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How to Set Up a Recognition Program for Your Hybrid Team

A hybrid work environment is the future of work. It's how employees will work from now onwards – partially from home and partially from the office. 

Due to the pandemic, we experienced how remote culture and hiring remote employees has its advantages. Hence, it is no surprise that hybrid work culture has become more prevalent. According to a study, 44% of organizations are currently working in hybrid systems. 

A hybrid work system is gaining so much popularity lately because it allows employers to harness flexible schedules. They can always ask their employees to work from the office or remotely based on their work requirements. Thus, it is beneficial for both employees and employers as they get work flexibility. 

But remember, a hybrid work environment is totally different than your traditional work system. You might get a more personal touch in a hybrid than in remote work culture. But, there are still many communication, collaboration, and team management challenges that hybrid managers have to tackle before creating a smooth workflow.

In addition, your traditional employee recognition approach will not work in a hybrid workflow. Since your employees are not always working from their desktops, you can not measure their performance in real-time and reward them without involving them on a personal basis.

Therefore, in this guide, we will discuss how to create a recognition program for hybrid teams. Also, we will focus on different challenges and solutions that hybrid managers can use to provide better recognition to their employees. So, let’s get started.


Challenges to Setting Up a Hybrid Employee Recognition Program 

Employee recognition is extremely important to improving the morale, engagement, and retention rates of your employees. In fact, a study shows that engaged employees are 94% more productive. Therefore, it is essential for you to create a proper hybrid employee recognition system to drive maximum productivity from your engaged hybrid employees.

However, it is not that easy to create a recognition program for your hybrid employees. There are some challenges that you have to cross first, such as:

  • Possibility of unconscious bias against on-site and remote working employees. 
  • It is challenging to establish smooth communication and collaboration between on-site and off-site employees. 
  • Ensuring that both remote and office employees are treated equally.
  • Setting up equal performance measurement factors for physically working and remotely working employees.
  • Remote employees often feel lonely and feel they do not belong in the company. Therefore, it is challenging to reassure them and improve their morale. 

Why Is Recognition Important for Hybrid Employees?

Recognition is a way of appreciating your employees and rewarding their hard work. It helps to boost employees' motivation and encourages them to work harder. But unfortunately, a report suggests that 52.2% of employees are not happy with the recognition they receive from their managers.

And in a hybrid system, employees and managers already have physical distance between them. It is getting even more challenging for managers to recognize their employees. 

Therefore, it is essential to have a proper employee recognition program in order to keep your hybrid employees motivated and maintain a positive organizational culture. Besides this, recognition helps hybrid employees in different ways, such as:

Negativity is eliminated

Recognition can help to eliminate negativity from your workplace. When your employees know that you will use standard protocols and methods to reward their efforts, there will be no jealousy or team conflicts in your organization.

Improve Employee Retention 

Poor employee turnover can be expensive and time-consuming. It can impact your workflow when your employees often quit their job. You have to regularly work on recruiting new employees, providing them with adequate training, and helping them adjust to your hybrid system. 

It can take away the majority of your time that you could have used to improve your workflow. Thanks to employee recognition, you can now keep your hybrid employees engaged and motivated throughout their journey. This will enhance their employee retention rate and free up your time to focus on growing your business better.  

Boost Employee Engagement

Are your hybrid employees engaged? Do they feel connected to your company culture? If not, then you are not the only company today suffering from low employee engagement. In fact, a recent employee engagement study reveals that only 38% of Americans are actively engaged at work.

With the recognition, you can include hybrid workers in your daily organization operations. You can appreciate the small efforts made by your team members. This will eventually improve employee engagement, leading to elevated productivity and employee loyalty. 

Push Your Employee’s Morale

One of the biggest hybrid workforce challenges is that employees deal with loneliness and rapid work shifts. Frequent workplace changes and working alone in a remote environment can depress many employees. So, your small appreciation gestures can motivate your hybrid employees to work harder and become more productive. 


How to Recognize Hybrid Workers?— Step-by-Step Process 

It is established that employee recognition is essential for hybrid workers' productivity. So, the next step is how to set up a recognition and reward program in a hybrid system. 

Here’s how you can recognize your hybrid workers in 4 steps:

Step 1. Get the Right Tools

Foremost, you have to equip yourself with the right digital tools to bridge the gap between your remote and onsite workforce. You also need tools to measure performance and monitor the progress of your workers—both onsite and offsite. 

Here are a few basic tools that you need to set up a hybrid employee recognition program—

  • Employee recognition software like Empuls, Bonusly, Vantage Circle, etc. will allow managers to recognize workers instantly despite their geographical location. 
  • Remote employee management dashboards like Teamdeck, Bob, ProofHub, etc. for assigned tasks and create organization-wide visibility of those being rewarded and recognized.

Step 2. Set Recognition Terms and Conditions 

Once you have all the right digital tools in your hand, you can define parameters to recognize or reward someone in your organization. You should lay down all the recognition terms and conditions so your offsite and onsite team members can stay on the same page. 

This will also help hybrid workers know what to do to receive recognition. For example, if you reward employees who bring in more leads in a month, you should tell your staff how you will be measuring lead quality and what reward they will receive. 

Ensure to write a proper employee recognition policy to bring transparency to your operations. 

Step 3. Set Reward After Thorough Consideration 

A reward is one of the important factors in creating an employee recognition policy. You have to select the perfect reward for every achievement to encourage your workers. A reward has to be something that can motivate employees to improve their performance and productivity.

The definition of reward for every employee is different. Some might be looking for new opportunities to learn, and others might be happy to receive a positive review on their LinkedIn profiles. Therefore, you should consult your team members before deciding on a reward.

You should ask your hybrid employees what will make them more motivated and productive in their job. Based on your employees' input, you can design rewards to help your organization and employees.

Step 4. Promote Your Recognition Program 

You have a great employee recognition program going in your organization. But how will your employees know about it unless you tell them? Therefore, you should also spend some time promoting your employee recognition program among both offsite and onsite employees.

In addition, many people don’t like to be charged. Therefore, they avoid participating in a recognition program where their skills or knowledge will be tested. So, HR leaders have to come forward here and motivate their employees to participate in the recognition program. They should interact with individual employees and tell them all the recognition benefits and how fair your reward system is.


Quick Tips to Recognize Your Hybrid Employees

Leverage Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Peer-to-peer recognition works best in a hybrid environment. Employees can appreciate and recognize each other for the support and help they have received from their colleagues. This will reduce managers' workload of monitoring the performance and behavior of individual hybrid employees.

Acknowledgment of Personal Milestones

Another effective tip to improve motivation and boost social bonding among your hybrid employees is to celebrate their personal milestones. For example, you can celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, promotions, professional achievements, and other employees' personal milestones.

Personalized Rewards

This strategy might take the HR team extra time, but it will significantly impact your employee engagement. You can create a reward system based on individual employees' requirements. For example, if an employee lives in a rented house, you can pay their living costs as a reward. 


Parting Note

Recognition is the backbone of better employee engagement, retention, and productivity. Therefore, no matter whether you have a remote, hybrid, or in-house team, you have to work on appreciating their efforts.

In a hybrid work culture, it might be challenging to measure the performance of onsite and offsite employees on the same scale. But, using digital tools and a well-structured employee recognition policy, you can quickly implement a successful hybrid recognition program.

So, that’s it for this post. You can now start building your employee recognition program and improve your hybrid teams' productivity.