COVID-19 is taking its toll in the workplace. However, a recent Gartner report suggests that managers need to redouble their recognition efforts. One of the areas we can’t neglect is career milestones and other achievement celebrations. Keeping celebrations alive helps to invigorate organizations and inspire people. Follow these Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Employees from a Distance and keep the ritual and ceremony of celebrations happening.
Commit to the celebratory side of work. Realize the importance that celebrations hold in the lives of employees. It is a way to honor people for their achievements and contributions. Do all you can to keep celebrations going even if they’re done differently.
Create celebration memory triggers. Your job is to create recognition experiences and emotional connections that will make lasting memories for recognition recipients. Always set goals of what you want to have happen in the eyes of each person you celebrate.
Prepare supportive visual imagery. Celebrations are very visual events. Develop creative signage to show or send to individuals to use. Take screen captures, photos, and quotes from people who can’t attend. Use visual overlays or backgrounds for videoconferencing.
Consider the auditory messaging. Be specific and positive with how you communicate your recognition. Select meaningful and upbeat music to integrate with presentations. Invite all remote attendees to have noisemakers and party horn blowers to use at key points.
Are there tactile things you need. Ensure awards or gifts are shipped well in advance so recipient has them. Build in opportunities for people to applaud. Design unifying and personalized items for everyone to wear or wave like badges or posters, etc.
What about the sense of smell? Remote celebrations miss out on the olfactory senses such as food. Order cakes from a local bakery or have everyone prepare cupcakes ahead of time. If the recipient likes flowers send them flowers on the day of the virtual event.
Put action into the virtual event. Orchestrate virtual attendees to wave hands and shout out on cue. Create a compilation video ahead of time of peers of the recognition recipient sending special greetings. Record a socially distanced parade with music and banners.
Planning requires extra time. Always start early with planning celebrations from a distance especially with technology. Start with your purpose and your goal. How does the organization want to be represented and by who? Think of a theme to guide preparations.
Orchestrate but allow improvisation. While much of celebrating from a distance requires detailed planning, make sure you allow some spontaneity as well. Invite award recipients to say a few words. Bring is surprise guests of family or former managers.
Timing is absolutely everything. Up the delivery dates of awards, gifts, essential props and signage. Empower managers to represent your organization and make the celebration special. Enlist a team of supportive employees willing to pull off each celebration event.
Previously published by the author in Incentive Magazine.
It’s hard to believe that the first Harry Potter fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling came out in June 1997. I remember reading the first book to my youngest son while he lay in a hospital bed.
And if you missed reading all seven books in the Harry Potter series, you might have viewed the movies when they came out in theatres starting in 2001.
This was when we all started hearing about the spells Harry Potter and his various housemates and opponents used on people and surrounding objects.
But you can also give spellbinding recognition the same way as magical spells. Read the following with extra care.
You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. And sometimes, family and the significant others in our lives play an enormous impact on how we perform on the job.
One of the underlying needs of living the value of respect, is understanding what your employees are going through at home with significant others and immediate or extended family. Grasping the importance of this is in a person’s life can help lessen the negative factors and enhance the neat things happening positively.
Let’s see how learning about an employee’s family, significant others… even pets, can help you support your employees and give better praise and recognition.
Do you celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries at your organization?
It is an interesting question.
Some organizations are for it while others are not.
Organizations using online recognition programs usually have options in their programs for employees to turn on or off the ability for people to know when their birthday or work anniversary occurs. Or, if they allow visibility, when someone sends them a congratulatory eCard greeting, employees can still keep it private between the recipient and giver or make it public to everyone.
And then there are managers who think celebrating birthdays and work anniversaries is like something done only back in high school. At least, that’s the line they are saying to excuse themselves from celebrating their staff.
How do you handle these situations around personal and work celebrations?
When you give recognition to an employee, do you say their name correctly when expressing recognition to them?
I want to increase your awareness of the importance of using a person’s preferred name whenever you recognize them face-to-face, in written text, or in personalizing a tangible item with their name on it.
How do you think you’re doing in using people’s proper name?
Some of us have directors or managers who have never learned to give recognition to people when it is due. They can seem too task oriented. Others are more introverted and not used to expressing feelings.
Or, maybe you hear reports from employees who wonder what they can do to bring this topic of a lack of recognition up with their manager, but are afraid it might backfire if they do. Now they have gone for years without having their work properly acknowledged.
What can they do to highlight their work successes and finally get the recognition they deserve?
Turn the tables and learn how to ask for the recognition you’re not getting.