Team Performance

Making Work-from-Home Celebrations Memorable Online with Your Team

Ciara Byrnes ·

Ciara Byrnes spends most of her time reporting on digital marketing for an over-stressed audience of marketers and business owners trying to keep up with the fast pace of change. To center herself, she has become a wellness enthusiast, reaching “highs” like morning yoga on the porch of her family’s summer lake cabin to “lows” like failing to convince herself that wheatgrass is actually yummy.

work-from-home celebrations

We live in a world where technology allows us to work remotely or spend most, if not all, of our time working from the comfort of our homes. While there was a push to bring workers back into the office after the pandemic, there is no denying that businesses across the globe are rapidly adopting the remote work model.

And that’s okay, because remote work brings many benefits to the company and the employee collective, and when managed properly, it can help reduce costs while elevating productivity

Better managerial and operational decisions coupled with robust software solutions work together to optimize your projects and workflows and make remote work viable for your company. But what about work-at-home employees and their long-term happiness?

How can you manage, optimize, and maximize the collective as a whole, as well as the individual to bring out their true potential? One of the ways is to celebrate them and their achievements and to take a structured approach to employee recognition.

Let’s talk about this, break it down, and give you the tips and tools you can use to make online work-from-home celebrations memorable for your team.

The Importance of Recognizing and Celebrating Your Employees

First things first, to what extent should your people managers and HR experts focus on employee recognition, as well as celebrating individual and group achievements?

In the modern work environment where talent retention should be one of your top priorities, focusing on employee recognition could mean the difference between slowly losing your top talent or keeping them involved and in love with their work. This extends to their teammates, and the employer brand as a whole.

All of this starts with your company culture because implementing a culture of recognition in your business will allow your decision-makers and HR experts to devise processes and policies to support it. At its core, this culture aims to consistently find ways and reasons to celebrate individuals and teams, reward them for their hard work, and foster an overarching feeling of happiness in the workplace.

Here are some things to keep in mind when building a recognition-based culture:

  • Recognize people early, and celebrate them often.
  • Nurture formal and informal ways of recognizing team members.
  • Celebrate specific milestones, people, and their achievements.
  • Personalize any rewards you give out, even if it’s just verbal praise.
  • Celebrate creatively, which we’ll talk about in a moment.

Most importantly, make these celebrations consistent across seniority levels and departments. Newcomers should be celebrated during onboarding and training, to give them a positive nudge and make them feel valued.

Senior employees and veterans at your company need constant reminders of why you value them. The good thing is that if you set specific milestones, objectives and key results (OKRs) for each team and every employee, you’ll be able to track when and how to recognize their achievements.

One-On-One (Silent) vs Group Celebrations

There are two main ways you can celebrate something with your employees online–privately or as a group.

While you might think that group celebrations are a good choice for every occasion, keep in mind that having variety here will give you more opportunities for personalized praise and recognition. What’s more, keep in mind the individual needs of your employees, as well as what they might be going through.

Some milestones can and should be celebrated as a group. After all, it’s a great way to build a strong remote international team while making everyone feel included, no matter where in the world they’re based. While hitting certain metrics as a team is a great way to celebrate a collective effort, have you stopped to consider how you can celebrate an employee privately for something they have achieved on a personal level?

Working from home might be convenient, but it often blurs the line between your personal and professional lives, which carries with it a unique set of problems. Nowadays, many people, especially remote workers, are dealing with more anxiety and burnout on a personal level than ever before.

This is your opportunity to help them overcome these obstacles and celebrate every step they take towards a happier, healthier life at work. But this is a private matter, it requires a one-on-one meeting as you can’t expose these issues publicly with the rest of the company.

Celebrating individuals privately on their private achievements, nurturing them consistently, and checking in regularly–all of this is a powerful way to establish a meaningful connection with the individual.

With all of this in mind, consider carefully what you can celebrate as a group, and how you can celebrate when an individual achieves better results or overcomes an obstacle that only you know about.

What Events and Milestones Should You Celebrate?

Now that we talked about the importance of celebrating remote employees and why it matters, and have given you a different perspective on what should be celebrated privately or as a group, let’s talk about what you should celebrate.

If you are to follow the recognition culture we mentioned above, then the process is simple–celebrate your remote employees every chance you get.

No achievement is too big or small, and everything you choose to celebrate will have a positive effect on morale and productivity. But the things you do celebrate and honor should be tied to specific actions, goals, and OKRs.

For example, you are reorganizing your internal resources, and a team is tasked with the planning, scheduling, and implementation of resource constraints. This initiative will greatly benefit workflows across departments, especially for your remote teams.

The team needs to set up the new professional service automation software to restructure, reallocate, and manage internal resources more efficiently, and once that is done, you can celebrate their achievement as a group. Different teams can chime in on how the new structure helped them manage their projects more efficiently, and then you can talk about how the new workflows will affect the company.

And this approach works for any internal project or campaign, and all of it should be celebrated. 

External metrics and objectives should also be celebrated.

Here are some of the things you can recognize internally and externally:

  • Hitting department-specific targets
  • Hitting individual targets
  • Recognizing cross-department collaborations
  • Team members nominate each other every week
  • Personal milestones and achievements
  • Personal dates and events like birthdays, time spent with the company, retirements, and more

With that in mind, let’s talk about what these celebrations can look like.

Making It Work Online: Structure, Agenda & Flow

To make these types of celebrations memorable and truly engaging, you need to have a clear structure, a clear agenda, and a flow that will cover the serious talking points and the fun parts.

Here’s what your flow can look like:

  1. Start by recognizing concrete achievements.
  2. Celebrate the individual employees, and don’t rush.
  3. Talk about why these achievements matter.
  4. For personal milestones, have everyone contribute to celebrate the individual.
  5. Move into feedback and take in as much feedback about these milestones and achievements as possible.
  6. Move into discussing future milestones and why they matter.
  7. Finally, move into the creative part of the celebration.

When it comes to celebrating individuals and teams, there are many ways you can structure the meeting to include a fun little activity to bring people closer together.

This can be as simple as sharing your favorite memes (don’t censor the cheeky ones), or it can be as intricate as hosting a short but fun game of whodunnit murder mystery. The key is to recognize which celebrations are big blow-outs that deserve a lot of planning, and which celebrations are those short-and-sweet opportunities to bring people closer together.

Host the short-and-sweet ones every week, and organize the more complex celebrations at least once a month for those bigger achievements.

Use This Opportunity to Improve Your Processes

Last, but definitely not least, always remember that every celebration is an opportunity to gather valuable feedback, analyze past performance, and improve your processes moving forward.

Monitor the flow of the event, and take notes of how your team members respond to praise and recognition. Check if the rewards you have given out are having the desired effect on employee morale, and monitor their performance and behavior in the days and weeks after the event. 

Ideally, you want to see an uptick in their productivity and overall happiness at work. Monitoring these changes will allow you to adapt your approach to employee happiness in general, and devise new strategies to make your employees happier and more engaged at work.

For remote teams, staying engaged, involved, and satisfied with their work is the foundational pillar of long-term success. This means your success as a company, as well. 

You may also like: Manager salary guide for 2024

Choose the Best Software to Manage Your Collaborations

Without a doubt, remote work can make your employees more productive and happier over the long term. But just because people are not at the office physically doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t celebrate their achievements, recognize their hard work, and treat them like they’re right there with you.

After all, remote workers want to be given the same level of attention and recognition as in-house employees. They also want their work to be as efficient and effective as possible, which is why it’s so important to manage your collaborations with the right tools. 

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Teamhood can help you achieve this and so much more, so don’t hesitate to sign up for a free account to experience the tool for yourself!

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