Gift Giving Guide for Remote Workers: Three Tips for Success

Oct 23, 2020 | Rewards Programs

Holiday employee gifts

This year, your employees have adapted, adjusted and evolved into a remote workforce to meet the new needs of a virtual world. Now’s the time to properly recognize and reward your virtual team for their willingness to change and their tireless energy to continue balancing the extreme challenges in both work and life.

Don’t just dust off the playbook from last year and send the same old end-of-year gift. Gifting looks different this year, and different is exciting. This is the year to transform your holiday gift giving into something that truly inspires and motivates your team so they are inspired to continue working hard to reach company goals. This is the year you transform your reward and recognition program into a points-based system.

Not convinced? Consider the following “points:”

Employees desire frequent recognition

Admit it, you enjoy when your good work is recognized. Whether it’s a verbal compliment or a physical award, it feels good when someone appreciates you for a job well done. Don’t worry, it’s not just you. In late-2019, we surveyed 3,000 U.S. employees across a variety of industries and roles to determine the relationship strength between employees, employees and their companies and employees and their managers. We took a particular interest in the results coming from those in sales roles. What we found is really no surprise – employees desire frequent and authentic recognition.

Your team members want to hear from you more often, not just during their annual review. They want to know that their hard work is contributing to the success of the organization. The need is amplified for your virtual teams. These virtual team members desire awareness, acceptance and understanding. They want to know they still matter, they are still heard, and you still care.

How points help:

Creating additional ways to offer more frequent recognition is key. Don’t wait until your end-of-year celebration to generate excitement from your virtual teams. Consider rewarding points throughout the year. Start by rewarding points in smaller increments throughout the holiday season and add additional reward opportunities and points as the holidays draw closer. Now, you’ve succeeded in building in more frequent recognition tools to energize and motivate your virtual teams.

Cash isn’t an option

Cash doesn’t motivate your team like you might think. There’s a lot of research that dates back to the 1970s showing non-cash rewards are better at motivating your team and generating ROI than cash rewards. Sure, your team will get an immediate thrill in receiving a handful of cash, but, that excitement fades fast when reality sets in. They will use the cash to pay for everyday, necessary purchases, like gas and groceries. Very quickly, that handful of cash disappears, and so does the excitement. Your employees may not even remember what actions led them to receiving the cash in the first place. That doesn’t help you motivate your team for ongoing success.

How points help:

Our brains react differently to points. Research shows points actually have a higher perceived value than a cash reward. They are exciting to receive and even more exciting to spend. You can’t use points to pay for your gas at the pump, but you can cash in your points for that TV or designer purse that you’ve been eyeing. And, if you REALLY want to pay for your gas with your points, you can always exchange your points for a gas card. Choice is motivating!

Motivating a diverse group is difficult

Remember ordering a group lunch and trying to get everyone to agree on what restaurant to order from? It’s hard to meet the needs of everyone on your team. Your gift giving process is no different.

Your virtual teams are comprised of different age groups, personalities, geographic locations, and even represent people in different stages of their careers. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to your gift giving because your employees aren’t motivated by the same things. But, you have the power to delight your virtual teams by offering them a choice of rewards. Your team will value the opportunity to choose what makes sense to them, and they’ll appreciate your customized approach to gift giving.

How points help:

Awarding and redeeming points is simple, if you have the right program in place. Your employees will appreciate the flexibility and choice in selecting the gift that’s right for them. Plus, in-person holiday parties are out of the question. So how are you going to get all of these awards to your virtual team? Incorporating points will save your budget by eliminating the need to package and ship these gifts to your remote employees.

Getting started

It’s not too late to incorporate a points-based recognition program for your virtual teams. Our Rewarding You platform is the perfect solution to quickly mobilize a revamped recognition program. Rewarding You is an online platform that offers millions of reward options for your virtual teams. Your employees have the choice of merchandise from major retailers (electronics, appliances, sunglasses, jewelry, apparel, etc.) or gift cards for restaurants, entertainment, gaming, home/personal services, retail and spa/wellness. Employees can even cash in their points to make charitable donations to a variety of organizations active in education, human rights, hunger and disaster relief or children’s charities. If your employees want to plan now for future fun, they can redeem points on future sporting events, theatrical performances, musical shows, comedy clubs, vacations and other travel experiences.

Because it’s all online, Rewarding You makes giving and receiving effortless. Our fulfillment is so quick, your virtual teams will receive their awards within three days. You can also add your own branding into the platform so it easily integrates into your existing communication strategy.

This year, you’ve asked your employees to be flexible as they transition into a work-from-home environment. As a leader, your end-of-year celebrations and recognition tactics should follow suit. Give your employees the gift of choice this holiday season with a points-based recognition program.

Samantha Decker

Samantha Decker

Samantha Decker is the Marketing Director at One10. Decker oversees marketing initiatives for all three of One10’s business segments – travel and events, incentives and recognition and marketing services. Bringing unique marketing experience to One10, Decker has led rebranding and growth efforts for every organization she has been a part of and is a strong advocate that purpose and profits can coexist in business. Decker was named a Corporate Connect 40 Under 40, has been published in industry articles, and is currently a member of Team Women in Minneapolis.
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