Beyond Borders: Recognizing and Rewarding Virtual Employees

Beyond Borders: Recognizing and Rewarding Virtual Employees

To help you ensure your remote employees feel appreciated and rewarded, we’ve gathered ten creative recognition strategies from CEOs, founders, and other leaders. From public announcements and Amazon wishlist rewards to lunch-and-learn sessions and simple recognition, discover how these leaders are fostering a culture of appreciation in the remote work environment.

  • Public Announcements and Amazon Wishlist Rewards
  • Digital Hall of Fame
  • Weekly Virtual Cooking Bonding Experience
  • Virtual Cheers and Remote Star Events
  • Work-Life Balance and Slack Recognition
  • Peer-Kudos Program and Virtual Team Lunches
  • Monthly Employee Spotlight
  • Tailored Digital Gift Cards
  • Virtual Voyage Awards and Explorer’s Gala
  • Lunch-and-Learn Sessions

Public Announcements and Amazon Wishlist Rewards

Company-wide public announcements are made to celebrate success and make remote employees feel appreciated. This is not done by sending out boring emails or holding mundane meetings, but by using our very own in-house project management and team collaboration tool.

It’s not just “good job” or “thanks for your hard work” messages in the name of appreciation. Team members go all out, using GIFs and many creative ways to express their gratitude on the announcement board. It’s like a virtual party every time someone does something awesome.

There’s a tradition where employees are asked to share their Amazon wishlist links, and something they’ve been eyeing is paid for. Alternatively, an Amazon coupon worth $X is sent, and they can go on their own little shopping spree.

At ProofHub, whether an employee is centralized or decentralized, everyone is made to feel like they’re a part of something truly special.

Sandeep KashyapSandeep Kashyap
CEO and Founder, ProofHub

Digital Hall of Fame

At, cherishing remote team members and ensuring they feel appreciated and valued is achieved through a “Digital Hall of Fame.” A dedicated online platform has been created where team members can recognize and celebrate each other’s contributions. Whether it’s a shout-out for a successful project or a heartfelt note of appreciation, team members can post their accolades, complete with virtual badges and emojis.

This approach has been noticed to encourage a culture of peer-to-peer recognition, which is incredibly valuable for remote teams. It empowers team members to appreciate and celebrate each other’s achievements, promoting a positive and collaborative atmosphere.

Precious AbacanPrecious Abacan
Content Marketer, Softlist

Weekly Virtual Cooking Bonding Experience

One of the best strategies I’ve seen was that every Friday, you would get a delivery of fresh food. At lunchtime that day, you’d all come online and have a chef show you how to cook a lovely meal for you. Not only was it a fun experience (if you like cooking), but it also helped us bond with each other. Also, there were some very funny moments of cooking disasters.

Steven WrightSteven Wright
Co-Founder and Chief Editor, Lifestyle to the MAX

Virtual Cheers and Remote Star Events

The most important thing is to value the work of our remote coworkers. The idea of virtual cheers was initially conceived. Team members send short movies to praise the work of their peers. When these clips are put together, they make a monthly highlight reel that gets to everyone in the company. “Remote Star” events are also held, which allow virtual team members to show off their skills and get rewards that are unique to them.

This plan encourages a lively atmosphere and shows respect for our hard work. Care packages are sent to the homes of remote workers, based on their preferences, to help them feel more connected. Leaders have virtual coffee chats, where they talk directly about updates. By putting these customized strategies in place, faraway contributors feel like they have real value and are important to our success as a whole.

Salim  BenadelSalim Benadel
Director, Storm Internet

Work-Life Balance and Slack Recognition

Ensuring our remote team feels valued is crucial. We prioritize work-life balance, so when someone excels, we gift them a free day or let them finish early on Fridays.

Moreover, we’ve created a special Slack channel where we shout out outstanding achievements and goals met. It’s a way of showing our genuine appreciation and building a supportive community. Combining meaningful rewards with consistent recognition ensures our remote team knows their efforts truly matter and encourages them to keep thriving.

Luciano ColosLuciano Colos
Founder and CEO, PitchGrade

Peer-Kudos Program and Virtual Team Lunches

To ensure remote employees feel appreciated and rewarded, one creative recognition strategy I’ve implemented is a combination of peer recognition and virtual team-bonding experiences.

By instituting a peer-kudos program, employees can publicly praise and acknowledge their colleagues’ efforts and successes, fostering a culture of appreciation. Additionally, organizing virtual team lunches, where meals are ordered for the entire remote team, facilitates a shared experience and connection even from afar.

Regularly highlighting both individual and team achievements further amplifies this sense of community and recognition, enhancing morale and motivation across the remote workforce.

Scott Pier
Founder and CEO,

Monthly Employee Spotlight

Every month, we shine the virtual spotlight on one employee and highlight their most valuable contributions. We kick off team meetings or daily huddles by celebrating their recent achievements and unique qualities.

To keep it engaging, we even encourage team members to guess who the next spotlighted employee will be. This strategy rotates attention and recognition and encourages employees to level up while ensuring they each have their moment of appreciation and recognition.

Harry MortonHarry Morton
Founder, Lower Street

Tailored Digital Gift Cards

To ensure our remote employees feel valued, we’ve embraced the convenience and flexibility of digital gift cards. Universal options like WebShop or JavaJunction are always appreciated.

Yet, we take it a step further by tailoring our offerings. For the culinary aficionado, a DelishDish e-gift card might be in order. If we know someone’s local hangout spot, we might offer a gift card to their neighborhood bistro.

By aligning our rewards with personal tastes, we’re not just rewarding work; we’re valuing the individual.

Matias RodsevichMatias Rodsevich

Virtual Voyage Awards and Explorer’s Gala

Fostering appreciation in remote employment necessitates creative approaches. A compelling recognition program called the “Virtual Voyage Awards” is now available.

Every month, each employee gets a digital “Passport” to travel the world virtually. They unlock “Destinations” as they meet milestones or exhibit excellent teamwork. In some locations, management offers personalized video messages that emphasize their significant achievements.

A virtual “Travel Kit” includes e-gift cards, online classes, and wellness subscriptions. At the culmination of this journey, a yearly “Explorer’s Gala” held via video conferencing unites everyone to honor accomplishments and promote togetherness.

This creative strategy ensures distant workers feel appreciated and motivated, turning recognition into an unforgettable adventure.

Brian HardestyBrian Hardesty
Owner, On Display Signs

Lunch-and-Learn Sessions

Ensuring remote employees feel appreciated and rewarded involves holding regular meetings where they are recognized. But it can certainly extend beyond that. A company I once worked for would show appreciation by providing a lunch voucher for everyone to attend a lunch-and-learn together. Everyone would order from their favorite spot and eat together.

It can also be as simple as sending an email or a Slack message recognizing that person for their efforts in front of their peers.

John MooneyJohn Mooney
President, IML

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