How to Run a Great Employee of the Month ProgrammeThe best ways to ensure employees feel valued and celebrated

Your criteria for picking a winner should align with your long-term goals.

For example, if you’re running the programme with the hope of improving customer service, awarding the title to the employee with the best customer service feedback will work hand in hand with your objective.

Keep your selection criteria consistent to give every staff member a fair shot at winning, so don’t base the selection on the most sales one week, then switch to customer service scores another week.

Selection panel and process

There are various processes you can use to select the employee of the month. Management could select the employee of the month from their observations, or, staff members could submit an anonymous form nominating their colleagues for the award.

Those selecting the winner should have an in-depth understanding of each employee’s role so they can fairly judge the most deserving candidate.

Establish the rewards

Now that you’ve decided on your selection criteria, it’s time to establish how your employee of the month winners will be rewarded and whether the prize will be monetary or non-monetary.

Monetary rewards include bonuses, stock options in the company, vouchers, or a pay raise.

If you’re keeping to a tight budget, opt for non-monetary rewards. Cash isn’t always king when it comes to employee incentives, with as many as 65% of employees preferring non-financial rewards.

Examples of non-monetary rewards include extra holidays, a month of flexible working, or the chance to attend a professional development workshop of their choice.

It’s worth asking your employees about the incentives they’d like to see, since tailoring the rewards to their needs will result in more motivated staff.

Inform your employees

Every successful employee reward system needs buy-in from the employees. Maximise the programme’s chance of success by detailing the benefits to your team.

If the rewards you’ve suggested don’t add value to your employees’ lives, the programme will be a flop. Incorporate feedback to find out what would actually incentivise your workers and make the programme as inclusive as possible.

Celebrate the winners

Now for the fun part. Celebrate the monthly winners by publicising their achievements across the organisation and letting others know how they earned their coveted title.

Include winners in company-wide emails and social media posts to inspire their colleagues to try and follow in their footsteps.

The bottom line

Employee of the month programmes incentivise hard work, reward conscientious staff, and ultimately, increase your profits.

While these programmes can prove incredibly effective at retaining staff, they work best when coupled with other employee incentives such as promotions, professional training programmes, and flexible schedules.

You’ll notice an almost immediate improvement in productivity and employee motivation when your staff feel adequately recognised for their contributions.

Successful businesses all have one thing in common: motivated employees. But most businesses are missing the mark here.

In fact, almost half of UK employees admitted to not going above and beyond at work because of a lack of reward or acknowledgement.

Boosting your employees’ morale reaps rewards for their well-being and, ultimately, your bottom line.

To avoid losing talented employees, recognise your team’s hard work with regular incentives and rewards. A great place to start is an employee of the month programme.

Even if you don’t have an HR department, you can still run an employee of the month programme with minimal expense. Here’s how.

Define your goals

The first step is to outline the purpose of your employee of the month programme. At the heart of the programme should be a desire to reward employees for hard work, but it’s also worth framing it around your business’s long-term goals.

If your goal is, for example, to generate new leads, you could reward the employee who finds the most potential clients over 30 days.

Set your criteria

Once you’ve established your goals, you need to select the criteria your employees will have to meet to win the coveted ‘employee of the month’ title. You’ll also need to decide the parameters.


You’ll need to establish who will or won’t be considered for the employee of the month title. Are new employees immediately eligible, or is there a minimum employment period first?

Will part-time workers have the same eligibility as full-time workers? Can members of the senior management team win the award?

Selection criteria

Once you’ve set the parameters, decide how you’ll select the top employee every month.

Will you base your decision on quantifiable data, such as the number of sales an employee has made? Or will you base your selection on customer service skills or dedication to a particular project?

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