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How to Reward Your Virtual Team and Give Recognitions

Giving awards and recognition provides tremendous value to your virtual team members as well as the team’s collective spirit. When people receive an award or recognition it makes them feel valued. Recognition honor’s efforts and lets others know that we see their contributions.

Bottom line, when we receive an award or recognition, we feel good. And good chemicals are released in our brain that inspires us to continue doing what we are being recognized for.

Impromptu recognition is always a good idea when it is sincere, yet being recognized “officially” provides an extra element of satisfaction and imprints a stronger memory.

In this virtual team building activity, I’ll walk you through how you can give team members an opportunity to award their peers. It’s not only fun, but it’s also really easy to do with a virtual team.

I facilitated this activity with a team of 11 recently in about 30 minutes.  I was smiling from ear to ear as the awards were presented because positive energy is contagious. The instructions are below, feel free to modify to fit the needs of your team.

Reward & Recognize Instructions:

Prep Work for the Facilitator

1. Create a certificate template in PowerPoint that you will provide for the team members.

My template had three sections:

Certificate Instruction Schema
Rewards Certification Schema
Recognize Diploma  Schema

2. Work with the team leader to divide the team into sub-teams of 3-4 people who will work together in a breakout.

Facilitating the Activity

  1. Set up the exercise as an opportunity for the team to celebrate each other and recognize each other for their special contribution to the team.
  2. Explain that they will have 15 minutes to work with a sub-team and create an award certificate for a sub-set of the team that they will be assigned. Each sub-team will be creating awards for 3-4 team members that are not in their breakout room. (On a slide provide a table which shows the sub-teams and who they are creating awards for).
  3. Show them an example of a completed certificate. Encourage them to be creative and colorful if they have time.
  4. Assign a sub-team facilitator for each breakout.
  5. Upload the PowerPoint template into chat so they can download the instructions, example, and blank certificates before they go into their breakout rooms.
  6. Direct them to have one person in each sub-team share their screen in the breakout and fill out the certificates.
  7. Let them know when they come back to the main room, one person from each group will be presenting the awards.
  8. Check for questions.
  9. Send them into breakouts for 15 minutes.
  10. When they return, each team will share the certificate and award the team members they were assigned. (This takes about 1-2 minutes per person, depending on the team).
  11. Lastly, ask them to send you the certificates so you can compile them and distribute them to the full team later.


This is a fun, engaging virtual team building activity that allows the team to reward and recognize each other for their unique contributions to the team.

About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and Forward, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.

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One Response

  1. Some desktop merchandise with company logo and personalized congratulatory notes by senior management also gives a feeling of immense pride to the employees. It is notable to mention here that even though a part of R R program should regard individual performance to inspire each member towards higher productivity but at the same time major emphasize should be placed on group efforts because then only will people unite and collaborate together to deliver results. Virtual team members perform in a unique cross-functional, cross-organizational and multi-cultural work environment, therefore their key performance indicators should also focus on working across organizational boundaries, sharing knowledge to support group tasks, ambiguity as well as adaptability to different cultures. The key to unlock the full potential of virtual team s performance management system lies in both modified performance objectives and distinct rewards recognition programs. Virtual team members need constant reinforcement that they are important asset of the organization and their contributions go a long way in determining the organizational success.

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