accomplishments, even the ones that are modest in nature. When fellow team members chime in to show their appreciation, the employee feels less like a cog in the machine and more like a valued family member.

Here are a few things you might not have considered when it comes to employee appreciation:

  1. 69 percent of employees claim that stronger recognition would motivate them to remain with the company.
  2. When employees are recognized for specific tasks or actions, they'll be more likely to step up again.
  3. This type of recognition helps employees feel valued in their jobs instead of as if they're expendable.
  4. Businesses that pay close attention to recognizing employees enjoy increased worker participation.

Ten Ways to Reward Remote Employees

Now that you know why building a strong recognition culture is important, let's talk about how you can extend that culture to include your remote workers. These tips will show you how to reward remote employees in ways that benefit both the workers and the company.

1. Establish a Platform

Man talking through the phone

Your first step should be to find an employee recognition platform that uses a mobile-first approach. Ensure it's equipped with enough features to keep team members engaged without overwhelming them. The goal is to allow workers to regularly provide one another with recognition, thereby creating the company culture you're looking for.

2. Create a Schedule

It can be easy to let simple tasks fall through the cracks when you're busy. Set up a reminder to provide recognition to your remote employees regularly. It doesn't have to be complicated—a simple "Thank You" message on a Slack channel can work wonders. Note that you'll want to offer more personalized messages for larger tasks, such as completing big projects. Your valued employees are sure to return the favor by working even harder toward their goals moving forward.

3. Set Up a System

A basic "thank you" is a good place to start, but it will only take you so far. Monetary recognition—or any points-based rewards system that provides tangible goods—should be the next building block in your tool kit.

Set up a reward system that allows workers to accrue points weekly or monthly, whichever works best for your business model. They can redeem them for rewards from the platform's catalog when they've earned enough points. This is a good system because you'll be allowing employees to select items they actually want, as opposed to simply gifting them with something generic and hoping for the best.

4. Offer Incentives

Woman offering money

Motivating remote employees can be challenging, so feel free to get creative. This technique is also a good solution if you're wondering how to increase customer sales.

If you're wondering how to reward remote employees, offering incentives is one of the most effective ways. You can incentivize team members who close the most deals or complete the most projects. These can include more flexible online work hours, tuition reimbursement, or referral programs. Set up health and wellness challenges, or offer attendance bonuses to anyone who meets or exceeds their quota for online work hours.

5. Write LinkedIn Recommendations

Writing a brief recommendation on LinkedIn will take little time out of your day, but it will immediately boost employee morale. Anyone who views the worker's profile can see your glowing review. How could employees feel undervalued when you've offered public recognition of their dedication and skill?

6. Give Gym Memberships

Whether it's something you offer to your on-site workers or not, gym memberships offer excellent rewards for remote workers. Since working from home can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, they're bound to appreciate your thoughtfulness.

As a bonus, physical exercise releases endorphins responsible for triggering positive feelings. So when workers use the gym subscription, they're bound to be more active on a mental level as well.

If you don't think a gym membership will work for certain employees, you might consider gifting them standing desks instead. That will encourage them to be physically more during the work day without exerting themselves too hard.

7. Implement a Personal Development Program

Slogging through the same list of tasks every week can make workers feel as if they're stuck in a rut. But when they're personally invested in the project, they'll attack it with more enthusiasm.

As a reward for hard or outstanding efforts, offer employees the opportunity to select a project to work on for the week. Since they'll have the freedom of choice, the task will feel less like a chore and more like a pet project. That means they're more likely to turn in excellent work, which is what you're rewarding them for in the first place.

8. Set Up a Mentoring Program

Mentor program through videocall

How many remote employees do you have? Will many of your on-site workers be encouraged to make the transition soon? Though the hybrid-remote model sounds good on paper, it's only for some. Some employees find working from home to be a real challenge—enough so that they might even seek employment elsewhere.

You can make the transition easier for new remote workers by having veteran employees as mentors. These senior team members will introduce the new recruits to the remote workforce and company culture. This system has the added effect of letting your long-term employees know how much you trust and appreciate them.

9. Feed Them

On-site workers might have access to a coffee or break room, where they can help themselves to complimentary snacks and beverages. For obvious reasons, this is different for remote employees. Fortunately for you, there are many creative ways around this roadblock.

If time and circumstances allow, pack snack boxes and deliver them to workers' homes. This is a personalized method that employees are sure to appreciate. Alternatively, you can offer restaurant gift cards and meal delivery kit subscriptions as employee bonuses.

10. Recognize Milestones

Now is the time to start if you still need to reward your employees on their work anniversaries. A small, personalized prize will show your appreciation and make the employee proud to work for your organization. Consider gifting them tickets to concerts or other live events, charity donations, or gift cards to your local supermarket.

In Conclusion

Providing incentives to on-site workers might come more easily, but if you want to know how to reward remote employees, you have plenty of options. Even something as simple as a handwritten note can mean a lot, especially since you only have many opportunities to thank remote workers in person.

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