“Acknowledging an employee’s best work goes a long way toward making them feel valued and appreciated.”
This is a statement made by Jeff Chiu, vice president of Human Resources for UCSF Health. The University of California San Francisco recently implemented a digital platform designed to improve the flow of communication when it comes to employee recognition.
The science behind the new system checks out: 86% of companies with employee recognition programs cite an increase in worker happiness. Still, it can be particularly difficult for those who work remotely to feel as though they’re recognized and appreciated by their employers and teammates. How can you and your telecommuting colleagues use the mentality behind UCSF’s “THANKS” program to better communicate and connect with one another?
Here are a few simple ways to foster a sense of community and engagement with your telecommuting teammates.
Get Going With Games
Whether you see your coworkers in the office several times a week or have never even met them in person, connecting through mentally stimulating online games can help to foster a sense of engagement and teambuilding. The Couch Manager compiled this handy list of virtual games that are fast, easy, and effective at bringing your team together, regardless of job titles, salaries, or work duties. And, of course, fantasy football is always a popular option for building a friendly rivalry among coworkers.
Make The Most Of Email
Taking advantage of email is an underrated engagement tactic, but it’s a viable yet casual way for employees to keep each other in mind during their daily activities. It’s simple — every so often, send out an email to your teammates asking a personal or work-related question. Then, each person can respond to the email at their convenience using the ‘reply all’ button so that everyone gets to see each other’s fun answers. These types of icebreaker questions help teammates feel as though their voices are being heard and appreciated.
Schedule Virtual Coffee Talks
Even though even though 80% of employees view the option to work remotely as a job perk, it can often feel repetitive and easy to get stuck in a productivity rut. To alleviate this, coordinate a time with your remote teammates to have a virtual meeting at a local coffee shop of their choice. While connected from a different location than usual, employees have the chance to brainstorm and work together in ways that may not usually be possible. It will also leave employees motivated — and thoroughly caffeinated — for the remainder of the day.
Ultimately, working as part of a telecommuting team isn’t always easy, but figuring out ways to work together more efficiently is the best way to reach your full potential as both an individual and a member of a valued team.