If you are running remotely fully, or just more distributed than usual, then it can be tough to show appreciation in the ways that you are used to. The one that you’ve probably lost is the immediate positive feedback.
Giving feedback close to the event is one of the most important ways to make sure it’s understood and recognised. Giving a quick bit of positive re-enforcement on a good performance is especially beneficial. It’s the “Good job with the really clear chart on Slide 5” or “Great handling on the tough question from Marketing”.
You still need to give these little positive updates to the people you work with, but when there’s no corridors to walk around, it can be hard to find out the right way to do it.
It’ll depend somewhat on your culture, and on the meetings you are having, but you can consider these approaches:
- Just do the shout-out in the meeting. Works great for the truly positive and if the person you are praising enjoys the public recognition.
- Hold on for your next one-to-one. If you are having them weekly, then it’s probably still close enough to be effective. Grab some notes in the moment and refer to them in the session.
- Drop it in at the start of another meeting. You will be in and out of video calls all day, so pick a time when both you and the person you are giving the appreciation to are early to a call, and go for it then.
- Go big. If you’ve got a big all hands or departmental meeting, grab a few seconds in the appreciation section to recognise the great work.
- Send a note in instant messenger. This will be close to the situation, but can lose some of the emotion and meaning, so craft it carefully.
Five options to let someone know they did well, pick what works for you and which will also have the right impact on the person you are praising.
One final thought. Never ask for ‘a quick call’ from your chat software, especially if it’s the sum total of your message. That’s certain to put the fear into the person you are talking to. The unexpected escalation to a more personal form of contact is too often used for bad news, so avoid this approach wherever possible.