14 Employee Of The Month Ideas To Boost The Morale And Motivation Of Your Team

Most of us have at some point framed our school certificates and proudly displayed our medals even if it was won for something as elementary as a potato sack race. The thrill of winning and being recognized as a winner is a great motivator to push the bar and give your best. The same feeling resonates at the workplace when an employee excels at his work and feels valued when he’s recognized with an award. When done right at regular intervals, monthly awards can greatly boost employee morale and productivity. For more impact choose creative and relevant employee of the month ideas that align with your organizational culture and employees.

In this post, we share a list of popular employee of the month ideas that you can choose to implement in your employee recognition program.

1. What Is the Employee of the Month Award?

What Is the Employee of the Month Award?

An employee of the month award is given to an employee in recognition of exemplary work he or she has done for the organization. The award is handed out on a monthly basis and there are certain benchmarks such as company values, targets, project ratings or revenue generated that need to be met to qualify for this type of award 

2. Is an Employee of The Month Idea a Good Idea?

2.1 Improves morale and productivity

By creating an environment where good performance is recognized and awarded, you create a positive work culture that fosters healthy competition and sets the bar for more productivity. Employees have a sense of direction for where their efforts are going and want to give their best to any task at hand. 

2.2 Increases engagement

If you’re on the fence when considering employee of the month reasons, the main one would be employee engagement. Employees who know their efforts are being valued  and recognized are more motivated to pitch in and engage themselves at the workplace. They are more willing to go over and above their role duties and end up creating an air of positivity around other coworkers and teams.  If yoEmployee of the month reasons 

2.3 Reduces unplanned attrition

Not everyone is usually vocal about their discontent or stress at the workplace. This can negatively impact the work culture in an organization and lead to unplanned attrition. Employee recognition through consisted award and reward programs such as the employee of the month award can be a great way to nip discord in the bud and retain employees. 

3. How to Boost Your Employee of The Month Award?

An employee of the month award need not be restricted to a plaque or certificate in today’s digital workspace. Explore different employee of the month ideas that are creative and even personalized to the kind of work or standards set within each job role. These could be customized as media shoutouts, wall of fame mentions, incentives in the form of vouchers or spot bonuses and more. Consider the use of engagement tools to create meaningful award programs that can be implemented smoothly and consistently. 

4. Employee of the Month Ideas for the Workplace

Employee of the Month Ideas

4.1 Team Lunch

One of the most common and popular employee of the month ideas is a sponsored team lunch that works well for team building too. This one’s best suited for a team as a whole that’s just made a big win, hit a major deadline or wrapped up a project. You could arrange for a buffet spread at a local restaurant or luncheon at a resort where teams bond over good food and great conversations.

4.2 Gift Cards

Gift cards are next on the list of employee of the month ideas for their versatility and personalization. Besides cash, gift cards are a practical way to recognize top-performing employees. Not just that, they can be personalized to suit the interests of your employees as well. Think e-commerce gift cards, food gift cards, wellness gift cards and more. 

4.3 Amazon Vouchers

Amazon is a one-stop shop for almost everything under the sun and most of us definitely have a wishlist saved in the cart. So, it comes as no surprise that paid vouchers should feature on our list of employee of the month ideas. With a million products and brands to choose from, Amazon pay gift vouchers can be a great choice to use as employee of the month awards.

4.4 Branded Company Swag for Top Performers

Employee of the month ideas need not be limited to just cash or kind when it comes to recognizing exemplary employees. You can gift branded company swag that includes accessories like a smartwatch, sports shoes, electronic gadgets or apparel in recognition of great work. These are also great ways to spread the word and create social buzz for the recipients among peers and colleagues in the workplace.

4.5 Travel Incentive Programs

Travel is often relegated to a bucket list when it comes to working professionals. As part of creative employee of the month ideas, travel incentive programs are a great way to award top performers and give them a refreshing break from the grind. 

Consider partnering with some travel agencies to create lucrative incentive packages that can be tailored as per employee performances. You can also create a travel destination pool list and ask employees to choose from those to enjoy an all-expense paid trip. These could also be given in the form of paid memberships, holiday subscriptions and hosted events.

4.6 Extra PTO

Employee of the month ideas can include simple options like an additional day off or extra PTO that would seem like a privilege when it comes to those in a busy work environment. You could set aside a certain number of days as additional PTO that the employee can choose to use at any point post a discussion with relevant managers. This gives them an opportunity to choose their own time frame for a little R&R and to use it when they really need to. 

4.7 Awards and Prizes 

Awards and prizes are the classic choice to recognize and reward excellence in work. You can take it a notch up and use creative employee of the month name ideas that are relevant to the kind of work or job roles they have. Consider titles like “The Creative Genius” for innovative ideas, “Ninja Target Blaster” for exceeding set targets, “ Mr/Ms. Dependable” for going over and above their roles or duties and more to honor the unique strengths of the chosen employees.

Cash prizes, recognition plaques, certificates can also be used as part of the employee recognition program, but it would be a good idea to personalize them for a more meaningful touch. Virtual events for awards and recognition can be a great way to engage your remote workforce too. 

4.8 Social Media Recognition

Use public platforms to highlight your top performers and spread the word. Being appreciated and recognized for good work need not be limited to a company event or internal employee platform. With social media, not only do these shoutouts add value to the employees’ profiles, but it also spreads awareness about your work culture and your organization as a whole.

4.9 Parking Spot

You’ll be surprised at how coveted prime parking spots can be for employees at the workplace. Quirky but definitely a must-do on our list of employee of the month ideas. As a token of appreciation for great work, you can reserve a specific parking spot that’s convenient for the employee and issue a special “I’m the employee of the month” pass or badge as a proud symbol of recognition. This will also set the bar for other employees and instill a healthy sense of competition

4.10 Career Development Talk

An employee of the month winner can make the best of the opportunity to have a career development session with his manager to chart out a growth-oriented plan that leverages the best out of him or her. Time being the constraint, these one-on-one sessions are not easy to schedule consistently so, a dedicated talk with the award recipient can help boost morale, motivate and foster a sense of loyalty towards the organization. 

5. Employee Of The Month Award Ideas For Remote Office

Employee Of The Month Award

5.1 Virtual Award Show

When it comes to handing out employee of the month awards for remote and distributed teams, one of the best employee of the month ideas is to host a virtual award event. Send out meeting invites with details so the event can be held over a video conferencing platform. Award categories, nominations and winners can be announced on the platform and attendees can be asked to show up in formalwear to add a VIP touch to the ongoing event. 

5.2 Create a Blog Post About the Employee

Personalized blog posts are a creative way to recognize good work by top performers as there is more opportunity to add descriptive content that talks about the employee, gives a brief and also engages in long-term future plans. The idea is to present your winner in the best possible manner online. Add interactive elements that plug in colleague testimonies, client feedback, candid at-work pictures and winning moments to make it a digital keepsake.

5.3 Create a Shareable Video

An award can be all the more memorable if you save the moment for posterity with a video and share it with the employee of the month winner. Choose a good video recording software to not just record the virtual award event, but also add in recorded clips of peer testimonials, great client feedback and even a special congratulatory message from the higher management to make it special. 

5.4 Gift Package

Gift packages are convenient to send out and perfect ways to show appreciation for remote employees of the month. Curated gift baskets with food items, wellness kits, gift cards or certificates and medals can make them feel valued and motivated to do more. An even better way could be to personalize these based on the employees’ interests and preferences to make it more meaningful.

6. FAQs

  • How do I choose the best employee of the month?

           Employee of the month reasons should be validated against criteria that an organization has set such as quality of work, accountability, client and project benchmarks and more. If an employee has been able to maintain a certain level of excellence or gone beyond his line of duty, that needs to be factored in when you make a choice.

  • What are some examples of positive recognition?

A few examples would be recognizing excellent work, anniversaries or milestones, goals or targets, attitude or workplace behavior through awards, bonuses, social media shout-outs and additional perks.

  • How do you motivate employees of the month?

So, how do you motivate employees of the month depends on various factors such as your organizational culture, the kind of engagement programs that are being implemented and if there’s scope to expand on those

  •  What are some good employee of the month criteria ideas

Employees who align with the company values, meet goals and go that extra mile need to be recognized and nurtured consistently. Some criteria could include

  • Excellent and error-free work output over a period of time
  • Proactive and creative 
  • Exceptional leadership qualities
  • Consistently meeting targets
  • Client feedback and testimonials for good performance
  • Peer and manager reviews

7. Resources You Will Love