Recognition programs can help promote collaboration and camaraderie withinÂ a remote workforce.
By Marta Chmielowicz
Many companies have been forced to instituteÂ mandatory work-from-home policies throughout theÂ pandemic, but while some employees are findingÂ the transition a welcome change of pace, the shift toÂ remote can be isolating for people used to workingÂ collaboratively in an office.
KPMGâs 2020 American Worker Survey reportsÂ that 34% of employees working remotely say theirÂ relationships with their coworkers have worsened overÂ the past four months, and 35% of all employees sayÂ their teamâs ability to collaborate has deteriorated. AÂ similar percentage say their organizationâs culture hasÂ suffered, revealing the difficulty of keeping employeesÂ engaged without face-to-face contact. Plus, accordingÂ to KPMG, 76% of workers say the demands of theirÂ jobs have increased over the past four months.
How can employers combat the stress of this uncertainÂ time? Research shows that organizations have doneÂ a good job so far supporting their employees. InÂ fact, although employees are coping with significantÂ pandemic-related stress, 73% of workers report thatÂ their commitment to their organization has actuallyÂ increased in the past four months. Helping employeesÂ feel valued can go a long way toward easing theseÂ tensions even further.
This is confirmed in the research: Workers who feelÂ valued by their employer are more likely than thoseÂ who donât to say that their productivity has increasedÂ over the past four months, and are significantly moreÂ likely to say their commitment to their organizationÂ has increased (86% versus 39%).
In these strained times, companies must find waysÂ to build community and maintain the connectionsÂ that help drive workplace culture, problem solving,Â and innovation. One effective solution is employeeÂ recognition.
Recognition is a meaningful way to demonstrate toÂ employees that their team and managers care aboutÂ their work and well-being, even when they are awayÂ from the office. An effective recognition programÂ that leverages todayâs technologies can improveÂ employee engagement, strengthen manager-to-peerÂ relationships and peer-to-peer relationships,Â and deepen employeesâ understanding of theÂ organizationâs core values.
Employee recognition doesnât require grand or formalÂ gestures to be effective; sending out a company-wideÂ email congratulating an employee for their good workÂ can go a long way to making people feel valued whileÂ they work from home. Celebrating career milestonesÂ virtually and supporting a company intranet whereÂ employees can share feedback and recognize eachÂ otherâs achievements can have the same effect.