Are ‘Employee of the Month’ programs worth it?
“Employee of the Month” programs are common at retail as well as in hospitals, law enforcement and other sectors, but the concept has a lot of detractors.
Those against these programs argue that only one person wins and that they create resentment and de-motivate others. The award doesn’t recognize a group of individuals for successful group projects, critics point out. Employees may look to stand out to gain individual recognition rather than work with others on a shared business goal.
Staff are often unaware of why someone is chosen and they may feel that the award is randomly assigned. In some cases, management hands out the reward until everyone receives recognition.
Finally, rewarding someone once a month is seen by many as too infrequent and can be a disincentive for managers to recognize employees on a more of regular basis.
“While rewards and recognition programs are designed with the good of employees, teams and the company in mind, they tend to backfire for a simple reason,” wrote Aaron Skonnard, CEO, Pluralsight in a column in INC. “When you raise one person up on a pedestal, it leaves others below on the ground.”
Fans believe the programs work if done right. If the criteria for the reward are clearly spelled out, “Employee of the Month” awards can reinforce core values and specific behavior. Many are moving to have the winners chosen by votes from peers to make it more inclusive.
The trophy presentation can become a fun or surprise aspect of a dreary monthly companywide meeting.
Birchbox, the beauty subscription box company, gives each winner a foot-tall gnome that stays on their desk for a month along with a $1,000 bonus. Often the public recognition is seen as more important than any monetary reward.
“The trophy aspect of winning is key,” Dominique McLaughlin, the manager at Schmackary’s bake shop in Hell’s Kitchen, told the New York Post. “Cash plays a role, but the experience is more memorable.”
- ‘Employee of the Month’ programs really work – New York Post
- Is It a Mistake to Pick an Employee of the Month? – The New York Times
- 6 WAYS EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH RECOGNITION FALLS FLAT – Tiny Pulse
- Why You Should Kill Your Employee of the Month Program – INC
- Employee of the Month Goes Digital – You Earned It
- Why You May Need An ‘Employee Of The Month’ – Forbes
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are you a fan of “Employee of the Month” programs for retailers? What do you see as their pros and cons?