Over one year ago several TKO Graphix team leaders broached the idea of initiating an employee of the month for their department. This eventually progressed to include, not only their department, but also the entire division, and this month it becomes company-wide. Recognizing an employee of the month has been a rewarding experience— seeing the pride winners have shown, and observing teammates rise to the occasion, building on the character traits that helped them become employee of the month. Because it has helped with team cohesion and camaraderie, and become a valuable tool for management to listen to top producing employees. I’ll explain.

And the Winner Is…

One retail outlet I work with chooses a customer service employee of the week, rewarding them with a company gift certificate. At TKO, the employee of the month receives a gift card, a certificate, and a lunch meeting with management. The lunch meeting is focused on soliciting the winners ideas for improving his or her department. The lunch becomes an opportunity to connect with productive personnel while gathering their thoughts on improving the operation. The employee of the month is asked questions such as:

• How would you improve your department?
• What tools or training are we missing?
• What slows production in your division?
• How could interdepartmental communication be improved?

How it Works

Nominations could be open to managers and/or employees depending on the size of organization. The final choice is best chosen by a nonpartisan group such as C-Level staff or Human Resources. At TKO, managers may nominate employees from any department. An HR team reviews the nominations and chooses a winner. We base nominations on the following:

Employee of the Month Criteria

• Follows procedures and policies
• Is willing to help others
• Takes initiative without being asked
• Delivers quality work
• Meets deadlines within their control
• Works well with other departments
• No unexcused absences or tardiness for the month
• No recent corrective or disciplinary actions
• Doesn’t gossip about co-workers or complain about work and the company
• Is a positive influence

Does your organization recognize an employee of the month? How do you choose and reward the winner? What has worked you? And what hasn’t worked? What advice would you offers others about employee of the month programs? Thank you.

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