How to show employee appreciation with a distributed workforce

SurfCT COO explains how Employee Appreciation Day event promoted belonging and connection

How to show employee appreciation with a distributed workforce

Employee Appreciation Day gets a bit trickier to celebrate when you have some employees coming into the office and others working remotely.

But Scott Hines, chief operating officer at New York City-based SurfCT, still pulled it off.

The IT consultancy, which specializes in the dental and health care industries, hosted a company-wide interactive trivia game with randomly assigned teams of four. “This way, people mingle and meet each other instead of sticking with colleagues they already know,” Hines told HRD.

Employees gathered at the company’s main service center to play and chow down on some free cuisine, served family-style, of course. Meanwhile, remote workers had their meals delivered to their homes and joined the game via Zoom. In addition to bragging rights, teams competed to win company swag, such as branded sweatshirts, jackets and hats. 

The goal of the event, Hines says, was to promote feelings of belonging and connection.

“Regardless of the economy, we appreciate and celebrate our team consistently and daily with a sincere and genuine focus on respect and gratitude,” Hines says. “We also host team events like bowling, family movie night, paintball and top golf. These events are all meticulously designed and include food, drink and fun. We also share meals together around holidays and have trivia events with prizes. These get-togethers help us connect with all team members outside of work.”  

Another Employee Appreciation Day tradition at SurfCT is for employees to receive a phone call from a member of the leadership team, expressing gratitude for their daily contributions. Plus, the company recognized its internal social media contributors, who, Hines says, are critical to the business’ success.

“Each team member has a responsibility to contribute digitally,” Hines says. “Our team is moving around the country, responding to clients in different states and cities and creating connections and a sense of community. We tell the stories of our widespread community digitally, either through the company’s social media or our personal accounts. And some people produce outstanding content.”

HR leaders from Noodles & Company, Appspace and Servicon reveal how they celebrated Employee Appreciation Day.

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