Employee of the month programs are designed to recognize the top staff members in your company and to reward them for a job well done. When executed properly, this type of incentive system can make your employees feel appreciated and build loyalty to management and the company.
To help your staff recognize that the employee of the month program is a valuable award rather than something that is offered to everyone at some point, focus on the reasons for selection. Offer specific examples with the award: an exceptional review from a client, a large boost in sales or calm behavior in a crisis situation. Choose different reasons each month to let employees know that they may be rewarded for a number of behaviors; this can inspire your staff to make an effort in all aspects of their work.
Awards With Value
Although a name on a plaque is nice, reward your employee of the month with a prize that has value. You might offer a special parking spot near the building for a month, give a cash award or provide gift certificates for local stores. If your organizational structure allows, offer the employee of the month a promotion. You can also give a reward that enables the winner to have flexibility in their work life: paid time off, work from home days or flex time during the following month.
Personal recognition is an important part of an employee of the month program. Make a point to thank the winner each month, and let your boss and upper management know about the individual's accomplishments. Encourage someone other than the employee's boss to deliver additional congratulations so that the winner knows that their hard work is being recognized at all levels of the company. When fellow staff members see that the employee of the month is reported to company higher-ups, they might be more interested in earning the award.
Many companies have access to various non-cash prizes that can have a great deal of value. Reward your employee of the month with special perks, such as access to the corporate health club membership, coveted box seats or season tickets or airline miles that accrue on company credit cards. Whenever possible, give the employee a choice of perks so he can select one that best fits into his lifestyle.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.