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How to Demonstrate Gratitude: Celebrating & Rewarding Your Team Remotely

Once upon a time, Tricia Sciortino and Lisa Zeeveld had a conversation on a One Next Step podcast episode about practical ways to show appreciation for your team and how to reward them for a job well done, specifically while working remotely. 

Because whether you’ve been working remotely as a team for years or just for the last 19 months or so, many teams are still working remotely and don’t see each other face to face often. 

Having that connection is irreplaceable, and we believe it isn’t lost on a remote team.

We believe in the importance of celebrating your team so deeply that we wanted to open this conversation back up and give you some practical tips that you can implement today.

Engaged and appreciated employees perform better — it’s that simple.

“You work harder when you feel recognized and appreciated for the hard work you’re putting in,” Lisa says.

One of the easiest things you can do is to demonstrate gratitude to your employees and coworkers. At BELAY, one way we encourage our teams to practice this in our weekly staff meetings by way of “snaps” where, at the end of every other weekly staff meeting, the floor is opened to anyone who wants to recognize or commend a colleague.

This is an easy way to get in the habit of showing gratitude often. 

However, something important to keep in mind is understanding how and in what ways your team likes to receive gratitude.

While one of your team members might appreciate a gift, another might enjoy a free coffee or lunch. And for some, a simple ‘thank you’ note or kind message is enough. 

It’s important to not assume the way you see gratitude is the same way your team will. When you take time to interact and get to know each team member, you’ll be better prepared to show them gratitude when the time comes.

Now, you may be thinking, ‘This all sounds great, but how do I make sure this gets done?’


Walking The Walk

When you’re part of a remote team, you may have to flex your creative muscles a bit, but it doesn’t make showing generosity any more difficult, like a Starbucks gift card sent via email instead of a, “Hi, I’m on the way into the office. Can I grab you a coffee? My treat!”

We like to think that what gets scheduled is what gets done. In other words, be intentional about your gratitude. Use calendar reminders to set aside specific times to regularly show your appreciation. Don’t let your day-to-day busyness cause you to forget some of the daily awesomeness your team is doing.

Even as a remote team, you can use events and in-person gatherings to show gratitude. If you’re fully remote, you can still get together on occasion to celebrate what the company, and each other, are doing.

Depending on your budget, get together quarterly, or at least annually, and throw a party! This isn’t about work. It’s about appreciation. Invite a guest speaker, give out gifts, provide amazing food, and just celebrate your team.

Go over the top as much as your budget will allow. Christmas parties are a great opportunity to do this, but also try to get together during the year “just because.”

Here are a few ideas we’ve borrowed from the download provided in the podcast episode’s show notes of what you can do to show appreciation today.

  1. Add ‘Express Appreciation’ To Recurring Meeting Agenda: Schedule time each week to express gratitude to your team member(s), and encourage other employees to do the same.
  2. Decorate Their Home Office: Help spruce up their desk, or home workspace with a new notebook and pen, coffee mug, picture frame, or branded item.
  3. Promote Them: This may seem obvious – and even lofty – but often your next best leader or hire is hiding in plain sight right under your nose. So if they’ve done extraordinary work consistently, it may be time to help them grow within your organization!
  4. Write A LinkedIn Recommendation: Take five minutes out of your day to write a great employee a LinkedIn recommendation – which is especially meaningful coming from management. 
  5. Recognize Life Milestones & Achievements: Mentioning your employees’ accomplishments in emails or message boards is another great way to show your appreciation
  6. Plan Virtual Happy Hours & Game Nights: Set up after-hours virtual happy hours with employees where everyone can enjoy a beverage of their choice and catch up on what’s happening outside of work.

We hope this will give you a good start, but if you can’t get enough, feel free to dig a bit deeper with our 25 Simple Ways to Recognize Remote Employees download.