Two co-workers talking.

Employee Recognition 7 Ways To Show Appreciation For Deskless Workers

Employee recognition has become a core value of the business world. In every industry, every employee wants to feel appreciated for contributing to a company’s success. Although many traditional workers with assigned desk spaces in traditional offices will agree they already get a significant portion of the recognition they hope for, the same cannot often be said for the deskless workforce.

Many employees do not operate in a traditional office setting and, as such, may seem invisible in the holistic operations of the establishment. These employees are known as deskless workers, and in these cases, it is easy to forget how important they are. Are you trying to incorporate the appreciation of deskless workers into your company values? Here are seven ways to show appreciation for your deskless employees.

Who Are Deskless Workers?

The traditional working environment features desks, chairs, and assigned spaces within an establishment or building. Traditionally, employees resume at their desks and complete their tasks at these desks before going home. However, a certain group of employees is an exemption to this traditional office setting. While they are employed to perform responsibilities crucial to an organization’s progress like any other employee, their responsibilities are restricted to deskless activities. These employees are known as deskless workers.

Deskless workers are those workers that are not assigned to a traditional workspace. These employees work jobs that do not require sitting at a desk and, as a result, are not positioned within the constraint of the traditional definition of an office worker. While this may make them seem like a minority group, deskless workers are, in fact, a major part of the business world and form about 80% of the global workforce.

Although they do not have a designated workspace, deskless workers are as integral to any establishment as any other employee. These employees charge manufacturing, transportation, construction, shipping, or energy-inclined services. They are the economy’s stronghold, playing fundamental roles in supporting the global economy.

Although they are as employed as any employee is, deskless workers still face several problems that most workers in traditional offices do not face. One of them is the absence of appreciation and acknowledgment.

Employee recognition, just as the name suggests, is the acknowledgment of an employee’s effort in a business establishment. It shows employees that they are valued, appreciated, and recognized for their contributions toward the success of their respective teams and company.

Employees are people. Like any other person, employees have feelings and want to feel valued when they achieve milestones or complete projects. Getting a pat on their back will motivate them to perform better at their duties. Essentially, recognition may be a little act of kindness to employees, but it wields a large impact that ripples among other employees and the entire organization.

In today’s business world, establishments recognize the benefits of appreciating their employees. However, traditional workers are mostly the recipients of the recognition tactics many businesses employ. This is because deskless workers are usually so behind the scenes that it is easy to forget they fulfill major contributions that fuel the company’s success.

While this is mostly intentional, it creates challenges that impact the affected employees’ productivity. By focusing more on appreciating traditional office workers, employers disconnect their frontline deskless workers working in the field, making them feel like outcasts whose contributions are unimportant or recognized. Needless to say, this may breed a negative work culture among the workers, reducing collaboration, productivity, and communication.

If your workforce comprises deskless workers, it is important to recognize their efforts toward the company. These employees are just as important and play critical roles in the establishment’s growth.

A woman working in the car manufacturing industry.
Deskless workers are often times on their feet, such as in auto manufacturing.

Importance Of Recognizing Deskless Employees

“Why should I recognize my deskless workers?”

If that is a question you find yourself asking, it is important first to remember that deskless employees are employees in all senses of the word. Just because they do not own a chair in the establishment does not make them any less of an employee than other traditional workers.

Some benefits of recognizing your deskless workers include the following:

  • Connects Workers To Their Job

Deskless workers are already somewhat segregated from their jobs due to their lack of an assigned workspace. As such, they may harbor a feeling of being disconnected from their positions within your establishment.

Recognizing your deskless employees and their contribution to your company’s growth is a great way to reassure them that they are part of your establishment as a community. This is important as recognizing that they are part of your establishment encourages deskless workers to work harder and prove that they are part of your establishment. After all, a survey showed that 86% of employees agree that recognition affects their motivation to succeed at work.

  • Increases Retention

Employee recognition is one of the many ways to reduce employee turnover. It is inextricably linked to employee retention and turnover. The more recognized an employee is by an establishment, the less likely they are to leave that establishment. This is because they feel appreciated and valued, contributing to job satisfaction.

Many companies, even those with hourly workers, struggle with staffing issues. As such, high employee retention and a low turnover rate are two things necessary for companies that want to succeed in the competitive business world. By recognizing deskless employees, you help them be more satisfied with their jobs, making them less likely to leave for a competitive job offer.

  • Promotes Productivity

It isn’t strange to find deskless workers performing the bare minimum in their roles at work. This is because they are not usually appreciated for hitting milestones. As a result, when these milestones are ignored constantly, the employee grows to think it does not matter if they perform exceptionally well or not.

On the contrary, appreciating deskless workers is instrumental in helping them be more productive. When they are recognized for a good deed, deskless workers are motivated to reenact and surpass that good deed in the hopes they will get recognized again. This creates a productive cycle as employees will get more active in their responsibilities at work.

  •  Creates Trust

By constantly appreciating your deskless workers, you can encourage them to trust you more. This is because constant appreciation helps deskless workers see that you value them, facilitating and creating an emotional connection that will otherwise be left dormant.

The trust created is evident in all areas of the establishment. Through appreciation, deskless workers will grow to trust their managers and colleagues, leading to a more robust company culture. It will also facilitate team building and encourage employees to work as a team.

7 Ways To Show Appreciation For Deskless Workers

Employee recognition is a great way to help deskless workers feel appreciated. It boosts their job satisfaction and increases their motivation. These lead to increased productivity and reduced turnover rates, both of which contribute to the success of an organization.

While these are great, many establishments are often at a loss for properly recognizing and appreciating their deskless workers. After all, it is easier to appreciate an employee with an assigned workspace than one constantly out of the establishment.

However, recognizing a deskless worker doesn’t have to be a challenging affair. Seven easy ways to recognize employees and show appreciation for your deskless workers include:

1. Public Recognition

Public recognition is a powerful way to appreciate deskless workers. It is especially efficient because many deskless workers may feel unseen or unknown at work. By putting them at the forefront occasionally, you reassure them that their contributions do not go unnoticed within the organization.

Public recognition may be oral or written. It may be a simple gesture, such as an announcement of the deskless worker’s name and accomplishment during a meeting. It may be pasting their name, picture, and other necessary details on the company’s notice board after a milestone or achievement. Basically, public recognition is anything that involves appreciating your deskless worker in public and the presence of their colleagues and bosses.

Public recognition goes a long way in making deskless workers feel appreciated in an organization.

2. Employee Incentives

Incentives are a great way to show appreciation. They are perks (other than the salary and regular benefits) given to deskless workers in appreciation for their contributions to a company’s growth.

Employee incentives are traditionally monetary payments to workers as “thank you” for reaching a milestone. For example, a truck driver for a delivery company might be given financial incentives for having the most deliveries in a particular period. 

However, incentives have grown to be an umbrella term for financial and non-financial benefits awarded to employees. Today, incentives may be anything from free lunch vouchers to gift cards. They can be awarded for meeting or exceeding performance expectations, finishing a project, or reaching milestones in duties.

3. Personalized Recognition

A personalized recognition is a thoughtful way to show you appreciate your deskless employee. It shows that you recognize, value, and appreciate that works as an individual, and you appreciate their contributions to your establishment.

Personalized recognition is usually anything addressed solely from the establishment to the individual employee. It may be anything from a personalized note to a personalized card, phone call, or one-on-one meeting with a manager, supervisor, or any other executive in charge.

4. Offer Certificates And Awards

Sometimes, offering a plaque is a great way to show appreciation for a successful project. Customized awards are a tangible gift that a deskless worker will have pride in showing friends and families. Not to mention, they are a great way to help productive employees feel they ‘won’ at a competition, a feeling similar to being bestowed a gold medal for winning a track race.

Customize awards or plaques with your deskless worker’s name on them. Offer certificates that celebrate and announce the employee’s achievement to those who see it.

5. Training And Development Opportunities

All deskless workers, like regular salary-earning workers, want to advance in their professional careers. However, sometimes they need help to do so. 

Your establishment can offer training and development opportunities as a way to show appreciation to the workers. This is important because sometimes, these learning opportunities are out of reach for the average deskless worker. However, when you offer these training and development opportunities, you show your deskless employee that you are interested in their growth and appreciate their contributions to your establishment.

The programs you offer may be on-site, on-the-job, off-site, workshops, or online courses. They will help your employees acquire new skills that will help them advance in their careers. This is not only a great way to recognize your employees’ hard work but also invest in them and the company’s growth.

A man working on a construction site.
Construction workers are often deskless workers.

6. Celebrate Milestones

Celebrate milestones that your employees reach and cross. This is not only a great way to appreciate deskless employees but also to show their colleagues the importance of being engaged and productive at work. Not to mention, celebrations are fun too!

Milestone celebrations may be in the form of a party or a get-together. You can tweak the party features to meet your preferred budgets. However, incorporating cakes, snacks, drinks, and a little decoration may go a long way.

Celebrating milestones is also one of the many ways to bring new life to a tired team. By recognizing team efforts and throwing a party to that effect, you can rejuvenize deskless teams and motivate them to continue being productive.

How To Improve Recognition For Deskless Workers

Making recognition of deskless employees a part of your corporate culture can be a daunting task at first. To make recognition for deskless workers a reality in your establishment, some acts you can incorporate include:

  • Align your belief of the importance of employee recognition with every member of your establishment
  • Define your goals for the recognition program
  • Train your managers always to reward and recognize achievements
  • Encourage all employees (deskless or not) to get involved in the recognition program
  • Lead by example
  • Offer tangible gifts and benefits as recognition
  • Mix and match appreciation methods
  • Say no to bias.

Showing Appreciation For Deskless Workers

Deskless workers are one of the most underappreciated workers in the global workforce today. However, ironically, they are the largest, most important group of workers worldwide.

Recognizing and appreciating your deskless workers is vital for creating a positive work environment and increasing employee morale. It shows them that they matter and are a part of your establishment. It is a great way to acknowledge their hard work, provide growth opportunities, and foster a sense of community.

Are you at a loss for how to properly appreciate your deskless workers? Here is everything you need to know about appreciating your deskless workers!

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