You appreciate your employees. If you could, you'd give everyone a big raise. You'd cater lunch every day (with great food, too, not just the usual pizza and mystery sandwiches). You'd reward top performers with luxury vacations and hand out gift cards like Oprah hands out cars.
Unfortunately for you and your employees, you're not Oprah, nor do you have the budget for endless generosity.
Thankfully, showing your team a little love doesn't mean you have to break the bank. In fact, there are plenty of ways to make them feel appreciated using virtual meeting technology.
Maybe you need your team in the office most of the time, but letting people work from home on special occasions goes a long way toward making them feel trusted and valued.
For example, implementing summer Fridays has become a hot management trend. Forty-two percent of employers are celebrating the end of the week by letting their teams work paid half-days this season, according to a CEB study reported by Bloomberg. If giving your team a half day off isn't an option, what about work-from-home summer Fridays instead?
There are other days throughout the year when your team would rather be home but you might need them working, such as President's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and that whole week between Christmas and New Year's when kids are out of school and very few non-retail businesses are open.
When you have a cloud business phone system and other virtual meeting technology, you can close your doors without shutting down the business. Even better, when those tools are integrated into a unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) platform, your team can seamlessly collaborate with colleagues and communicate with customers from home or anywhere else.
You don't have to wait for holidays to let people telecommute. Flexibility is a great way to say thanks when employees go above and beyond. For most people, a work-from-home day is more valuable than a Starbucks gift card, and it costs your company less.
Contrary to popular belief, your millennial employees aren't the only ones who want pats on the back and words of praise. They're just the first ones gutsy enough to demand it.
Yet only one in three U.S. workers strongly agree they've received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days, according to Gallup. Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they'll quit in the next year. Gallup also asked employees about the most memorable expressions of appreciation. The top answer? "Public recognition or acknowledgment via an award, certificate, or commendation."
Virtual team meetings, group instant messages, and other company-wide communications forums are great places to acknowledge team members across departments and locations. Invite managers to give public shout-outs to individuals and teams for their accomplishments, both personal and professional. Even better, encourage employees to praise one another as well. It feels great when your boss brags about you, but it means just as much when your co-worker does it in front of your boss.
Coaching and Career Development
If you want employees to feel valued, invest something valuable in them. Money will certainly do the trick, but time has worth, too.
It means something to people when leaders provide ongoing coaching and career development advice, rather than just telling them how they're doing once a year during performance reviews. Most people want to get better at their jobs, eventually outgrow those jobs, and get promoted.
Thanks to virtual meeting technology, leaders can easily coach their teams and mentor high-performing individuals from anywhere — if they can find the time to do it. And that's another area where the cloud helps. Technology supporting the performance management process enables managers to set goals, track progress, and then hone in on the best areas for professional development, either to shore up weaknesses or to develop strengths.
Creativity Is Your Limit
These are just a few ways to express employee appreciation using virtual meeting technology. The best strategies vary based on the size of your company, associated industry, and office culture. Think about your own team. How could you best recognize, reward, and appreciate them? If you don't know, have a virtual meeting and ask them.
Do you want to learn more about UCaaS? Speak to a Vonage Business consultant.