These past few weeks have been unprecedented for people across Ontario. The imposed restrictions, self-isolation, navigating new ways to be successful impact us all. Through these unchartered waters, it is very important that organizations continue to celebrate their employees as a means to sustain motivation and to create consistent, meaningful connections.
COVID-19 is changing the way people do business. Companies must force their employees to work from home as much as possible in an effort to protect people, while maintaining productivity. This mandatory isolation can be quite daunting, as employees attempt to navigate through these trying times. Working from home can make people feel lonely, as they abruptly moved from group settings and daily interactions with colleagues to a remote experience. Keeping employees happy and engaged is vital to furthering business in these times of struggle. Employees may have the added pressure of staying home all day to work, as well as having to look after their children which can be overwhelming and may result in becoming disengaged from work. This is where an employee recognition program is vital and should be maintained.
Employee recognition programs in Canada are a meaningful way to show employees that they are valued and that you appreciate their hard work. There are many ways to acknowledge the well-being and dedication of your employees.
- Use face-to-face technology like Facetime or Zoom or Skype and invite many employees to sign in so that they have some time to socialize and connect, as well as to be celebrated for their accomplishments in these challenging times. You may be able to congratulate an employee through your employee service recognition program for their years of service or a milestone anniversary. Even though it may seem less personal, virtual reality still demonstrates that you care.
- Shopping local is encouraged during this pandemic, as many small businesses struggle to stay afloat. Perhaps purchasing gift cards for these local shops can become a significant part of your employee rewards in Ontario. By doing so, you create a win-win scenario where both your employees are recognized and your local businesses are given a fighting chance.
- Don't forget the value of a personalized message to an employee who continues to thrive in their isolated working environment. Some employees are so capable and they survive under any adverse or new circumstances, and so they should be rewarded and acknowledged for doing so.
- Virtual employee recognition may encourage fellow employees to publicly recognize the achievements of their colleagues. By doing so, they create a culture of unity; we are all in this together mentality.
- Recognize your employees immediately. Do not wait until day's end. Make acknowledgements timely as part of your employee recognition programs across Canada. Do so through team email or voicemail or video chat. Time is of the essence, in the most positive way.
- Order lunch from local restaurants and have it delivered to their homes as part of your employee recognition programs. Again, you are creating a win-win situation by supporting your employees and local businesses. To make it even more effective, have all the employees sign in to group experience like Zoom, so it becomes like a staff social where people can enjoy some time eating and connecting. Or simply, have meals delivered to your employees homes, so they don't have to cook a meal for their families that day. Regardless of what you choose, the reward is immeasurable.
We are amidst a global pandemic where people's health is at risk. We are naturally social creatures who have been forced to isolate in order to flatten the curve. In these times, it is important to work together and to check in on the well-being of others. Recognizing employees is more important than ever. We must remember to create positive changes in these times so that they eventually become the new norm.