At a time when many companies struggle to find and keep good employees, many are looking for ways to increase employee engagement and improve morale. One way to accomplish this is through employee recognition programs such as “employee of the month.” According to the Harvard Business Review, 53% of people would stay longer at their company if their boss showed them more appreciation. In this blog, we’ll look at some things to keep in mind when developing an employee of the month program and how to create an employee of the month nomination form or survey.
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Types of Employee of the Month Programs
The Society for Human Resource Management states that while most companies already recognize employees for length of service (generally in five-year increments), exemplary one-time achievements, and a noteworthy performance over a period of time, others are beginning to focus on other, less traditional areas of recognition, including:
- The ability to manage or champion change
- Systems improvements
- Customer or client retention
- Talent acquisition and retention
- Market diversification
- Technological advances
- Significant personal development
- Actions that embody the organization’s core values
Five Benefits of Employee of the Month Programs
Workers like to feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. An employee of the month (EOTM) program can push and motivate a team to perform better and create a better employee experience. That’s not all. Here are the top five benefits of a good recognition program.
Across many industries, employee retention rates are at all time lows, and losing staff can have a big impact on companies, including the cost to hire and train new employees and damage to existing employee morale. By showing worker appreciation, however, they’re more likely to stay put. SHRM reports that 68% of HR professionals agree that employee recognition has a positive impact on retention.
With today’s workforce being able to work remotely, expanding their job opportunities greatly, finding talent is becoming more difficult for employers – especially those that can’t afford to offer competitive wages and/or advancement opportunities. However, recognizing employees improves morale, and can get them referring people to the company. They may also leave positive reviews online, which many job seekers consider before applying. The same SHRM study reveals that 56% of HR professionals believe employee recognition programs help with recruitment and the hiring process.
When the majority of workers are performing their best with the goal of receiving employee of the month recognition, productivity is at its peak. This can also show in the company’s bottom line, for example when members of a sales team work harder than before to close deals in order to be considered for the recognition.
Workers engaging in healthy competition not only want to succeed, but they want to see others on their team and the company as a whole succeed. Their competitive spirit emerges from a growth mindset, and when used positively, can help everyone reach their goals. For example, salespeople might engage in healthy competition to boost their monthly sales; or, customer service reps may engage in healthy competition to see who gets the highest score on customer satisfaction surveys. They get inspired by feeding off one another’s energy.
This is a simple one: happier employees lead to happier customers. Talk about a win-win! Want proof? Look no further than Gallup, which reports in The State of the American Workplace that workers who are engaged are more likely to improve customer relationships, with a resulting 20% increase in sales.
So why are companies putting these employee recognition programs into place? There are many benefits.
Tips for Creating an Employee of the Month Program
Not all employee of the month programs are created equally. To make a successful EOTM program, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Post eligibility requirements. The selection process needs to be transparent so there are no questions as to how to receive the reward or how team members are selected.
- Make the reward known. You might also consider providing options (e.g., a monetary bonus, a gift card, a day off, and so on). Different workers have different motivations, so letting them choose will help ensure all are engaged.
- Be timely with recognition. Recognize staff as soon as possible when they have done well. This reinforces the link between the desired behavior and the reward.
- Be appropriate with rewards. If employees feel their work is trivialized or even insulted, the reward could backfire. For example, giving an employee who successfully completed a two-year project, or who acquired a million dollar account, a $20 Starbucks gift card. This may mean having different “levels” of recognition.
- Make it a stand-alone program. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an EOTM program can replace other employee benefits. Only create a program if you can offer it in addition to existing benefits.
- Evaluate the program periodically. It’s important not to have a “set it and forget it” mentality about EOTM programs. Programs should be evaluated periodically to be sure they’re working, the objectives are being met, the rewards are relevant, and so on.
Creating an Employee of the Month Nomination Form
Often, companies will let employees nominate their peers. This helps bring attention to hard workers that executives may not interact with frequently. It also helps to avoid executives “playing favorites.” Here’s an example of an employee of the month nomination form created using SurveyLegend’s online survey platform. We’ve kept this one relatively simple:
- A welcome page with questionnaire images for engagement.
- Introductory questions and nomination.
- A matrix question that allows for multiple questions to be included in one, simplifying the employee of the month questionnaire.
- An open-ended question asking for additional information.
- A thank you page following submission.
If this questionnaire was real, the executive sending it out would only need to then sit back and wait for the employee survey results to roll in.
This nomination form is live, so try it out now!
An employee of the month program can be an effective tool for any organization. An EOTM initiative can improve recruitment and retention, productivity and customer service, and encourage healthy competition. Just be sure to follow some of the tips included in this blog and you’ll be on your way.
Ready to create your employee of the month questionnaire or nomination form? SurveyLegend has you covered. You’ve already seen our employee of the month example live, now get started on your very own! Concerned about confidentiality? SurveyLegend is highly secure, and our surveys are sent encrypted, protecting respondent’s privacy to encourage participation.
Do you have an employee recognition program in place? Are you thinking of starting one? Will SurveyLegend meet your needs? Let us know what you think!
Create your FREE nomination form or survey now!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These programs can improve recruitment and retention, productivity and customer service, and encourage healthy competition among employees.
When not developed properly, employee recognition programs can leave those not recognized feeling unvalued. Therefore, it’s important that everyone has an opportunity to be nominated.
Sending nomination forms online using a free and secure survey platform like SurveyLegend is a great way to engage staff and receive high response rates.