Let’s face it — it is harder to recognize and be recognized these days. Many are rightfully worried about their health, families, and communities, but it is important to remember that recognition promotes engagement and positivity in the workplace. RPI is committed to providing knowledge about recognition and engagement practices for every circumstance. Today, we will focus on how you can hold virtual recognition events.
You might have attended a virtual baby shower or virtual birthday party. One yoga company is even holding virtual goat yoga[LP1] . While virtual events may never be the same as gathering in a room with all of your friends, family, or coworkers, they can be fun and creative.
Bonusly gave some excellent ideas for employee celebrations on their blog including happy hour, pets-welcome day, a game party and more. While these would work great in the office, they do not always translate into an online format. Be creative and feel out what your employees would like and how you can adapt some of these ideas into a virtual format. For example, you could have a pet happy hour where everyone with a pet introduces them to the team. There are also zoom-friendly games such as kahoot — a website that can run trivia for hundreds of people at once (and you can create your own quizzes). There are plenty of options out there to host a fun virtual event.
While maintaining the fun of a celebration, it is also important to keep a similar structure to in-person events. What are some of the main pieces of an employee recognition event? Crew App listed the essential pieces of formal or semi-formal employee recognition that are important in person or virtually:
- A genuine thank-you to the employee or team you are recognizing. Use this time to dig deep and help the person or team understand that they made an impact on you or the organization. This can be done by recognizing specific characteristics, such as communication or delivering above-and-beyond customer service.
- The employee or team is recognized in a way they appreciate. Make sure that you have paid attention to the preferences of the employee or team, such as whether or not they like to be recognized publicly. Even virtually, being called out in front of their peers can be mortifying. If they appreciate public recognition, go for it. Otherwise, consider writing a thoughtful letter or sending a gift to their home.
- The appreciation ties back to the company’s message. If you are recognizing someone for outstanding customer service, emphasize how this was one of the fundamental values the company was built on, for example. By connecting the behavior of the recognized employee/team, you are reinforcing the behaviors you like to see.
- Eye contact. This one is tricky in a virtual context. If you want to look as if you are directly looking into someone’s eyes on camera, do not look at your screen; look into your computer’s camera. It is tempting to look at the screen so you can see the people you are talking to, but if you are giving a meaningful speech, try looking into the camera.
If you combine these essential elements of employee recognition events with some fun and creativity, you will be able to host a wonderful virtual recognition event.
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