A virtual workplace doesn’t mean employees don’t want to be rewarded with physical awards and gifts. The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed many companies to shift to a permanent work-from-home structure. As empowering as that is for both the employee and employer, it can spell bad news for corporate culture and morale. After all, if everyone is working from home and conducting meetings virtually, where’s the time to have informal discussions with the boss or a co-worker, or even better, celebrate one another? Celebrations, though mostly infrequent, are some of the best ways to boost morale for your team or office, whether it’s for landing a new client, or a retirement party for a beloved co-worker.
As more companies, big and small, continue to shift to wholly virtual remote workplaces, managers and executives are thinking about how to retain and promote their company’s culture. How can team members feel like they’re a part of a team when they’re not face to face with their co-workers? One of the best ways to recognize employees is through tangible corporate gifts and awards that highlight their distinction. Most employees work from their laptops, which often doubles as a device for personal leisure. Something tangible nearby to remind remote employees of their accomplishments can help to connect them to their team and your brand.
Virtual Accomplishments Deserve Physical Acclaim
When workers do something outstanding virtually, it’s easy to say it’s difficult to celebrate their accomplishments due to the restricted natures of the digital workplace. While their work may have been virtual, their accomplishments can be translated into personalized tokens of appreciation. Now more than ever employees need to be physically reminded of their skills and contributions to the workplace. Trophies and awards are not only a reminder of the tasks and events they succeeded at but also a rare token in a world that’s increasingly becoming more digital. Despite the booming market of NFTs and virtual goods, physical, tangible products continue to hold more weight in the eyes of the consumer, or in this case the awardee.
Working from home can be a liberating but isolating experience, one that’s mostly devoid of recognition and camaraderie. As the shift continues, it’s important to think about how moments of recognition and celebration can persist. If the workplace in question is entirely remote, it may be beneficial to employees to have virtual events where they can be recognized by their employers. These after work events can be a great way for co-workers to bond over their successes and for managers to give their employees unique corporate gifts that make work all the more fun.
How To Organize a Virtual Celebration for Your Employees
Each company may have different policies for giving out corporate gifts. As an event organizer, spend time reading through rules regarding gifts. Once any issues or questions are cleared up, set a budget for personalized trophies and awards. Then, based on that number, consider how many employees will be invited to the event. Is a specific team being congratulated? Or are a select few achievers part of the event, such as those who have achieved top sales goals? Once the number of corporate gifts required have been determined, it’s time to find a time that works for everyone. A great time to recognize accomplishments is by ending work and hour or too early and having everyone on staff virtually attend a celebration.
It’s also crucial to determine if employees will have the corporate gift shipped out to them before or after the event. Both have their pros and cons. Sending out a gift before the event allows the employee to truly bask in their glory of their personalized trophy or award, but it can also ruin the spontaneity and surprise of being award in front of colleagues. Employees will know what they’ve received, which may make enthusiasm and excitement for the event low.
Sending corporate gifts out after the event will see employees waiting for their award for an unknown amount of time. It may feel odd to be congratulated in front of coworkers but not having anything to show for it until days or weeks after the event. Depending on their location, some employees may even receive their personalized award after some of their colleagues, which could leave some left out.
The most viable option is to ensure that all corporate gifts arrive on the day of the ceremony, so the excitement is still fresh. If employees do receive their gift before or the day of the ceremony, have them display the gift during the event. Speeches optional, though highly recommended.
Employee Award Ideas for A Virtual Recognition Event
Once all the logistics have been sorted, it’s time to dive deep into the unique corporate gifts the recipients will be receiving. While all employees don’t need to receive the exact same award, they should all adhere to the same style and budget so workers don’t feel left out and less then if a colleague received something larger. The one exception to this is for employees who have achieved an insurmountable goal, such as those who receiving top sales awards.
In general, virtual recognition events can gift out the same personalized trophies and awards that are given out at in-person ceremonies. Because employees now have their own home office, it may be beneficial to give them an award that they can always look at proudly when they’re working. Award plaques that can be hanged in a home office are a great choice. For a more luxurious corporate gift, consider bold crystal awards that can shine brightly on a desk or book shelf. For an out of box gift that encourages employees to brush up on their reading, consider engraved crystal bookends that feature the company’s logo, as well as the recipient’s name and distinction.
Put emphasis on having all corporate gifts engraved. Employees will appreciate the idea of having trophies and awards that are one-of-a-kind because it features their name. And because workers have been away from the office for so long, it may be a great morale booster to send out updated company swag that features their team department’s name.
Personalized corporate gifts and tokens of appreciation, whether they are awards to show off on a home desk or plaques to hang, can be a great reminder of success that is divorced from the larger, virtual ether that is the digital workplace.