Love2shop Employee of the month

How to Create an Employee of the Month Scheme for the 21st Century

Employee of the month schemes are one of the oldest forms of recognition in the workplace but are organisations who utilise this method living in the past?
With modern recognition schemes becoming more and more apparent, flashy cash orientated incentives still prevalent (although likely to be costly and less effective than their non-cash equivalent), could it be time to re-evaluate your strategy?
With this in mind, here are five ways to take your employee of the month scheme into the 21st Century. 

1. Give Your Employees a Say

One way to make each and every employee feel valued is to give them a say regarding the employee of the month award program. After all, the award is all about them so why not empower your employees to choose how their achievements are rewarded? A simple email survey asking their opinions can change the way these staff awards are perceived and will generate renewed interest and participation levels.

2. Be Specific

Top employee reward schemes are based on outstanding achievements, teamwork, living corporate values, delivering excellent customer service, innovation, increased sales or a culmination of all of these aspects. Ask any of your employees what the criteria is for winning an employee of the month award and the likelihood is that you will receive a myriad of responses. One of the age old problems with a recognition scheme such as this is that there are no fixed criteria and as a result employees are unsure how to proceed. If your staff awards are not based on a particular merit, you are undoubtedly sending mixed signals to your employees.
Give your reward scheme an identity, a creative title and a theme and watch as your staff respond positively. Review your communication techniques and ensure that every employee knows what is expected of them and how they can achieve the much-coveted title of top employee. Create a document detailing the ins and outs of the recognition scheme and make it easily accessible to all members of staff.

3. Get Social

How you recognise the achievements of your employees can greatly affect the success of your employee reward program. If you are still sending out the same tired old certificates as employee awards, it could be time to change your approach. Recognition and praise are powerful motivators so why not use your company’s social channels to shout employee praise from the rooftops? Giving your top employee of the month recognition on social media or creating a blog post on the company website in their honour is one way to personally thank them for their time and effort.

4. Real Time Recognition

One of the downfalls of a monthly award is that the recognition is not given in a timely manor. Waiting 30 days to recognise your employees’ achievements may not be the way forward. Instead, have employees work on a points basis where every achievement is recorded and their points can be redeemed against prizes at the end of each month, perhaps utilise eCards to send instant recognition or online notifications each time an employee performs an action worthy of note. This will give them the incentive they need to achieve their goals throughout the month.

5. Offer A Worthy Reward

It’s easy to present your chosen employee of the month with the same tired prize month in and month out but this antiquated technique is doing your company no favours. Once an employee of the month has received the title, there is nothing pushing him or her to maintain their levels of motivation and achievement during the next month. Meaningful employee awards will encourage your employees to keep up the good work. Add new rewards each month or promote different potential applications of a multi-retailer gift card to generate fresh interest and consider team rewards as well as incentives for individuals to keep them engaged.
Poorly designed award schemes are only going to get a half-hearted reaction from your employees, but with enough forethought, communication and user feedback an employee of the month programme can drive motivation and engagement and give staff the recognition they deserve.