Dear Workforce How Do We Construct Employee of the Month And Employee of the Year Programs

By Staff Report

Aug. 17, 2006

Dear Recognition Conscious:

Why do you want to initiate these programs? There is overwhelming evidence that such formal programs do little in the way of motivating employees and can actually be resented by your staff. Why put a quota on excellence in your organization? My guess is that your company will not be successful by one person having done a good job once a month. So why limit your recognition to this number and frequency?

I recommend that you discuss with your employees at each of the locations the types of things that would motivate them to do good work and achieve desired results, either individually or as a group. This might sound messier, but it will be more effective. This process will help ensure that what is done is something they value and will support. You want them to feel this is their program. It’s OK if this results in doing more than one thing at each location and having more than one winner. One size does not fit all.


It’s also OK to do different things at your different locations. This approach would be much more real, sincere and personal to your staff and–as a consequence–much more motivating.

You might also consider different types of recognition for different levels of performance. At the grass-roots level, anybody should be able to acknowledge anyone else who helped them do a good job–with no approval necessary from management. As the performance and results are more substantial, so should be the recognition that is given.

SOURCE: Bob Nelson, Nelson Motivation Inc., San Diego, December 2, 2005.

LEARN MORE: Nelson expands on this theme. Also, here are some do’s and don’ts about recognition programs.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

Schedule, engage, and pay your staff in one system with