Recognition programs can help promote collaboration and camaraderie within a remote workforce.
By Marta Chmielowicz
Many companies have been forced to institute mandatory work-from-home policies throughout the pandemic, but while some employees are finding the transition a welcome change of pace, the shift to remote can be isolating for people used to working collaboratively in an office.
KPMG’s 2020 American Worker Survey reports that 34% of employees working remotely say their relationships with their coworkers have worsened over the past four months, and 35% of all employees say their team’s ability to collaborate has deteriorated. A similar percentage say their organization’s culture has suffered, revealing the difficulty of keeping employees engaged without face-to-face contact. Plus, according to KPMG, 76% of workers say the demands of their jobs have increased over the past four months.
How can employers combat the stress of this uncertain time? Research shows that organizations have done a good job so far supporting their employees. In fact, although employees are coping with significant pandemic-related stress, 73% of workers report that their commitment to their organization has actually increased in the past four months. Helping employees feel valued can go a long way toward easing these tensions even further.
This is confirmed in the research: Workers who feel valued by their employer are more likely than those who don’t to say that their productivity has increased over the past four months, and are significantly more likely to say their commitment to their organization has increased (86% versus 39%).
In these strained times, companies must find ways to build community and maintain the connections that help drive workplace culture, problem solving, and innovation. One effective solution is employee recognition.
Recognition is a meaningful way to demonstrate to employees that their team and managers care about their work and well-being, even when they are away from the office. An effective recognition program that leverages today’s technologies can improve employee engagement, strengthen manager-to-peer relationships and peer-to-peer relationships, and deepen employees’ understanding of the organization’s core values.
Employee recognition doesn’t require grand or formal gestures to be effective; sending out a company-wide email congratulating an employee for their good work can go a long way to making people feel valued while they work from home. Celebrating career milestones virtually and supporting a company intranet where employees can share feedback and recognize each other’s achievements can have the same effect.