Employee of the Month Rewards & Recognition Ideas

Employee of the Month has become a staple part of employee recognition for most organisations.

Whilst research strongly suggests that Millennials and Gen Y need more instant and peer-to-peer recognition, there seems to be no sign of organisations ditching their hallowed monthly award.

So, whether your organisation has been recognising employees monthly for years or you’re looking for Employee of the Month ideas.

Here’s our 5 ways to make it work!


From employee of the month Ideas to Recognition Strategy

Recognising employees should be an integral part of your company’s overall strategy. However, that doesn’t mean that simply relying on one recognition programme will do the trick. It also means that you need to review employee recognition programmes to determine if they’re actually working. An ineffective or unnoticed reward programme can do more harm than good to employee engagement.

When considering employee recognition strategies you need to think about frequency, formality and audience, ensuring that each of your recognition programmes has an objective, an intended audience, and are engaging.

If you’re planning to make your Employee of the Month programme work, you’ll need someone to co-ordinate, promote and measure the success of it. However low key or low cost you think your recognition programme is, it takes time and effort and ultimately drives employee engagement so you want to make sure it’s done well.


The Winner DOESN'T take it all

Millennials and younger are generations used to receiving regular and specific praise, therefore, a month is a very long time to wait to be recognised. It’s important that Employee of the Month is only one part of your overall recognition offering. Implementing instant, social, peer to peer recognition will empower the social media generation to recognise each other instantly.

Giving everyone the ability to recognise good work when they see it, means that you’ll have loads more examples of great work and great behaviour to choose from when picking your Employee of the Month. Win Win.

See how Fanclub supports Employee of the Month

Make it Transparent

Sometimes a bit of suspense can add to the drama of an award (like the Oscars), however in the case of Employee of the Month rewards - transparency is more important.

Be clear about the criteria for winning, whether that’s improving business results or bringing innovation to the company, it’s important for staff to know what’s being looked for in a nomination.

Ensure that all nominations are visible so that being nominated becomes recognition itself. When announcing a winner, spend time telling the rest of the company who that person is, what their role is and why their nomination was picked.

By showcasing their great work, you’re demonstrating to the rest of the organisation the types of behaviour or results you’re looking for.

See how Fanclub makes recognition visible

Employee(s) of the Month

Controversial we know, however recognising more than one person in the month allows you to shine a light on a number of great behaviours or results, it also means that more people get to be in the spotlight. You can align Employee of the Month to your values or to strategic goals, that way you can recognise people in your business doing very different things.

Depending on the size of your organisation you can break Employee of the Month recognition down by Business Area.

Whatever you do, be clear about your categories, ensuring that you engage employees in the process and criteria so that they know why they’ve been recognised.

See how Fanclub aligns to your Values


They type of Employee of the Month rewards varies depending on the business you work for and can range from a voucher to a car parking space. The key here is to make sure that the employee rewards reflect the effort matched to winning and that it’s a reward that your employees actually want.

If car parking is tricky where you work a car parking space might be ideal, or if holiday allocation is standard awarding an extra day’s holiday might float your employees boat.

Remember it doesn’t have to be costly some of the best rewards we’ve seen are based around the most Senior Exec’s in the organisation being engaged with Employee of the Month and personally taking the winners to lunch.

Choosing an Employee of the Month has its challenges and its risks. Having to pick just one person in a month out of a number of great employees who consistently do great work. Despite the obstacles Employee of the Month can add some prestige and prominence to recognition, and done well, can make the nominees and the winners feel really valued.

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