Employee Rewards

Rewards and Incentives for Hybrid Employees

July 4, 2022
5
min read

The recent events since 2020 have pushed various organizations into remote and hybrid work structures, and due to this, there’s a greater focus on reward functions and pay framework. HR departments have had their hands full with maintaining employee satisfaction and motivation in a virtual environment, and many have questioned the effectiveness of the annual bonus model. 

According to a survey by PWC, as many as 85% of companies now operate with recognition programs outside of the annual rewards structure. A massive 59% recognized the need to adapt to these changes and subsequently updated their programs when the call was made to work virtually. 

Being in this somewhat unchartered territory can mean that you’re contemplating options around rewards and incentives for hybrid teams. Given the current landscape, many employees seek perks that support a better work-life balance or add meaning to their work day. 

In this article, we’ll outline different ways to reward and incentivize your hybrid team and also explain why it’s critical to do so.

Why Is It Important To Reward Hybrid Employees?

Although the work dynamic shifts when a company moves to a hybrid structure, the importance of rewarding employees remains just as large. It’s crucial that team members feel motivated and engaged in their work as dedicated, loyal employees are the people you want on your side. 

It’s a simple fact that showing recognition and appreciation to your team lets them feel valued. In turn, these employees will be more likely, and motivated, to stay with your company for the long term, which definitely helps lower your recruitment costs.

Consistent acknowledgement of effort further helps to create a supportive and healthy work environment allowing your company to maintain high levels of productivity, and thus, revenue!

Now that we understand the importance of rewards, a question remains - what is the best way to reward and incentivize hybrid employees? 

The process for keeping hybrid employees engaged is highly different from how you would reward office employees, as an extra step is needed to give them a sense of belonging without having a physical space to interact and do so. 

Read below for great reward and incentive ideas for hybrid employees!

Eight Ideas For Rewards and Incentives Hybrid Employees Will Love

1. Personalized Rewards That Appeal To The Individual

Personalized and unique rewards are important motivators for people working in hybrid environments, especially when they’re not in the office 100% of the time. It can work as a motivator to ensure employees come back to their desk for the majority of the time. 

Unlike bulk gifts, which you can organize and gift at large, handing over a personalized reward helps forge a strong sense of connection between your employee and the organization. 

Sure, it can require a bit of homework on your part to get to know your employees and consider a suitable present for each person. The effort will definitely be worth it when every member of the team receives a unique reward specifically suited to them. 

When talking about personalized gifts, a few ideas that come to mind would be printing your employee’s name on a mug, notebook, or fancy pen, for example. No one will have the exact same item and will enjoy something individualized to them, and it's also fun for the person to own and use in their day-to-day life. 

Another option for personalized gifts is to set a budget and find something within the given parameters that each individual will appreciate. For example, an Apple Music subscription for the music lover or a Netflix subscription for the series addict would be a productive way to reward hybrid employees. 

2. Invest In Employee Development (Professional and/or Personal)

Investing in employee development makes for great rewards and incentives. It’s an effective way to prove that you’re committed to seeing the person grow in their professional or personal capacity. 

With your hybrid employees regularly out of the office, this is an ideal way to make them feel ‘seen’ too. On top of that, your organization gains the possible bonus of being able to fill in skills gaps with a newly upskilled team. 

By using platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity, it’s easier than ever to gift your employees a new skill. They don’t have to be in the office to carry out the training and can also complete it at a pace that suits their lifestyle. 

In addition to being convenient, these platforms also offer a range of courses to choose from. Everything from learning a new language to the basics of coding is available online. You can let your hybrid employees choose their training or opt to gift a specific program that will fit into their career progression. 

3. Schedule A Quick ‘Well Done’ Meeting

A job well done deserves recognition and words of gratitude every single time. If your employee isn’t in the office where you can chat with them in the hallway or knock on their door with a cup of coffee in hand, you need to schedule a virtual face-to-face to say congratulations. 

This ‘job well done’ meeting can do more than serve as a moment to express your thanks too. For employees, meeting individually with department managers is often an opportunity to express further interest in the company and make a solid impression when they consider moving up in the organization. Both members get to know each other better and discuss larger goals, aspirations, and positioning within the company. 

In a hybrid structure, it’s important to ramp up opportunities for this to happen. Make a point of allowing for consistent and open communication with your employees so they are motivated to continue reaching their goals and reaching new heights.  

4. Send A Public Message Of Recognition

Experiences are always better shared and this includes celebrating success. Think about it - no one wants to celebrate an achievement alone, which is unfortunately a common reality for remote workers. 

Any occasion is obviously much more enjoyable when the person can share it with their peers. For this reason, it pays to get the whole team involved in the process of recognition. 

Make a point of going public with the words of praise for work well done in a space where the entire team can see it. For a hybrid workspace, it’s as simple as leaving a shout-out on the company Slack channel or posting a message of congratulations on the organization’s social media account. 

While you’re at it, encourage everyone to acknowledge the star employee’s achievement by adding their input to the message. 

5. Provide Workstation Support Where Needed

As far as rewards and incentives go for hybrid teams, this is one of the most practical ideas. Employees who work at home might not have as convenient of a step as they would in the office. Nobody wants back problems from a subpar chair or to feel restricted with poor lighting!

Thus, a brilliant gift idea your team will definitely appreciate is to set up office equipment so they can work in comfort from their homes. This could be through a “Home Office” stipend for them to use on an ergonomic chair, standing desk, desk lamp or other office items. 

This gift can improve your team's working conditions dramatically. A general upgrade in the working environment (either remote or in-office) promotes productivity and can also be a big morale booster! 

It’s no secret that working in comfort has countless benefits to both the company and its employees. When employees are comfortable and have the resources to perform their tasks well, they tend to be more present at work. Their physical and mental health can improve as well, allowing for greater attention and focus when working.

By offering a stipend or allowance, you can let employees choose their equipment. There are a variety of places that offer affordable office furniture and decor online with shipping options, like Ikea, Pottery Barn, and Office Depot.

You don’t have to break the bank to make your team comfortable!

6. Implement A Flexible Work Schedule

Although the remote or hybrid work structure allows for some flexibility, companies often maintain a fixed work schedule with consistent daily hours. However, it’s important to note that many employees prefer leniency in their hours, to the point that 40% of job candidates considered schedule flexibility one of their top three factors when making career decisions.

Flexible working hours provide your employees greater autonomy and, subsequently, a richer work-life balance. It’s not a surprise then, that it’s a sought-after and highly-appreciated perk.

When considering this option, remember that flexible working hours involve a shift from counting hours worked to tracking the work produced. In this structure, you provide more control to your team over their work schedule and then focus on their outcomes rather than time spent in front of the desk.

Provided your employees have the necessary motivation to keep them engaged, flexible hours can help build trust between the company and its employees. 

7. An Extra Paid Leave Day

Speaking of work-life balance, everyone, including your hard-working team, will enjoy time off. It’s a chance to wind down and lets the person spend their time doing the things they enjoy.  

Whether your employees work in an office, remotely, or hybrid, giving them an extra day off or providing a floating holiday is sure to be appreciated. 

This reward can be structured as an incentive to work toward where the prize is extra time off at the end of a big project. The news could also be dropped as a surprise by announcing a day off as a reward for when a goal is reached. 

8. PerkUp Rewards Card

A PerkUp rewards card is an excellent gift for your hybrid or remote team. Whether it’s for a special occasion (e.g. employee birthday or work anniversary), or it’s just another day at work and you’d like to show your employees some love, this card will fulfill the company’s appreciation and let employees know they’re valued. 

There are several ways you can use it to extend rewards and incentives through PerkUp, including:

  • Load the card with funds - your employees can spend it anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Distribute branded premium swag globally to 130+ countries
  • Send your employees curated gifts for their work anniversaries or birthdays 

If you can think of it, you can gift it using the platform. HR and Finance departments appreciate the card, too - they can create budgets, track spending, and even claim unspent funds to be returned. As far as rewarding distributed teams goes, the options are endless. 

Give employees the gift of choice with PerkUp!

Conclusion 

There are new challenges around motivating and engaging hybrid and remote teams. The short of it is that employees now desire a better work-life balance and to find greater meaning in their work day.  

Hopefully, this list has given you some top-notch ideas to ensure each hybrid team member feels recognized, even though they’re not in the office. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about relationship building and ensuring each person feels like they’re a contributing member of the company!

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