Recognition strategies that keep your employees motivated and engaged

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, many American businesses had begun to understand the importance that working from home is to their employees. In fact, a Crain’s survey called Future of Work found that 78% of managers felt “flexible schedules and telecommuting” would be among the most preferable options in employee recognition programs that didn’t revolve around money.

However, even though these managers understood the importance of telecommuting to their employees, a majority of businesses still didn’t fully embrace the practice. That is, of course, until the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to shutter their doors.

As companies allow their staff to work from home, managers are forced to alter how they handled employee communication, employee recognition,  and incentive programs. The new circumstances force many companies to quickly switch modes from in-office to remote management, necessitating a different approach to reduce stress while still operating in an engaged and productive manner.

90% of employees who receive recognition trust their boss


One of the side effects of remote work is that it makes employee recognition and engagement more difficult. It takes away the natural team atmosphere of an office, which makes communication a struggle sometimes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, managers have had to focus more on employee recognition efforts. We all know that recognition is essential. Recognizing employees for good work not only motivates them to continue doing well but encourages other employees to do the same. As Brian Kropp, the chief of research for the Gartner HR practice, says: “Most organizations have focused on scenario planning and necessary operational responses to ensure business continuity. However, these plans often do not address, nor impact, employees’ ability to focus on their work.”

In other words, managers can’t just focus on getting the job done as their employees work from remote locations. Instead, they must be creative in how they come up with employee motivation.

Often, managers focus on money as a motivating factor, but there are plenty of other ways to keep employees on point. They can use this time away from the office to create opportunities for employees to advance their skills. This shows employees that the company cares about accomplishing tasks in the short-term and their long-term success.

Six key strategies to support employees during a crisis

Kropp has pointed out that employees are frustrated, fatigued, and anxious, as the pandemic has affected organizations worldwide. If management doesn’t directly address these feelings, it will ultimately impact employee engagement and productivity.

But how can companies do anything about this in a remote work environment? Kropp says companies need to integrate employee support and recognition as part of their pandemic contingency plans. He lays out six key strategies for doing so:

  • Addressing the well-being of employees
  • Encouraging dialogue to build understanding
  • Using objectives to create clarity
  • Strengthening organizational values to minimize the risk of misconduct
  • Tailoring moments of employee appreciation
  • Driving engagement via innovation

More than half of employees prefer frequent feedback

One of the best ways to incorporate these tips is to show employees that you appreciate the work they’re doing through a structured employee recognition program. 


Employee recognition technology achieves positive results

Today, it’s more important than ever to recognize and reward your employees consistently. With abundant technology at your fingertips, there are great ways to engage your workforce while celebrating their accomplishments simultaneously. 

Modern employee recognition platforms allow an entire team to recognize and praise each other in various ways – even if they aren’t working from the same office location. This is great in the age of remote work, where it can be hard to collaborate and celebrate as a group.

Employees can see who is doing well, what their teammate’s accomplishments are, and join in the celebration.

But it isn’t all about celebration. This technology can be powerful because it allows you to integrate feedback and goal-setting, giving you one seamless hub to manage, engage, and motivate your entire workforce. 

In today’s market, it’s essential you’re implementing a well-thought-out technology strategy that integrates a mobile employee recognition platform like the one WorkProud offers. Platforms like this allow you to recognize team members for their work instantly, while celebrating their achievements, recognizing milestones such as anniversaries and promotions, all while building relationships among the workforce.

The technology you choose should be available on both iOS and Android devices so that your entire workforce can utilize it. 


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive increase in remote workers. This increase is likely to persist as businesses embrace the remote working environment. The key to continually motivating and engaging employees to be productive working outside the office is to integrate an employee recognition and rewards program that fits this new way of doing work.

Today, it’s more important than ever to take advantage of technology to create an employee recognition program that fits your company’s needs.

If you need help adjusting to the new realities that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, contact us to learn how to help your organization thrive.

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