Archive for the 'employee of the month' Category


Limited winner programs (person of the month, annual winners circle, etc.) were spawned by a true desire in organizations to recognize employees, but without budgets necessary to implement them properly.  These programs, or a great portion of them, are almost exclusively subjective in nature, are rarely built around a provable return on investment, and are always designed to award only a small percentage of the employees. 

While these programs are certainly appreciated by the few who are honored, how many other worthy employees in the organization go unnoticed, and if truth be known harbor ill will toward the company or fellow employees? How much animosity occurs at the water cooler the day after the gala year party to recognize the chosen few?  If you haven’t heard any, you aren’t listening. 

Years of Service programs, the first of these types of programs (and now the most prominent type of recognition program in business today) has become inbred in companies, and unfortunately often the only recognition system that exists.  Ask executives in almost any company if they have an employee recognition program in place and they will inevitably say yes.  What they are usually referring to are the years of service program that awards (at best) only a handful of your employees. 

We are often asked by clients for better ways to recognize more employees.  Obviously budget is a big piece of how many employees can be recognized and rewarded, but by no means the only criteria to examine.  There are a myriad of ways to increase the usage of recognition, but to do it takes a lot work, and that’s usually where things start to fall apart.   

While you’re thinking about it, how many employees in any given year should you actually recognize for performance?  A good question in answer to that would be how many of your employees actually show a positive performance in any given year?  It’s simple, that’s how many you should recognize! 

bell curve

We have designed programs that can reward up 90% of your employee base.  As any employee performance bell curve you’d care to review will show you that any organization will have a 10% – 80% – 10% distribution.  The bottom 10% of employees that are not and probably never will be engaged or be good performers.  In that case, recognizing the other 90% would be a good goal to use, wouldn’t it? 

If you’d like to see strategies on how to recognize more employees, and start to do away with those archaic programs that award only a few, just contact us above. 

A couple weeks ago we blogged on this very subject, and we have blogged on it before as well, and my guess is that we will blog on it in the future as well.  You can’t have a certain kind of employee recognition program in place for years and years and have it vanish overnight.  And as long as we have corporate executives that think they need to thank someone every month for being the “best”, you will always have them.  They are wrong, they don’t work, they die on the vine of complacency and far often do more harm than good.

But they’re still here, and whenever we get into a conversation with a client prospective client about employee recognition it is almost always the first type of program mentioned. Hey, “everyone’s got one,” they must be good right?  Wrong.

Here’s yet another article that comes to us from the HR world on the subject.  It contains some very good advice about the “Employee of the Month” programs that you should heed.  It’ll at least save you money, as the results you will get from these types of programs are negligible at best, and could be harmful to your employees at worst.

A post on Resources regarding these programs outlined three good reasons not to implement one of these programs.   Summarized they include:

  1. Criteria is rarely communicated or understood by the employees.  They don’t know why they received the award.
  2. Most companies fail to measurable criteria, this happens consistently in these programs
  3. The award is subjective and never allows for all who deserve it to receive it.

The culprit that drives these unsuccessful programs is normally lack of expertise in the planning and lack of  budget.   They are never funded properly; management gives them lip service, a plaque and a pat on the back and think they are doing justice by their employees.

You should be looking every day for ways to recognize your employees and for employees to recognize!  The Award of Choice is a very cost effective and easy way to do just that.