If you’re like many organizations we work with, you’re probably wondering how you can pull off a recognition event this year. To be fair, that’s probably the case for any event. Traditionally, these events take place around the holidays, and it’s one of the most important times to show appreciation to the people who are making a difference in your organization.

2020 has been a challenging year for many organizations, but it’s also important to remember that it’s been a challenging year for your people as well. In a survey of business leaders conducted by Terryberry this summer, 90% of them said recognizing employees has more impact now than before the pandemic.

With that in mind, simply canceling or even postponing this important event seems short-sighted. In trying times, employees need to feel energized and aligned with their employer more than ever.

If safety or budget constraints are keeping you from holding an in-person recognition event, we have some tips on how to create a virtual recognition event for employees that instills meaning and purpose into their work. Download the eBook today to get the full recommendations, or read below to get some of our top tips on how you can create a meaningful virtual event.

Align your virtual event around your culture

When considering a virtual recognition event, you need to think first about your culture and what makes the most sense for your organization. When employees are aligned on values and purpose, it leads to better retention than higher pay or perks like food or ping pong tables. Every employee counts, especially when we are all asking more of them.

For our virtual event, we sent each recipient’s award and a wine and cheese package to their home and had a cheese expert speak before recognizing people. Even if a wine and cheese party isn’t your style, there’s probably no wrong way to approach programming a virtual event as long as it’s aligned with your culture and supports your values.

Focus on what the award recipients want

We know that focusing on the types of recognition people want supercharges the effect. An avid cook appreciates a special pan he has had his eye on more than cash, and a superfan appreciates a new piece of memorabilia for her collection more than a Starbucks gift card.

We also know some people like very public recognition in front of family and friends while others prefer a more private thank-you. While an in-person event may already account for this, remember this is still true in virtual formats.

Make the thought count

You’ve heard the expression, “It’s the thought that counts.” As organizations navigate uncertainty and disruption, your people really appreciate the thought you put into your actions and it helps build trust in the organization.

While award travel or experiential awards may be out this year, consider alternatives like a virtual shopping spree or other ways that something tangible can help close the recognition loop with employees.

Need more ideas?

Download our eBook “5 Ways to Ensure Your Virtual Recognition Event Is Meaningful” and get more actionable ways you can embed meaning into your virtual event.