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Low Budget and Remote? Employee Appreciation Efforts are Still Possible

November 21, 2020

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Many organizations have had to tighten their budgets due to the pandemic.  Employees understand this, but it’s still nice to feel appreciated, and employees have become accustomed to employers expressing that appreciation at year-end.  It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to show your employees you appreciate them. offers the following ways to show employee recognition when your budget is not robust, and your team is remote:

1.       Give your team a small allowance to spruce up their home office.

2.       Coffee!  Even a small gift card to a local coffee shop can make an employee’s day.

3.       Give out fun awards that recognize people’s non-work contributions to the team. Think things like “Best Lunch Buddy” or “Brainstorm Champion”.

4.       Plan a virtual happy hour to thank them for all their hard work.

5.       Allow your team to sign-off early the day before the holiday. They will appreciate the ability to step away early guilt-free.

According to TerryBerry, 88% of HR professionals say that employee recognition has more impact during these unprecedented times, while 57% say it’s also more difficult to recognize employees. 

“Traditionally this time of year, many companies would be ramping up office holiday festivities,” said Amy Mosher, isolved Chief People Officer. “Due to the pandemic, the last frontier of normalcy either is not happening at all or happening virtually in some capacity.  As mentioned in this week’s Quick Hits, a recent survey conducted by iSolved revealed that when asked what they would like most from their employer this holiday season, participating employees said, a bonus (37%), job security (35%), and an annual merit increase (21%). These ranked far ahead of more traditional holiday gifts (6%) and in-person or virtual parties – just 1%.

Many employees today are focused on how an employer can make their tenure more positive.  Defined as “the end-to-end communications and capabilities that a person has with an employer before, during, and after their tenure,” 56% of full-time employees surveyed said that employee experience (EX) is more important to them heading into 2021 than it was this year.

Company culture—the values and beliefs a company promotes and performs—has also seen an uptick in awareness with 40% of full-time employees ranking its importance higher this year than ever before. With employees requiring more from their leadership, businesses must re-think engagement tactics particularly when in-person activities are limited or non-existent.

A little appreciation for your employees can go a long way!  Employees today have reasonable expectations, so don’t feel stressed that you can’t have that big office party this year.  Focus on making your organization a great place to work and showing your employees you appreciate them.

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