8 Virtual Employee Appreciation Ideas To Engage Your Remote Team

November 16, 2023
10 mins to read
8 Virtual Employee Appreciation Ideas To Engage Your Remote Team

Expressing employee appreciation the right way is critical for remote success. Here are 8 unique virtual employee appreciation ideas to value your employees.

How do you reward a remote team for great work? Oftentimes, managers will wait until performance review time to provide perks and benefits. But in reality, that’s the bare minimum that employees expect. Expressing employee appreciation should be a continuous cycle that goes beyond monetary bonuses. One that companies adopt on a daily basis to ensure remote employees feel like rockstars. To thrive in a remote environment, it's essential to build an environment that's positive, engaging, and purposeful. Here are 8 virtual employee appreciation ideas to consider to give employees the kudos they deserve.

1. Shout-Out Employees Online

Highlighting the unique accomplishments of employees can be a great way to boost their confidence. Not only does this public recognition humanize your company’s relationship with the online audience, but it also leaves a track record of employee efforts that they will value having. Here are some high-impact ways to shoutout your employees online:

  • Create dedicated social media posts praising individual accomplishments
  • Write featured blog posts introducing remote team members and their notable projects
  • Write a LinkedIn recommendation to endorse employee skills and impact 
  • Send company-wide emails to highlight monthly wins and recognize standout contributors

2. Host Virtual Catch-Up Sessions

Organizing one-on-one catch-ups or virtual team lunches can help you build and nurture bonds with your remote employees. You’d be surprised how valuable and meaningful these casual, unstructured interactions are. Apart from providing a social outlet outside of formal meetings, it also opens up doors for crediting good work when it’s least expected. Unexpected recognition reinforces self-worth and affirms the quality of their contributions. To top off the verbal gratitude, consider adding a surprise meal or coffee voucher to enhance the experience.

Want to try out Litespace’s new Coffee Chat feature? Book a demo call with us to learn more.

3. Celebrate With A Virtual Happy Hour

In the absence of physical proximity, a virtual happy hour can be a great way to unwind, share laughter, and celebrate successes together. It demonstrates recognition of personal time and an understanding of employee work-life balance. Gathering in this virtual setting also allows for a more open exchange of thoughts. Colleagues can give praise, share personal stories, or discuss non-work-related interests. It also sends a clear message that you value their happiness and mental well-being. With that being said, cheers to the celebrations! 

4. Organize A Virtual Awards Ceremony

Introducing something unique like a virtual awards ceremony can elevate your employee recognition game. A fitting time for this would be during a semi-annual or quarterly progress meeting or on employee appreciation day. Instead of purely focusing on performance, highlight qualities that contribute to the team’s success. For example, you could acknowledge employees for:

  • Demonstrating leadership skills
  • Facilitating inclusive conversations
  • Bringing innovative ideas to fruition
  • Consistently exceeding expectations
  • Embodying company values
  • Providing excellent mentorship and support to colleagues
  • Consistently uplifting team spirits with good vibes

5. Send Digital Thank-You Cards

Express gratitude with a personal touch by sending thank-you cards to your coworker’s inbox. Getting colleagues to chime in on giving kudos can make this even more special. 

Kudoboard is a great platform for creating group cards for any occasion. You can add messages, GIFs, photos, and videos, and invite others to add their contributions. This is perfect for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and important milestones. 

Ellacard is another solution with similar features and creative templates to choose from. You can also add group gift cards for an array of merchants, restaurants, and even experiences. A simple thank-you goes a long way, and a simple yet meaningful gesture like this can leave a lasting impact. 

6. Gather up for a wellness morning

Another fantastic virtual employee appreciation idea is to organize regular virtual wellness mornings. This could include guided meditation sessions, yoga classes, or even a group workout. With this renewed energy, remote employees will feel motivated to bring their best to work and accomplish their work goals. 

It’s important to remember that employee appreciation can be given in many forms. Focusing on employee health and mindfulness can show that you value your employee’s work-life balance and a priority for their well-being.

7. Donate to a charity on their behalf

While employees certainly appreciate the gratitude gestures and tokens of appreciation provided to them, they might appreciate an opportunity to give to someone less fortunate even more. Although it’s a surprise, allow your employees to pick their charity of choice. They may already have a specific cause in mind that they’d like to support. This is a gift that keeps on giving, bringing joy to your employees and communities in need. 

8. Use an employee recognition app

Remote work is here to stay. Having a centralized tool to distribute recognition remotely can help foster a strong culture of appreciation. Whether it’s manager-led or peer-to-peer recognition, it's important to ensure that the platform aligns with your goals, values, and remote culture. Here are a few tools that you can get started with today:

  • Kudos - A great peer-to-peer recognition tool that connects recognition messages and rewards with a company’s core values. With robust customization and people analytics features, Kudos is great for larger teams. 
  • Guusto - Allows users to send and receive rewards not just between colleagues, but also with contractors, volunteers, suppliers, and customers. This tool brings a new meaning to transparent recognition. 
  • Bonusly - With a focus on peer-to-peer recognition, Bonusly facilitates instant recognition and bonus incentives. It's a great tool for high-performing teams. 
  • Fond - Offers data-driven insights and analytics, allowing companies to align recognition efforts with strategic goals by measuring the impact on key performance indicators.
  • Cooleaf - Best for developing a recognition strategy and a culture of appreciation. Cooleaf utilizes pulse surveys, recognition programs, virtual activities, and powerful analytics dashboards to enhance the overall employee experience.


Effective virtual employee appreciation is about creating moments that make working remotely enjoyable. Lead by example and show the importance of valuing each other. ‘Thank you’s and ‘Great work’ often go a long way for quick validation and motivation. But with these unique virtual employee appreciation ideas, you’ll be on your way to building a valued, connected, and resilient remote team that in return will bring long-term success.

Ziyad Bakkali
Ziyad Bakkali

Ziyad is a Marketing and Content Intern at Litespace. With a background in leveraging digital growth strategies for client success and a passion for digital marketing trends, he is eager to contribute his expertise to support Litespace’s marketing efforts and help the brand thrive in the HRTech space.

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