Helpful Tips To Thank Your Remote Team for Their Work
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I'm a fortunate person. I work with a brilliant set of professionals who have made my day-to-day life a lot easier to handle. When I first started my business, I thought hard about how I would like to show appreciation to the people who work with me.
In my first full-time job, I didn’t receive an ounce of appreciation. No encouraging words were exchanged. I also don't remember getting any monetary rewards and other perks. It was pure business that I didn't mind, but I knew I would never run a team like that.
In my early freelance gigs as well, there was no pat on the back. I used to work via an agency on a contractual basis for their clients. I still don't know how well I performed, even though I worked for them for three years. Did my writing make a difference to their business? Only the Lord knows.
It was during my second job that things changed. My new manager was kind, appreciative, and highly encouraging. From writing "thank you" emails to congratulating me on a campaign success in front of the entire team, she always made sure I knew how important my work was.
I learned how to be a good person at work thanks to her. Interestingly, we are often quick to criticize, demotivate, and show our disappointment in others. I often wonder why we can’t show positivity with the same vigor.
I agree that finding the right words of appreciation for your team isn't child's play. You want to be respectful and show your gratitude. But I have heard many managers say, "Oh, I don't want my team to become overconfident and lose focus just because they're doing a good job."
Can appreciating your team kill their productivity? I think not. In my current role, I'm responsible for supervising a multidisciplinary remote team. From writers and designers to paid advertisers and web developers, I work with dynamic minds.
Even though they are based in different parts of the world, we're close-knit and perform exceedingly well as a team. Besides managing them empathetically, I also ensure I treat them right. Here's how I do it:
If You Like Their Work, Say It
Everybody needs motivation, and words of praise along the way for a job well done can do wonders. This is especially important for freelancers who work primarily at home and are constantly scrambling to keep clients happy.
In addition to pointing out areas of improvement, tell them what you loved. And no, you're not going to make them overconfident about their work, but you will give them the confidence to keep up the good efforts.
Be Considerate About Their Schedules
It's essential to take into account that your remote team has a personal life. All too often, clients assume that working from home means everyone's available 24/7. Don't do that.
I usually ask my team about their schedules upfront, especially during the holiday season. This has helped create open channels of communication where they aren't afraid to ask me for time off without hampering the quality of work or missing crucial deadlines.
Create an Open Environment
No one can possibly meet deadlines 100% of the time — I certainly can't. So, when a remote team member misses a deadline, I simply ask them to reschedule and turn it around as soon as they can.
Since you aren't physically around them, you have no idea what's happening in their lives. Scare tactics and yelling aren't effective in the long run. Treat mistakes as just that — individual mistakes — and your team will make amends on their own.
Remember to Message Them on Birthdays
Everybody loves birthdays! Be sure to remember your remote team on theirs, and try to schedule work in such a way that they can enjoy the day off, even if they don't specifically ask for it. And if you can, send them a birthday gift.
Send Thoughtful Gifts at Intervals
Speaking of gifts, the occasional well-chosen present can do wonders to motivate your remote team. Keep track of important dates like anniversaries and the festivals they celebrate, and send gifts out well in time. They don't have to be fancy, but do pick items based on what they like. For the music lover, for instance, a T-shirt of their favorite band is a great choice.
Have Calls With Them as a Friend
With remote teams, it's all about creating relationships, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to only contact them to assign projects or follow up on tasks. Take the time to get to know them as people. That's where conversations come in.
Have calls where you ask them about how they're doing and what their plans are, in addition to discussing work. And if they've recently had a significant experience, like undergoing an operation, attending a conference, or adopting a dog, ask them about it. They'll appreciate it.
Acknowledge the Business Impact They're Making
Your remote team is a big part of the success you have with your business. So when you're giving feedback, don't just talk about what you liked — show them the positive impact their work has. This is so important.
If your client wrote back to you praising a particular piece, take a screenshot and show it to your freelancer — I do that a lot. It helps them feel valued and lets them know that they're doing things right.
You don't need to move mountains in order to make your remote team feel appreciated. Small gestures can make a significant impact on their working relationship with you. How will you thank your remote team today?