How To Start An Employee Of The Month Program

Expert Tips
Beirit Harvey July 18, 2021 8 min read
Employee of the month award

Quick Guide

    It’s no secret that employees that are recognized and appreciated for their hard work are more motivated to continue that behavior in the future. Forbes notes that “recognized employees tend to be more satisfied, perform better, are more productive and they’re more likely to engage with the rest of the team.”

    In addition, employee acknowledgment can ”make them feel like they can be the best version of themselves at work, and this contributes to reduced stress, absenteeism, and attrition.” 

    With that in mind, creating an employee of the month award program is an easy and simple way to motivate employees and create a healthy, competitive environment so that your employees can always strive to do and be their best! Employee recognition and appreciation also increases teamwork and collaboration, could we ask for more?

    We’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide on how to quickly and efficiently implement an employee of the month award program. Sit back, relax and simply read how you can effortlessly improve employee productivity, motivation and even reduce employee turnover rates just by showing a bit of recognition and appreciation. Also, if you’re implementing some form of an employee of the month program already then these tips can help you further evolve what you’re doing for better results!

    Be Creative With Different Types Of Awards

    First, it’s important to note that these awards don’t necessarily need to be referred to as “employee of the month” and they certainly don’t only need to be monthly or just one employee. Instead, create awards that are attainable to every employee in the company. 

    An employee of the month award program should reward employees that excel in sales, provide exceptional customer service, or employees that embody and positively promote the values and culture of the company.

    Here are some examples of different types of awards that your company can recognize:

    • Greatest Team Player Award: this is an award that recognizes the importance of teamwork and collaboration. 
    • Growth Champion Award: this award is great for sales personnel that have exceeded sales goals. 
    • Marathon Runner Award: this is an award that can be given to employees who have been with the company for a long period of time and have impacted the company in meaningful and positive ways. 

    Forbes mentions that “companies that prioritize recognition have a better chance of retaining the talent they fought so hard to attract in the first place.” By merely showing appreciation and recognition you can keep those amazing employees, avoid losing talent, increase attendance and reduce work absences.

    Keep in mind that it’s not only about upper management recognition, it’s about the recognition and acknowledgment of their achievements from their colleagues as well. 

    Create A Clear Criteria On How Employees Can Win Different Awards

    Once you’ve created some fun and exciting awards for your employees to work towards, it’s important to formalize and publicize the company’s criteria and rules on how to attain these awards. Let your employees know very clearly what goals and objectives they must meet in order to be considered for the employee of the month award program. 

    For example, if awards are given to employees that are full time or part time, if remote employees are candidates for awards, and if you need to be working for the company for a certain period of time to be able to be nominated for an award. In addition, set a time frame on when performance will be evaluated for nominations or how long the period between awards will be. 

    Sam Molony, an employee management expert, mentions that you can “compile an FAQ document or slide deck that you can share with the announcement” to answer any questions employees may have and to create hype and excitement about the new program.

    Communicate And Announce The New Employee Of The Month Award Program

    In order to efficiently and quickly carry out an employee of the month award program, you can use an all-in-one digital employee management app, like Connecteam

    With Connecteam, you can publicize and roll out your new or improved employee of the month award program smoothly and without spending a bunch of time with manual pen and paper surveys or even worse— mass emails! 

    Connecteam updates employee recognition

    There’s no need to make this award program a long-drawn-out process, it can be done quickly, easily, and digitally right through the Connecteam app.

    Join thousands of companies that trust Connecteam to increase employee productivity, engagement and motivation!

    Make It Interesting With A Fun Company Event And Exciting Prizes

    In order to really recognize those that went above and beyond and were awarded an employee of the month award, a fun company event is a great way to celebrate those achievements and further motivate those who may not have won this time around. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but something along the lines of a company-paid lunch or a happy hour is a great way to bring the whole team together and congratulate the winners. 

    In addition, try to avoid cash prizes. While a cash prize may seem like a good choice, thoughtful gifts are more meaningful to employees. 

    Jeff Haden, author of “The Motivation Myth” gives some examples of good prize ideas. For example:

    • Dinner with the boss or CEO 
    • A weekend stay at a hotel for two
    • Wine tasting for two
    • Get them some cool tech accessories, like some new headphones or a smartwatch 
    • A team day out 

    Get Feedback After Implementing Your New Employee Of The Month Program

    It’s not just the case that employees like to be recognized for their hard work, but employees also value companies that ensure their voices are heard as well. After completing your first award program, be sure to follow up and see how your employees liked it. Ask their opinion on how they think it went or if there are any changes that should be made to make it more inclusive. 

    A Forbes article wisely remarks that “if we want better outcomes for our organizations, we need candid feedback from our employees. We may not always like what we hear, but without it, we’re missing opportunities.” After finishing your first employee of the month award program you should definitely get feedback from your employees on how you can improve the process or even ask them for new award ideas!

    In addition, with the Connecteam employee management app, you can easily create fully digital customizable surveys and polls to instantly gain valuable feedback from your employees. Employees can fill the digital survey or poll directly from their phones and management will be alerted with push notifications when employees complete them. With these digital surveys, you can now make the necessary changes to your employee of the month award program from the feedback you’ve collected from your employees.

    mobile app for employee engagement

    Now That You Know The Ins And Outs Of An Employee Of The Month Program…

    As mentioned before, the benefits of employee recognition and appreciation are unending. A Glassdoor survey suggests that “seven in ten (68%) employees say their boss shows them enough appreciation, however, more than half (53%) of employees admit they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss. In fact, four in five (81%) employees report they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work…” 

    Motivation is the key factor here, and to motivate employees, an employee of the month award program is a great start! The motivation comes from a mixture of wanting to win, recognition, and appreciation from colleagues and upper management for their hard work and to prove to themselves they are capable of performing above and beyond expectations

    By creating clear criteria for your new employee of the month program, selecting multiple winners for different types of awards, communicating and publicizing the new employee of the month award program, and planning a fun and exciting company event to announce the winners, you can easily increase employee motivation, productivity, and retention. Don’t forget to make your prizes interesting and authentic. Cash prizes are boring, be creative and think of something engaging and alluring to entice and persuade your employees to do and be the best employees they can be!

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