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Virtual ways to recognize employees

Reading Time: 5 minutes

There are a thousand reasons to thank and publicly recognize your employees right now. As COVID-19 continues to impact our personal and professional worlds, everyone is working especially hard to keep it together while still moving forward. We can all use a reason to celebrate right now, so let’s start by recognizing one another for the contributions we’re making to our teams and companies. Of course, our former in-person methods must be updated with creative virtual ways to recognize employees. 

More good news: celebrating your coworkers publicly is also very, very good for your organizational health. 82 percent of employees say they are happier at work when they’re recognized. And, employee recognition is directly tied to retention: 55 percent of employees seeking to switch jobs list lack of recognition as their top reason for leaving, and 69 percent say that better rewards and recognition would encourage them to stay. 

In fact, employee recognition strengthens all elements of employee engagement. It boosts productivity, company loyalty, manager-to-peer relationships, peer-to-peer relationships and employee connection to company values. 

So, how can we meaningfully recognize team members right now? How can we trigger moments of gratitude and recognition throughout the employee experience? Here are a few ideas and examples. 

Recognize and welcome new employees 

When thinking through how to create moments of recognition throughout the employee experience, start before the first day or during onboarding.

Send thoughtful notes and welcome packs before the start date. And, an added bonus: if your thoughtfulness made an impact, team members might even share this experience on their own channels.

Also important: those first few moments set the tone. First impressions start to form long-term ties… and turn into stories about culture.

Recognize and applaud employee contributions

Along the employee journey, recognize work well done soon after it happens. You can be both creative and timely, even with video. At Stories Inc., we assist our clients in creating first-class virtual employe recognition videos. Using our Virtual Story Session service, we capture stories of team member contributions in a way that visually honors their work. The combination of compelling stories and engaging visuals makes for great employee engagement content.

Check out an example of one of our own employee recognition stories, where a Stories Inc. partner recognizes and celebrates our Head of Marketing for her amazing contribution during the early weeks of the pandemic.

Of course, employee recognition videos like this make for excellent recruitment marketing content, too. This story also gives candidates a ton of insight into our culture.

Another innovative idea: develop a wholly new award for employees working remotely during COVID. ALKU created the “Corporate Cup Program, a weekly honoring of an employee or group for their contributions while working from home.

When maximizing for employee engagement and recruitment marketing impact, add a social shout out!

Recognize and celebrate employee anniversaries 

The old work anniversary announcements in quarterly staff meetings are due for an upgrade. Really celebrate team member anniversaries by gathering the most memorable moments from that team member and compile a celebration through stories.

Via Virtual Story Session, we combined our culture story methods with high-quality footage of Christian, captured virtually in his home office. Then we added additional photos and graphics to bring his memories to life. The result was a celebration of Christian that he was proud to receive and share, but it also shared a lot about his workplace, too.

When you celebrate a team member through stories, you’re shining a spotlight on their accomplishments. Plus, you provide key insight into what it’s like to work at your company. Ask the team mate if you can share their story on your corporate and candidate-facing marketing channels for added content mileage.

The multiple impacts of employee recognition stories 

Recognizing employees increases their engagement at work. And, it improves retention, too. You don’t have to stick to tired old ways to recognize employees. When you use a story approach, you’re creating content that honors and recognizes … while also creating candidate-facing content. 

Learn more about employee engagement and talent brand content that works

Get more helpful tips for creating employee engagement and talent brand content in our downloadable guide!