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12 Amazing Virtual Employee Recognition Ideas

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Appreciation is a simple thing to do. Yet, it is often underrated and underused. Nonetheless, individuals like you recognize the profound effect that a simple gesture or word of praise can exert on employee morale. Especially in remote workforces, the need for recognition grows even more crucial.

Before 2020, flexible work options such as work-from-home, remote working, or telecommuting were seen with a lot of distrust. After the pandemic, it has become a compulsion for companies to offer such flexibility to their employees.

However, a remote worker is quite unlike a regular employee. These people lack the daily interactions that form an integral part of one’s work-life. Remote workers miss out on some crucial moments- such as peer-to-peer recognition, appreciation from their boss, experience of the company culture, or even forming connections- that make employee engagement possible.

Yet, even remote employees need to feel like they are a vital part of the growth and success of the company. Thus, recognizing these employees for doing a stellar job is probably the most incredible boost to their happiness and productivity that you can give.

In this article, we’ll look at some interesting virtual employee recognition ideas that are fun and practical. Many are so easy on the pockets that even small businesses can easily implement them. So, relax and scroll down.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the Significance of Virtual Employee Recognition
  • Creative Ideas to Acknowledge Virtual Employees
  • Innovative Approach to Recognize Virtual Teams
  • Exploring Virtual Gifting Options for Remote Employees
  • How can you prioritize Employee Wellness in your Organization?
  • Benefits of Engaging Employees in Online Learning

12 Virtual Employee Recognition Ideas That Every Remote Worker Would Love

Virtual Recognition Ideas for Remote and Hybrid Employees

1. Create a Digital Wall of Fame or Online Leaderboard

Vantage Circle Digital Leaderboad Feature

Source: Vantage Circle

Want to acknowledge your employees and make work fun & enjoyable for them? Well, introducing a digital recognition wall or online leaderboard for employees might just do the trick!

When accomplishments are visible to colleagues and management alike, a culture of appreciation and encouragement takes root.

Transforming everyday tasks into engaging challenges is at the heart of gamification. Online leaderboards leverage this concept by adding an element of fun and excitement to mundane work. Furthermore, it encourages healthy competition between the employees and pushes them to go above and beyond.

Whether employees are working from the office or their homes, they can still experience the thrill of being celebrated for their achievements with the help of an online leaderboard.

With corporate platforms like Vantage Circle, you can access comprehensive leaderboards with real-time analytics.

And the best part? Apart from having a general leaderboard for the whole team, it offers employees individual leaderboards to track self-performance and goals.

So what are you waiting for? Add an employee leaderboard to your recognition efforts and transform the daily workplace grind into a thrilling and fun experience.

2. Host Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Vantage Circle Peer to Peer Recohnition Feature

Source: Vantage Rewards by Vantage Circle

A study suggests that close to 64% of employees consider employee appreciation even more significant in a remote work environment.

In a remote work environment, face-to-face interactions are limited.

Therefore, finding creative ways to recognize and appreciate your employees and virtual team members is more important than ever.

Virtual Recognition isn't just a checkbox in the world of remote employees and teams; it's the compass that guides your workforce toward stronger connections and bigger possibilities.

In a physical office, spontaneous pats on the back are common. However, creating such moments in the virtual realm requires a touch of innovation.

For instance, adopting an AI-powered social feed feature allows you to acknowledge & recognize your employees instantly. Here, employees can share, like, and comment on posts to engage in real-time, that too virtually, fostering a culture of peer-to-peer recognition.

Now, a manager in New York can raise a virtual toast to celebrate their colleagues' success in Sydney. It's like teleporting applause and high-fives across the globe!

Valuing and Recognizing virtual employees and teams is paramount, but setting up new recognition systems can be challenging, especially if it's a large workforce.


3. Wellness Perks

Women doing Yoga showcasing Wellness Perks

A recent Gallup Emotions survey reveals that nearly half of the workforce is stressed and frustrated at work.

The one thing that the pandemic has taught us is that wellness should be everyone’s priority. Offering wellness perks to virtual employees is paramount as it demonstrates a commitment to their holistic well-being.

From virtual yoga sessions that take away stress to meditation apps that whisk your team members to serene oases, these perks elevate the lives of your employees.

You can also engage your employees with weekly step challenges, walkathons, and distance-based contests with the help of corporate wellness apps like Vantage Fit. It is an excellent way to motivate team members to prioritize their fitness remotely.

And the best part? Your employees can receive reward points for the completion of each challenge. Isn’t it great?

4. Send Greetings with Personalized Messages

One should not let the absence of physical offices be an excuse to miss out on celebrating the remote workforce's special moments.

Celebrating meaningful days is an important part of good company culture. It fosters a sense of belonging, boosts morale, and maintains team cohesion in a digital work environment.

Here are a few handpicked ideas that you can incorporate to celebrate your virtual employees' important days:

  • Celebrate Birthdays Virtually

Who doesn't love a thoughtful card on their special day? But why stick to the traditional paper when you can design dazzling e-cards that sparkle across screens?

Collaborate with your creative team or use online platforms to craft personalized e-cards that include messages, GIFs, and even videos from colleagues. It's a modern twist on a classic gesture!

E-greeting Card Feature by Vantage Circle

Source: Vantage Circle

You can also gift your virtual employees redeemable birthday or anniversary points, which they can use at their convenience.

This will portray how much you value your employees while keeping their satisfaction high. On top of that, it will work as a good morale booster for remote employees.

There are a plethora of platforms that easily allow you to do it. However, you can also try out the Vantage Reward platform, which is easy to use and lets leaders give their employees points instantaneously. These points can be redeemed effortlessly from a wide range of gift card options.

One great thing about this is that the points will never expire, and employees can use them whenever they want and feel like using them.

  • Celebrate Work Anniversaries Virtually

Celebrating virtual work anniversaries might seem challenging, but with a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of technology, you can turn them into unforgettable experiences.

One of the highlights of work anniversaries is recognizing an employee's dedication over the years. You can use Service milestone awards to celebrate the tenure of employees who have worked with the company for a considerable amount of time.

Remember yearbooks from school? Now, imagine a virtual version chronicling your remote employees' journey through the company.

Service Yearbook Feature in Vantage Rewards

Source: Vantage Circle

The concept of a ‘Service Yearbook’ is a stroke of genius! It notifies peers about their colleague’s upcoming work anniversary. They can then compile their thoughts and pictures into a shareable digital yearbook filled with memories, achievements, and photos from each year of the employee's journey with the company.

It's not just a book; it's a tangible reminder of the memories they've made and the growth they've achieved.

5. Surprise Holiday Package!

Exclusive Experience Package by Vantage Circle

Source: Vantage Circle

Imagine bestowing your virtual teams an experience that leaves a lasting impression on their hearts and minds.

Gift your hardworking team members the gift of a lifetime – a well-deserved getaway that allows them to recharge and unwind. This will allow you to provide them with an exclusive experience.

You can offer your employees a diverse range of vacation options to choose from. You can further tailor a surprise holiday package for them.

Explore Vantage Circle’s once-in-a-lifetime Experience for Corporate Employees

Whether it's a relaxing beach retreat, an adventurous mountain expedition, or a cultural city escapade, your employees can choose the vacation they prefer.

The gesture goes beyond just a vacation; it's a testament to your commitment to your employees' holistic well-being.

6. Host Interactive Virtual Games & Contests

Let's face it – who doesn't love a hearty round of applause? Interactive games and contests create opportunities for employees and teams to showcase their talents and accomplishments.

Imagine teams competing for virtual trophies and exclusive badges, creating a culture where recognition and friendly competition fuel motivation. You can do this by hosting online gaming tournaments to erase the monotony of remote working.

It can include Online Gaming Tournaments like-

  • Digital Scavenger Hunt
  • Innovative Idea Tournament
  • Online Trivia Extravaganza
  • Virtual Escape Room Adventure

Online gaming tournaments erase the barriers of hierarchy and job roles. It ignites friendly competition, encouraging employees to come together, collaborate, and build connections that defy physical distance.

Platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Skype can be integrated for seamless communication during these virtual games and challenges.

7. Have a Celebratory Virtual Team Lunch

Have a Celebratory Virtual Team Lunch

In the era of remote work, where teams are geographically scattered, but their spirits remain tightly knit, it's crucial to wield the magic wand of recognition with flair. That's where the virtual lunch extravaganza comes into play!

Remember those office potlucks where diverse flavors collided? Now, imagine recreating that experience virtually!

A Celebratory Virtual Team Lunch allows virtual team members to bond over shared experiences, transcending physical boundaries to create a stronger sense of togetherness.

Collaborate with food vendors or offer digital food gift cards to deliver delicious meal kits to your team's doorsteps simultaneously.

You can also choose a theme for the lunch, like 'Mexican Day' or 'Sushi Day.’ This will allow your virtual team to enjoy delicious bites during the virtual lunch and foster strong remote connections.

With this approach, you're providing them with an extra benefit and recognizing their efforts remotely.

8. Social Media Shout Out

Showcasing LinkedIn Feed using the Kudos feature

Source: LinkedIn

Your remote employees are the stars of their own show, but you can make them shine brighter by appreciating their efforts on the global stage.

Go ahead and show them some social media love! Craft shout-out posts by leveraging LinkedIn's Kudos feature to appreciate employees' accomplishments publicly.

The beauty of Kudos is that it's not just a private whisper of praise; it's a public declaration of appreciation.

When you send a Kudos, it's displayed on the recipient's profile for the world to see. It's like giving them a shining medal of recognition that never loses its sparkle.

So, next time your employees nail a presentation, smash a goal, or just make your day brighter, give them a shout-out and spread the joy!

9. Gifting Tailored Virtual Experiences

Gifting Tailored Virtual Experiences

Employees working in a hybrid setting are more likely to miss events that have the potential to bring them joy and ease their stress.

Since major events have transitioned to the virtual realm post-pandemic, gifting a virtual experience to your remote workers shows that you value each employee's individuality.

Virtual experiences inject a dose of excitement into an employee's routine.

By gifting them a virtual tour of a city they've never visited or an interactive virtual escape room adventure, you're providing a refreshing break from the usual work grind.

Whether it's a virtual cooking class tailored to a food enthusiast, an online art workshop for the creatively inclined, or a virtual museum tour for history buffs, these experiences can be personalized to reflect their interests.

For instance, you can take your virtual team to tour notable destinations like the British Museum in London and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam for unique online experiences.

This personalized touch communicates that you've taken the time to understand and appreciate them beyond their work contributions.

10. Invest in Virtual Classes & E-learning

Invest in Virtual Classes & E-learning

According to a survey, 90% of companies offer their employees some form of digital learning.

Learning is a critical foundation for success in a world marked by constant change. However, work-from-home lifestyle can sometimes reduce the opportunities for employees to upskill themselves frequently.

Overcoming the challenges of virtual distance requires a strategic approach that blends technology, communication, and human touch.

This is where e-learning and virtual classes come in!

Consider partnering with reputable e-learning vendors like Codecademy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Skillshare to get started. These platforms offer a diverse range of courses spanning from coding to crafting.

It enables virtual employees to choose courses that align with their interests and career goals.

By offering such opportunities, you create a culture of continuous learning and show your commitment to nurturing their growth in the virtual landscape.

11. Show Appreciation with OTT Subscription

Show Appreciation with OTT Subscription

Another amazing virtual employee recognition idea is offering your employees the option to select a subscription to one of the various OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.

Offering them an OTT subscription can be an excellent idea due to its convenience, personalization, and entertainment value.

You can also organize virtual movie nights where teams can watch a movie together and discuss it afterward.

12. Surprise Employees with a Care Package

Surprise Employees with a Care Package

Every virtual employee craves recognition for their feats, no matter how digital they may be. Sending a care package to remote employees is a meaningful gesture demonstrating appreciation.

You also have the option to ask employees in advance if there’s anything important that they would like to receive in the care package.

Personalization is your secret weapon. A pack of gourmet coffee or a quirky mug that matches their style isn't just a gift; it's a token of connection.

Sending a succulent to breathe life into their workspace or a scented candle that evokes calmness can transform remote workstations into cozy nooks.

Care packages help bridge the physical gap between the company and its remote workforce, providing tangible tokens of care and support.

Recommended Resource:14 Best Virtual Employee Engagement Ideas For 2023


These Virtual Employee Recognition ideas are a powerful way to convey to employees and teams that their hard work is seen, valued, and not taken for granted.

While working remotely, employees can often feel overlooked or disconnected, particularly in larger teams. These ideas bridge that gap and make them feel appreciated and acknowledged for their efforts.

Which virtual employee recognition idea was your favorite? Is there any good virtual appreciation idea that you know of? If yes, then do drop us an email. We'd love to include your suggestions on this list.

This article is written by Shikha Moni Gogoi, a member of the content team at Vantage Circle. She is an avid reader and likes to spend her days immersed in books and movies. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com.

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