You have probably heard about employee of the month programs. You know, those programs where you get the great parking space and your framed picture on the wall. They are so popular that they have made movies and memes about them. They has been around for so long that you probably not only participated in one of them as an employee but also tried to launch one in your business. More often that not though these programs fail because of poor execution, manager subjectivity, and inconsistency. Ultimately you lose buy-in from those the programs were created to inspire- your team.I am going to discuss 3 best practices to make your employee of the month program an effective tool to boost employee engagement and employee productivity.
3 best practices for "Employee of the Month" programs that will motivate you team:
Be Consistent- All too often I have gone into a restaurant or some other business and saw an incomplete Employee of the Month wall. January and February were there but March and April were missing. In order for the program to work it needs to run consistently and be promptly rewarded at the end of each month. Each winner also needs to be treated the same with the same level of reward. Otherwise equity becomes an issue and your desired level of employee motivation will never be reached.
Be Quantifiable- Employee of the month programs exist to measure employee performance and to motivate employees to do better. If the measure is based on a managers subjective opinion, the program runs the risk of losing credibility. Use a quantitative measure, such as the CrewHu score, for employee performance and there will never be a question regarding who deserves to be the employee of the month.
Be Public- Your "Employee of the Month" program should be a huge deal. Don't let the winner go unnoticed. Shout it from the rooftops! Let everyone know why the employee of the month won. This does 2 things: 1) it lets the employee of the month know you really appreciate them, and 2) it boosts employee motivation by reinforcing great behavior. Read the 4 Ps of employee engagement for more on this subject.
If you follow these 3 best practices you will maintain a successful employee of the month program that will boost employee motivation to levels you never though possible.