4 reasons to stop your Employee of the Month program today

February 21, 2012
4 reasons to stop your Employee of the Month program today

It’s familiar fixture at your local grocery store or pharmacy: A yearbook photo of a smiling face and a freshly pressed uniform, mounted on a faux wood plaque. The Employee of the Month sign commemorating the company or franchise’s “best” staff member is a recognition program with a long history but a bad track record. While designed to motivate workers to do their best work, such recognition programs actually make organizations less productive. 

Here are 4 more reasons to replace your Employee of the Month program, and choose another rewards program to recognize service.

1. Employees of the Month don’t like receiving the reward. It’s a prize the winner doesn’t even want. Often, the Employee of the Month is the target of jealousy and resentment, and he or she often feels undeserving of the award, when other team members and co-workers have put in equal or more effort.

2. Other employees feel ignored. Selecting one employee as the proverbial winner makes others feel like losers. It’s doubtful that only one of your staff has given an outstanding contribution to the company in the last month. And everyone contributes in a different way: There are workers who telecommute, or work part-time, and are therefore less eligible to receive the reward. This type of program shows a bias towards traditional contributions to a company.

3. The program breeds competition, rather than teamwork. If the ultimate goal of the program is to come out on top, employees are effectively encouraged to compete with, rather than support, one another.

4. It looks like favoritism. This type of rewards program is often unsuccessful because employees see evidence of suspected or real favoritism. A rewards program should reward performance, but Employee of the Month often looks like a monthly recognition of the bosses pet best, especially when the selection criteria aren’t clearly outlined.

The goal of any rewards and recognition program is to encourage, recognize, and show appreciation. Let Williams Recognition custom-build you a rewards program that really encourages employee loyalty.


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