Virtual Employee Appreciation Ideas

Virtual Employee Appreciation Ideas

As more and more companies begin to embrace remote work for employees, it’s important also to learn to keep them engaged for a fruitful employee-employer relationship in the long run. 

Giving a virtual worker the option to work remotely does not automatically result in them being content and productive. Instead, effective engagement tactics that acknowledge and value remote employees will foster the supportive workplace culture essential for employee retention.

This blog article will explore how virtual employees can be recognized and appreciated for their work leading to better engagement. 

What Do You Mean By Employee Appreciation? 

Employee appreciation is expressing gratitude, acknowledging and appreciating employees’ contributions to the growth of your organization. 

Employee appreciation can be expressed through a thank you note, shoutout, spot award, recognition, and other innovative ways that directly or indirectly tell your employees how much they mean to your business. 

Increased job satisfaction, a boost in employee morale, a rise in employee engagement, and a decrease in turnover are some of the positive effects of sending appreciation to your employees.  

Here are 15 winning ideas to virtually appreciate your employees and build a great workplace culture

1. Virtual town halls 

One of the commonest virtual staff appreciation activities occurs in a town hall. It is a fantastic platform to honor your employees’ work and exemplary performances.

You can honor high performers at your monthly or quarterly town hall, which is attended by the entire staff. It makes your team happy and conveys a clear message about your workplace culture that values hard work and effort. 

Offer a shoutout, let their boss talk a few words about their achievement, and send them a thoughtful award or trophy to recognize the same. 

2. Social Shoutout 

Know someone that does not seek public recognition? 

With more and more companies getting active on social media, especially in professional platforms like LinkedIn, you can leverage its reach through social spotlights. 

You can do an incredible job by curating stories around the people in your organization. For example, you can spotlight your employees for work performance, involvement in social causes outside work engagements like conferences and presentations, coveted certification, engaging with the Employee Resource Groups, etc. 

There are two advantages:

  • Your featured employee is happy to receive such public praise.
  • Your social media interaction and subsequent increase in followers are likely to increase.

3. Virtual celebrations

Appreciation can come from non-monetary means. That can include celebrating the sameness and differences every person brings to the table, so everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. 

This can lead you to initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion for building a people-centric workplace. One of the top virtual employee appreciation event ideas includes celebrating different festivals and days of observance so everyone feels included. 

If a full-on virtual celebration is out of your league, there are event management companies that handle this for you end-to-end that you can always employ. In addition, you can send home festive goodies to your teams to personalize the celebration.

Relevant read: Top employee engagement strategies that work

4. Care packages 

The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are beginning to be lifted in most parts of the world, but there’s still a little fear about contracting the virus and falling sick. 

A thoughtful gesture is to send a care kit for your employees to share your care and concern about their health and well-being. Your curated kit can contain face masks, sanitizer, a digital thermometer, an oximeter, and a blood pressure monitor. 

Furthermore, you can send a self-care kit containing lip balm, body care products, essential oils, tea leaves, bathing salts, etc., so your employees can pamper themselves.

5. Thank you notes 

While virtual shoutouts on Slack and Yammer are always exciting, you could still personalize your thank you with a handwritten note. 

Appreciating employees for the things they do for your business can help build a strong workplace culture that values effort and time. You can also send thank you notes for a certification completed, volunteering done, helping with organizing an event, etc. 

To add something more, you can always send a gift card. 

6. Birthday celebration 

The child in us always enjoys attention and celebration on our birthdays. So to make the day special, you can do a virtual celebration for all employees celebrating their birthdays in a given month. 

You can play a birthday video with pictures of your employees, fun moments from the office, etc., and round it off by sending them e-gift cards to enjoy birthday shopping.  

Such celebrations can create a break from the mundane and tell your employees how much you celebrate their presence which is key to creating a positive work culture.

7. Remote lunches 

Beat the old routine with remote lunches. 

Lunchtime with colleagues at the office is always valuable for getting to know each other, connecting, and creating bonds that sometimes go beyond work. But in a remote setup, the employees need more chances to talk beyond work. So the relationship building in a team is missing and can, in time, lead to feelings of being unseen and unheard. 

To combat that, you can set up remote lunches for your team once a month and give opportunities for them to talk without agenda and get to know them better personally.

8. Coffee chat 

Like a remote lunch to help team members connect, you can pair employees interested in having coffee chats with someone outside their team.

This way, employees get an opportunity to know someone from other teams, learn what they’re doing at work, and build good work relationships that can show up in the friendly work culture of your organization. 

You can also send coffee through food delivery platforms to jazz it up.    

9. Corporate gifts

branded welcome kit by myntra

Gifting is the most direct and effective way to offer recognition and appreciation to your employees. 

Festivals, work anniversaries, and company events are great occasions to send virtual employee appreciation gifts as corporate gifts to your team. It can be most beneficial to your workforce’s employee engagement and retention. 

So, send meaningful gifts to brighten their festive days like Diwali, Christmas, and New Year and special days like Women’s Day and retirement.

Choose corporate gifts from 2000+ options here.

10. Gift cards 

Gift cards are fabulous virtual employee appreciation corporate gift ideas to show appreciation for their contribution to your company’s success. 

It’s common to send gift cards during the festive and holiday season. You can also send gift cards for birthdays, life events like weddings and the birth of a child, graduation, etc. 

Gift cards are also great when you’re running out of time to coordinate corporate gifts. With e-gift cards that can be delivered within 30 mins, they’re handy when you make last-minute decisions to surprise your team. 

11. Charity/Volunteering day off 

Charity matching for every penny you receive as a contribution from your employees for a good cause can be a brilliant way to exhibit your appreciation for their excellent work. This can also elevate your company’s reputation in the corporate social responsibility space. You can donate in the recipient’s name. 

Another brilliant idea is to give a volunteering day off for your employees keen on contributing to society with their time, energy, and talent. You can also spotlight such employees on social media and give them the appreciation they deserve. 

12. Custom brand store 

The popular employee recognition ideas in the recent post-pandemic age include rewards and incentive programs. You can incentivize achievements through point systems and allow your employees to purchase branded merchandise from your store. 

A custom company brandstore is a one-stop shop for all your branding, promotional, and gift items that your employees can shop from. This is a fantastic idea for rewarding your achievers, showing appreciation, and recognizing their efforts. 

By turning to a brand store, you can also eliminate the operational hassles in corporate gifting, which your gifting partner can handle with their expertise.

13. No meeting Fridays 

A little break to reset the rhythm is highly appreciated in a busy, fast-paced work week. This means getting a break from back-to-back meetings, allowing them time to catch up on their pending work or even take a day off with no questions asked. 

This initiative lets your employees know that you see how much they pour into their work and that you appreciate it. 

No meeting Fridays can be once a quarter, giving enough time to rejuvenate and jump back into the drill the following Monday. 

14. Subscription reimbursement 

Another effective and simple to implement strategy is reimbursing select subscriptions that would help your employees at work or even personally. 

Professional learning platforms like LinkedIn, Udemy, and Coursera are well-known subscriptions employees prefer having to network and upskill. However, if you’re yet to integrate such platforms into your system, consider reimbursing the subscriptions and certification costs so employees see you are invested in their growth. 

Consider reimbursing fitness membership for your employees or even getting a discount in select yoga or fitness studios to let your employees enjoy your care. 

15. Flexible work 

If there’s one thing that stands out from the rest as the best employee appreciation strategy, it is the flexibility in the work hours you allow. 

Each employee might be in a different life phase, one facing particular relationship responsibilities, another with personal struggles, and some with special interests. When you create a work culture that supports flexible work, you genuinely show appreciation for your employees. 

How OffiNeeds Helps Companies Plan Employee Appreciation Gifts

Gifts have an intrinsic ability to create positive connections with your employees. 

Our extensive and advanced gift catalog with over 4000 unique products from more than six different categories has made gift-giving easy and practical to more than 6000 organizations in the last 17 years. 

With our expertise in corporate gifting, we’ve helped organizations give gifts on various occasions that have helped in talent attraction, candidate experience, recognition, and retention. Some of our top-performing gifting solutions are- 

  • Welcome/New joinee/Onboarding kit
  • Work anniversary kit 
  • Annual Day goodies
  • Internship kit
  • Marketing kit
  • Wellness kit
  • Trainer kit
  • Sports event kit
  • Team event kit
  • Birthday gift hamper
  • New year kit
  • Campus hire kit
  • Diwali gift hampers and more 

Gift-giving can be stressful. Knowing that we made it easier for you! Check out the OffiNeeds website and start your corporate gifting journey with ease in four simple steps: 

  1. Use the search feature to look for your gifts
  2. Add them to the cart 
  3. Download your custom catalog 
  4. Get in touch with our gift advisors, or visit our branches for help! 

Final Words 

An appreciated employee is often the happy one at work. 

Companies must do more than just offer significant compensation in light of the shift in the job market in favor of employees. That is where employee engagement comes in to picture. 

But makes an employee fully engaged? 

Regardless of the type of work environment (office-based, hybrid, home office), a healthy workplace culture that promotes appreciation and recognition at all levels can be crucial to keeping the talent you’ve already invested significantly.


How Do You Appreciate Working From Home?

You can use easy strategies like offering social media shoutouts, recognition in virtual town halls, no-meeting Fridays, and flexible work hours to appreciate your employees’ work. 
In addition, thank-you emails and internal shoutouts can boost employee morale and make them want to be with you. They’re all inexpensive ways of offering your appreciation yet have a powerful positive impact on the engagement they bring to your workforce.

How Do You Reward Virtual Employees?

You can reward your virtual employees through corporate gifts, sending them gift cards, and giving them a fun way of shopping from your branded merch through the company’s custom store. However, to implement corporate gifting effectively, you need a reliable and experienced corporate gifting partner that offers end-to-end gifting solutions.

What Are The Benefits Of Employee Appreciation Programs?

Some of the benefits of employee appreciation programs are employee engagement goes up, retention increases, boosts employee morale, productivity increases, etc.

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