During the pandemic, we’ve seen various work models emerge—from hybrid to distributed to remote. But what do these terms actually mean? While there are still ongoing discussions about how these approaches should be defined, here’s how we understand each one:
A hybrid work model generally means employees are required to work both in the office and remotely from home. Alternatively, some versions of hybrid work require a segment of your workforce to be fully onsite at the office, while others are working remotely full time.
The term “remote” is generally applied to individuals who work from home (or an out-of-office location of their choice) full-time. However, there may be restrictions on where they’re able to work.
With this approach, your employees have the flexibility and choice to work remotely from home or in the office. This model is typically applied to the entire company and allows for geographic dispersal.
Here's a quick look at three different companies that are successfully transitioning to a hybrid workplace:
Making all meeting information available on demand.
Taking a data-driven approach to help employees improve work habits and help managers proactively engage teams at risk of burnout.
Creating equitable, inclusive experiences designed for people not in the room.
Trusting employees to make the right decisions for themselves and their customers.
Empowering teams to organically choose how they will work best, depending on their unique needs.
Committing to a hybrid workplace culture of mutual accountability.
Reserving Fridays as no video meeting days.
Renaming every role at the company to either “hybrid,” “remote,” or “resident.”
Creating an inclusive experience for all employees.
A shift to hybrid work gives you the opportunity to re-evaluate how to best meet your employees’ changing needs. Here’s how an employee recognition and rewards program can support three core focus areas for employees in this new world of work:
We’re seeing a shift to hybrid work models because employees have made it clear that they value flexibility and the power of choice.
As we all juggle different responsibilities and have unique passions and interests, it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer an option. An employee recognition program that enables personalization can support your workforce’s demand for choice.
As we migrate to a hybrid work environment, it’s natural for managers to prefer employees who they work with side-by-side in the office over remote workers.
But it’s important to uncover these unconscious biases and make sure every employees’ accomplishments are reviewed objectively and celebrated. See below for remote employee recognition program ideas that can promote a more inclusive culture.
In a hybrid workplace, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your teammates and the company’s purpose.
Appreciating and recognizing remote employees with programs and rewards that are engaging, shareable, and motivating is a fantastic way to rebuild that sense of community—even when we're all working from different places.
What types of employee recognition programs should you introduce to address the needs of your hybrid or remote workforce? While there are many you can choose from, here are three that we recommend starting with:
Spot recognition programs reward specific behaviors, contributions, or milestones when they occur. This form of recognizing remote employees is especially impactful in a hybrid workplace because it allows you to signal what great work looks like to your entire workforce and inspires repeat behavior, regardless of location.
Working remotely or in a hybrid setting means employees no longer see company values painted on the walls every day. To address this, we’ve seen an uptick in the adoption of Company Values Award recognition programs, which recognize remote or on-site employees who demonstrate company values on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Values awards programs remind employees that they’re part of a bigger mission and, most importantly, are inclusive. Anyone from the marketing intern to the CEO can (and should) bring your company values to life, and celebrating those who live them, helps keep them top of mind for the entire organization.
With more companies offering flexible and remote work options, the hiring market is heating up—especially with 41% of employees considering leaving their jobs during The Great Resignation. That's why an employee referral program is a must-have in today’s workplace.
Not only are employee referrals four times more likely to be hired, but 45% of employees sourced from employee referrals stay for longer than four years. But to have a successful program, you need to offer attractive incentives—like experiential rewards—that inspire people to bring top talent into the organization.
Anniversary awards present the perfect opportunity to celebrate an employee's contributions to the company, whether it's their first year or their 10th. We've seen first-hand with our clients that this type of program is one of the best ways to improve retention rates—which are critical focus areas for hybrid workplaces.
Experiential rewards are an especially effective way to celebrate anniversaries in a hybrid workplace. Whether it’s learning to play the guitar or taking a family vacation to Banff, these types of rewards are easy for employees to share with others—even when physically apart—and will motivate employees to stick around as they build anticipation around their own anniversary award.
Let’s set you up for success. We’re sharing a few best practices to follow and some reflective questions to help evaluate your current efforts:
Choice is critical in a hybrid workforce where everyone’s situations, schedules, and lifestyles vary. So let your employees choose a reward that’s meaningful to them. With Blueboard, your employees can choose from hundreds of hand-curated experiential rewards. From parasailing to ziplining, craft beer tours to private cooking lessons, there’s something for everyone.
This type of flexibility gives everyone the space to be who they are—and people feel most appreciated when they get to celebrate in a way that fills their cup. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to evaluate your program:
An inclusive employee recognition program is one where everyone feels invited to the table and has the opportunity to participate. Inclusivity is essential in a hybrid workplace because not every employee has the same space to shine—to feel seen and valued—when we’re working apart.
If you’re not sure how inclusive your remote employee recognition ideas or gifts are, here are a few questions to get the wheels turning:
Equity is about recognizing that everyone has different needs, experiences, and opportunities and finding ways to accommodate those to the best of your ability. Ask yourself the following questions to create an equitable recognition program.
Socializing your recognition program is critical when it comes to making it successful in a hybrid workplace. When we're not all physically together, we need the opportunity to connect in other ways. In most cases, this means through digital communication channels.
Offering exciting, shareable, and buzzworthy rewards—and giving employees the platforms to talk about them—is key to employee recognition program success in the hybrid workplace. Below are a few other considerations:
A guide for taking care of your employees' morale and wellbeing during our transition to a hybrid work model.
Hear our client Shake Shack and a panel of experts discuss remote employee recognition, appreciation gifts, and company values as they relate to the hybrid workplace.
How do we navigate a high-growth environment in the new hybrid workplace?
Watch this 20-min session on the priority role that remote employee recognition plays in fostering wellbeing, inclusivity, and flexibility/choice.
Connect with our team for a personalized demo of our recognition and rewards platform and see our hand-curated experience menus.Request a demo