8 Employee Rewards & Recognition Strategies For Hybrid Workplaces

Author: TASC Outsourcing
Jun 12, 2023
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, organisations have undergone dramatic transformations, giving rise to hybrid workforces. A hybrid workplace can be very appealing for a business, but adopting such a model can come with many challenges. 
Oftentimes, it becomes difficult to manage the workforce because employees are scattered in different locations. As a result, communication, team management, and workplace relationships tend to suffer. On top of that, retaining top talent in a hybrid workplace also becomes a challenge, especially in today’s competitive job market. Because of this reason, it’s essential to set a positive and nurturing company culture along the way. Good employee rewards programs play a paramount role in retaining top-performing employees in a hybrid workplace, ultimately driving the organisation towards success. 

Why Do Recognition & Rewards Matter for Hybrid Employees?

When it comes to a remote workforce, managers may run the risk of overlooking some of the less obvious contributions made by team members. Such instances could easily cumulate over time, causing resentment in employees. Ultimately, it could result in reduced job satisfaction and increased attrition rates. 
A few guiding principles can enable you to offer effective employee recognition awards to hybrid staff. Let’s take a quick look at them – 
Ask your employees what they want from you, and really listen to what they have to say. 
Remember that remote work isn’t a perk or reward in itself. 
Be mindful of biases and proactively look for ways to handle them. Presence disparity, or presence bias, can often leave the impression that in-office employees are the model of your company, leading to managers overlooking the hard work of hybrid workers. Take active steps to recognise biases and tackle them. 
Develop a culture of ‘appreciation,’ even when communicating online. If most of the communication occurs through video calls, messaging tools, and emails when outside the office, these communication channels should be used to tell ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ to individuals and the team on a regular basis. It’s important to understand that people want and need to be appreciated. 
Give alternatives and options for employee rewards and recognition to the hybrid staff. 

Rewards And Recognition Strategies That Work For Hybrid Workers 

Here are the best employee rewards and recognition strategies that should be part of your recognition program to acknowledge and appreciate your hybrid staff members – 

Make It Personal

As a leader, you need to appreciate every individual's unique contribution to the organisation. Therefore, you must have a thorough understanding of each employee’s aspirations, abilities, and strengths. By having rewards aligned to the needs of each individual personally, they automatically become more meaningful and valuable. 

Encourage Pee-to-Peer Recognition 

According to a 2015 survey, recognition by peers was considered to be ‘two times greater’ as compared to recognition from supervisors. The researchers pointed out that the recognition received from co-workers was perceived as a sign of integration, acceptance, and membership. 
By leveraging the findings of this study, supervisors and managers can foster a culture where employees are encouraged to recognise and appreciate other members. When done right, it can have a positive effect on job satisfaction, motivation, employee morale, happiness, mood, professional commitment, and perceived organisational support. 

Make It Real & Authentic 

Employees must feel like they’ve earned the reward or recognition they receive from supervisors. Therefore, managers must look for opportunities that truly warrant acknowledgement and use genuine methods, verbal and non-verbal, to show their appreciation. 

Organise Virtual Celebrations 

Because you don’t get enough opportunities to build strong relationships in a hybrid workforce, it is essential to include virtual celebrations in employee recognition programs. Whether it’s a service anniversary or birthday party, ask your staff to join a video call together for lunch. 
Apart from decorating your backdrop, you can include party games or wear costumes to make the celebration fun and engaging for all. Being virtual will allow you to be creative, and you should make the most of it. 

Offer Instant Recognition 

In a hybrid work environment, it is not possible to walk over to someone’s desk and say ‘thank you.’ Because of this reason, it is essential to take a mental note of instantly recognising your staff through phone or video calls, making it more impactful and meaningful to the recipient.
It’s also important to learn whether the person you plan on praising is comfortable with receiving appreciation in a group. If not, you should make it a one-on-one call. 

Send Gifts Or Flowers 

You need to show how grateful you are; flowers and gifts are wonderful ways of expressing that. Standard gifts like chocolates, dry fruits, potted plants, and cards will work incredibly well in your favour. 

Celebrate Milestones 

You should treat your staff like a family, which is why it’s important to celebrate milestones. You can use personal and professional milestones as legitimate reasons to organise a virtual celebration. Not only it helps recognise your employee’s efforts, but it also gives an opportunity for everyone to unwind. If you don’t mind doing something extra, try arranging and delivering festive treats to everyone. 

Check In Regularly 

As a manager, you might find it unnecessary or cumbersome to take time out to say hello to your staff. However, these interactions can be extremely valuable in fostering the much-needed connection between you and your team.
Here are a few recommendations from Gallup that you can apply while modifying your employee recognition framework - 
Begin every team meeting by recognising at least one team member on the call for their exceptional work in the last week. 
At the end of every week, identify three individuals who have been helpful to you throughout the week. You can choose to recognise them publicly or privately, based on your understanding of their preference. 
Proactively think of creative ways to make your recognition efforts more special. 
If you lead a fully remote team, make it a point to organise non-required virtual hangouts regularly where your employees can connect socially. You can use these occasions to support, praise, and encourage your team. 

Embrace Hybrid Work With TASC Outsourcing 

Many of the recognition strategies managers use in face-to-face employee award programs can be adapted to a remote or hybrid workforce. Thanks to the many digital tools available in the market, all it takes is a little thought and consideration for organisations to adopt a rewards and recognition framework that is inclusive of remote and hybrid employees. 
At TASC, we understand the importance of adapting to modern work environments, and we are here to support your company in navigating the complexities of the hybrid workplace. Our expertise in HR recruitment and management solutions ensures that we can help you create and implement effective employee rewards and recognition strategies tailored to your unique needs. 
Reach out to TASC today to discover how we can empower your business to thrive in the era of hybrid work.