3 Simple Steps to an Effective Employee of the Month Program


An effective employee of the month program is a way to improve your company’s culture and workplace environment. Why make it harder than it has to be?  Doing it right can be achieved with 3 simple steps.

Step 1 – Set Goals & Determine Criteria

To have a successful employee of the month program, you have to start with a solid foundation.

awards program, annual plaque, spot-on kit, 2 prism awards

Our clients who see the best results from their employee of the month program all have great criteria chosen by their management team designed to increase performance. Rewarding your employees with an award for doing the right things is the only way to see a true difference in their performance.

These areas must be directly related to what is needed for your business to grow.

Are the criteria measurable and specific?

The more measurable and specific your criteria is for selecting winners of the award, the greater the positive effect the employee of the month program will have, especially if this is clearly expressed to the employees. They can’t hit a target they can’t see.

Make it easy for them by showing your team members what you want to see improved in your business. Tie it to things that actually increase your sales and profits.

Great questions to ask about the criteria:

1. What is the main goal of our company?
2. If achieved, what areas of performance would make us stand out in our market/district?
3. What areas of performance would we like to improve in our location?

If you have trouble coming up with those, here are some other examples of great criteria to get you started on your employee of the month program:

Sample generic criteria:

1. Attitude (Willing to help? Goes above and beyond?)
2. Performance goals (Completes tasks on time? Exceeds measurable goals?)
3. Team Player (Works well with others to complete goals?)
4. Punctuality
5. Professionalism (Represent the company’s image? Great customer service?)

Get more specific criteria by checking out this article about the 24 Insider Secrets That Improve Employee Recognition Success. If you want to talk to someone about what a recognition program would look like in your business? Click here.

Step 2 – Monitor Criteria & Track Performance

Now that you have a foundation for your employee of the month plaque program, it’s time to bring the Team Members on board!

Criteria Tracking Sheets

Download and fill out the Criteria Tracking Sheet that best fits your business. Make sure that the criteria you have chosen are directly related to your company goals. Set the goals too high and it is discouraging, set them too low and it won’t be effective

Our New App

Have an iPhone? You can also use our Rise App to track employee criteria. You can see more information and download it here.

Rise helps you keep milestones your employees reach on a weekly basis.

It will make sure you stay up to date!

rise app by myemployees

You have the the criteria picked. Now what?

Once you have the criteria sheets filled out or your employees entered into the app, get everyone together and talk through what each criteria means. Answer any questions and clarify exactly how they will be able to WIN the award. Remember that this award will not just be given, but has to be earned!

Once it has been presented, post a list of the criteria needed to earn the award. Put it up where it will be visible to everyone on a daily basis. Perhaps the break room, or where the employees clock in and out.

Update the scores at least 1 time each week so that everyone can see where they are leading and where they can improve. Use this as coaching opportunities for your team to share knowledge and improve together!

Step 3 – Now It’s Time to Celebrate!

Don’t stop now, finish strong! This can seem like a simple thing, but don’t forget to recognize your employee of the month winners!

After taking so much time to build confidence in your team, make sure that getting your winners recognized in a timely fashion is a priority. The success of the whole program can be won or lost with this step, and you want to make sure that you are successful!

Staying current with turning in winning employees is a huge factor in keeping the goals and winning criteria fresh on employees’ minds each month. You want your top performers each month to be motivated to do it all over again at the beginning of the next month along with the rest of the team.

The quicker you can give the winning employee that “pat on the back,” the more effective the awards program will be.

Make the presentation a HUGE deal

Take a picture of the management team presenting the award (with the winning employees in the middle), and actually give them a copy so they can remember their special and memorable day forever.

Make sure that you make the winning employee feel important. Without these team members your business would not be where it is today. Let them know that it means a lot to you that they are there.

It is important to:

  • Utilize social media, company newsletters, email updates and any other communication tool to announce the winner.
  • Make sure that it is a large gathering! Include employees, clients and customers! Everyone gets to celebrate your success!
  • Talk about the reasons that person won.
  • Applaud and takes pictures with the managers with the winner.
  • Remember, when you make it a big deal they will feel like it’s a big deal.
  • Your attitude is the key!

You now have the necessary tools to drive performance and each new company initiative for the future. Remember to keep your criteria current, monitor and track performance, and make a huge deal about why they are being recognized.

Ready to take it to the next level?

See our done-for-you solution to your employee recognition problem

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