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Chapter 3

How Will Employee Recognition Change Post-COVID-19?

Post-COVID-19, employee recognition will require a new approach.

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When it comes to recognising great work, many are used to having the moment be face-to-face, whether that's a 'way to go!' high five in the hallway, a team-wide office cheer when something goes well or a bell ringing when the company hits a really big target. 

But when it comes to post-COVID-19 employee recognition, we’re going to start to see a different kind of recognition, one that needs to be focussed on digital delivery that reaches employees everywhere, no matter where work might be. 

Embedding a culture of appreciation may have begun with a poster board or a photo of the Employee of the Month, or a spreadsheet of work anniversaries that caused your HR department a headache gathering up company swag and hand-delivering it. And maybe that worked, in a typical office setting. 

Employees now are either embracing remote work as a 'new normal' or are slowly making their return to the office, with many still out in the field, spread out from their fellow colleagues and unable to have that typical face-to-face connection, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness (with a study by Swinburne University showing that 1 in 2 Australians is feeling more lonely since the pandemic started).

And it’s not going away – recent research points to many Australians favouring working remote up to three days a week, with the older demographic preferring a fully remote work environment once the pandemic is over. 

To ensure business continuity and eventual growth, creating the environment to make accomplishments visible to the entire business so others know what 'great' or even 'good' looks like in this post-COVID-19 world is key.

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Does your Future of Work include a plan to recognise employees?

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Our own research has highlighted that more than 70% of employees agree that motivation and morale would improve if managers simply said 'thank you' more often, and this has held true, especially in a post-COVID-19 world.

The future of recognition is here. 

It’s time for companies to move away from manual, time-consuming and expensive processes and embrace flexible, digital, timely recognition. Timely recognition is especially important so that employees can feel appreciated by their coworkers, managers and leadership at any time, anywhere. 

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Replacing those organic moments of high fives and cheers doesn’t mean your team can’t feel the benefits of being recognised. Tapping into the power of a digital tool like a focussed reward and recognition platform can help amplify moments of recognition through real-time connections, giving peers and managers an opportunity to add on to the initial moment with comments and reactions. 

Whether that’s on a virtual meeting, or a smaller gathering of teams, the meaning behind the moment of recognition hasn’t changed: Contributions to the business’s bottom line should always be recognised. What gets recognised, gets repeated.

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Employee retention and recognition in a post-COVID-19 world

The COVID-19 pandemic has given an opportunity for some employees to shine and demonstrate the incredible value they bring to your organisation. These were the people, like frontline workers, that accepted new challenges, that brought new ideas to the table, helped push your company forward and set a positive example for others. Improving your employee recognition strategy can play an important role in retaining these employees, as you want to keep the employees who are modelling the behaviours your company needs to recover and thrive in a post-COVID-19 era. 


Recognition can help make an employee understand and trust that they matter to the business, and are vital to the company’s recovery, as well as to its future success. 

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