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Three top tips for Employee of the Month Awards

Employee of the month awards can be a great way to motivate employees and support high morale. The tricky part is figuring out what works with you company culture.

All too often, well-intentioned employee recognition award ideas fall flat or, worse, cause unnecessary tension and conflict in the workplace. If selection criteria is not clear, or the same person is chosen as employee of the month over and over again, employees may suspect the system is rigged. It feels political, and more about popularity than effort or results

On the other hand, in an effort to avoid favouritism, some managers swing to the opposite extreme and dilute the award criteria until winning is perceived as worthless. Employees can begin to feel like they all take turns being employee of the month no matter what they do.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Done right, your employee appreciation awards can be fair and motivating — and choosing a monthly winner can be easier. Follow these tips to make your employee of the month program a success.


Tip 1 - Base the awards on a key performance indicator

Taking the subjectivity out of it makes your employee of the month award instantly less political and helps prevent resentment among those who don’t win. Simply focus on some aspect of employee success that can be measured. The employee with the highest or lowest number (depending on the goal) wins. A few indicators you could use include sales, customer reviews, wastage rates and productivity.

Tip 2 - Change it up

Each employee will have different strengths, so some may excel at meeting certain goals but struggle with others. This is why it’s a good idea to occasionally change the chosen indicator you use to determine the employee of the month. Plus, if you don’t have a ton of employees, you may need to mix it up often to avoid repetitive winners. Consider changing your performance indicators every year.

Tip 3 - Make the criteria public

Whatever criteria you use to choose an employee of the month, make sure it’s clearly communicated to the whole team. This will give each employee the fairest chance to earn recognition that month. Plus, it encourages everyone to strive for their best possible performance in each area you choose to emphasise.

Let us help you recognise your employees of the month with custom employee recognition awards. Browse our store for ideas!