5 Ways to Rock Remote Recognition: Connecting Across the Digital Divide

Recognition has always been your cultural superglue. Can it be strong enough to connect across the digital divide? We think so. Actually, we know so. And it has to.

Here are some facts:

  1. 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by 2022, and remote opportunities will continue to increase through 2023.
  2. 84% reported that working remotely after the pandemic would make them happier, with many even willing to take a pay cut.
  3. 74% of workers said working from home improves their mental health.
  4. 81.5% of workers feel more empowered to hold their leaders accountable for a better workplace in 2022.
  5. 56% of workers said they would only wait 30 to 60 days for employers to make needed changes before they consider leaving.

Credit: Remote Work Is Here To Stay And Will Increase Into 2023, Experts Say
we have to find ways to engage better digitally. People are desperate for connection, and we want to ensure our hybrid teams move through the storming phase you might be into performing again.

image of the Greatness Magnified FROG Effect WorkbookGrab your FROG Effect Workbook. We have five juicy opportunities for you to amp up digital recognition by modifying the recognition techniques you already use:

1. Focus on Appreciation

Let’s adapt “What Do You Appreciate” (page 109) to remote and hybrid workplaces. Why not start virtual meetings by asking, “What do you appreciate?”. Have individuals share their answers one by one, or if it’s a larger group, encourage them to share in the chat. This activity is simple and requires no preparation, yet it helps colleagues get to know one another and starts the meeting on a positive note.

2. Recognition Gram

Create your own virtual recognition board to create bursts of positivity throughout your organization with the “Recognition Gram” exercise (page 86). You can use an internal recognition system or create one using Kudoboard. You can create a theme or customize it to your culture. Encourage employees to share compliments for colleagues anytime they see them doing anything worthy of recognition. You can choose to showcase these compliments before meetings, in newsletters or in your internal systems.

3. Most Memorable Moment

Encourage your team to share their accomplishments and build on their success as a group with the “Most Memorable Moments” exercise (page 8). During a training session, send people into breakout rooms in pairs and have them share a memorable moment they had at work over the last few months. The other person will then share compliments based on what they heard. As you return to your larger group, have volunteers share what they learned about their partner. This activity taps into individuals’ resiliency and highlights their and others’ strengths in a fun and positive way.

4. Personalized Recognition

Personalize recognition for all employees using “The Recognition Checklist” (page 89). Send this fillable PDF to all your employees to figure out how they most prefer to be recognized. This is easy to distribute and requires minimal time and effort. Simply send the PDF over email with a brief explanation of the purpose of this tool, and once you receive it, file it somewhere easily accessible or create a spreadsheet that is easy to reference. Whenever an opportunity to acknowledge arises, you can look to this document and deliver customized, meaningful recognition and shows you truly care.

5. Thank You Cards

Thank you cards (page 103) are a great way to provide specific, meaningful appreciation to your team. When people aren’t in the office, you can use tools like SendOut Cards to deliver customized cards to your employees’ homes. All you need is your employee’s home address; you can easily and quickly send personalized thank you cards, birthday cards, congratulatory cards, etc., in a matter of minutes. A personalized card delivered right to your door is a great way to remind people of their value and show just how much they are appreciated.

How can you make digital thank yous a cultural anchor of simply “the way we do things around here”?

Clients Doing It Right

Another version of many organizations’ digital thank you cards is virtual kudos and recognition boards. I just spoke for Southlake Regional Healthcare which has one, i24 Call Management Solutions rocks theirs, and you’ve already heard me rave about Compass Group Canada’s Nudge System. Who can you learn from in your industry, through your industry association, and even your friends’ workplaces to see how they’re crushing it with digital recognition?

Resource For You…

Download all of the adaptations from in-person to virtual recognition exercises within The FROG Effect Workbook with this handy cheat sheet. If you packed your copy of The FROG Effect Workbook in a box and you don’t have it handy, you could grab a copy here.

We have many more resources and ideas to make remote recognition easier for you. Here are just a few:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve