Company meeting to recognize employee of the month

8 Ways To Improve Your Employee Of The Month Program

Man excited after winning Employee Of The Month

Whether you’ve been running an employee of the month program for years or only a few weeks, there’s always room for improvement. Recognizing and rewarding high-performing employees boosts morale team-wide, makes everyone feel valued, and reduces turnover rate.

A strong employee of the month program is integral in achieving these much-sought-after variables and is essential for the success of your business. In this article, the management experts at Sling show you how to improve your employee of the month program for maximum employee engagement.

How To Improve Your Employee Of The Month Program

group of coworkers discussing employee of the month program

1) Refine Your Program Goals

One of the best ways to improve your employee of the month program — or create one from scratch — is to associate it with specific company goals (e.g., increase sales, decrease spending, improve productivity, etc.).

Those goals, in turn, should be tied to your overall organizational strategy and each level of strategy underneath (corporate, business, and functional).

2) Establish The Structure Of The Program To Meet Those Goals

It’s best to base the structure of your employee of the month program on rules and regulations that are easy to:

  • Understand
  • Produce
  • Verify

You also want your program to contain targets that inspire your employees to stretch and improve but aren’t so difficult that only the most driven on your team will be able to reach them.

3) Set Up Eligibility Requirements

manager writing down eligibility requirements for employee of the month program

All successful employee of the month programs contain eligibility requirements that determine who is up for the award and when.

Questions to consider when setting up your eligibility requirements include:

  • Does the person have to be employed for a certain amount of time before they are eligible for employee of the month?
  • Will everyone — full-time employees, part-time employees, temporary employees, interns — be eligible for the program?
  • Are those involved in the selection process eligible to receive the award?
  • Can you nominate the same employee more than once?
  • Can you nominate the same employee on successive months?

These factors will help you set up an employee of the month program that is both fair and beneficial for your employees and your business.

4) Determine How You Will Select Your Employee Of The Month

When setting up a new employee of the month program, or refining an existing program, it’s vital to determine how you will select the candidate.

You want your criteria to go beyond subjective impressions like positive attitude or team spirit. Instead, base your selection on objective numbers, such as performance levels, feedback from customers, or a peer-voting system.

5) Award Meaningful Prizes

woman holding an employee of the month prize

Meaningful prizes can be the difference between a successful employee of the month program and an unsuccessful one. At the most basic level, it’s these rewards that provide the motivation your employees need to get involved in trying to improve the way they work.

Consider prizes such as:

Get creative and we’re sure you’ll come up with meaningful prizes that will motivate your employees to greatness. For further inspiration, see the section More Ideas For Employee Of The Month Rewards section below.

6) Present The Program To Your Employees

The only way your employees will know about the new or improved program and what they have to do to be nominated is if you tell them.

First, hold a team meeting to explain the process in detail and to answer any questions. Then include all relevant rules, requirements, and information in the employee handbook so that team members can access it whenever they need to.

7) Publicize The Winner

company event to recognize employee of the month

If your previous “awards ceremony” was just handing the star employee their prize, consider revamping the process to include some type of public recognition.

Depending on your business, you could keep that recognition in-house with a business- or team-wide meeting to announce the winner. Or you could really publicize the winner by sending the details to a local paper for community-wide recognition.

8) Reassess Your Employee Of The Month Program

Once you’ve created your employee of the month program, make the time to reassess it periodically.

After six months, are your employees still engaged in the process, or have they lost interest? If the latter, refine the program even further to get it back on track.

More Ideas For Employee Of The Month Rewards

Lunch With The Boss

Take the employee of the month out to eat at their favorite restaurant. While there, refrain from discussing work. Instead, use that time to really get to know the individual as a person.

Shopping Spree

If your employee of the month met a specific numerical goal (10,000 units, for example), give the employee $1,000 dollars and send them shopping for the day.

Company Swag

Give your employee of the month a special t-shirt, a coffee mug, or some other useful item emblazoned with your company logo.

Plaque Or Trophy

Print the employee’s name on a plaque or trophy and display it in a prominent place in your office.

Reserved Parking

empty parking lot except for a yellow VW Beetle

Set aside a parking spot close to the building reserved just for the employee of the month. To make the award extra special, print a sign with the employee’s name on it and mount it at the head of the spot so everyone knows who is parking there.

Gas Or Public Transportation Money

Recognize a job well done by giving your employee of the month a lump sum of money to use on gas or public transportation for the month.

Recognition Lunch

Spread the good cheer of your employee of the month recognition by organizing a special lunch for all team members to enjoy.

Ask Your Employees How You Can Improve The Program

If you’re having trouble setting up a successful employee of the month program, ask your employees for suggestions on how to improve.

As a manager or owner, you may sometimes find it difficult to make your program meaningful and relevant to those on the front line. But with a bit of input from your team members, you can build a program that motivates them to improve the way they work and is a valuable part of your business structure.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit today.

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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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