How to Create a Successful Employee of the Month Program

A suc­cess­ful employ­ee of the month pro­gram can boost morale, reduce turnover, and make employ­ees feel val­ued and recognized.

When most peo­ple think about an employ­ee of the month pro­gram, they imag­ine a wall of smil­ing employ­ee por­traits from over the years. How­ev­er, today’s pro­grams require a bit more consideration.

What makes an employ­ee of the month pro­gram great? How can com­pa­nies improve their exist­ing pro­grams or cre­ate a win­ning one from the start? 

These best prac­tices can set a roadmap for success.

3 Best Practices for Creating Successful Employee of the Month Programs

Someone is smiling at the camera with their arms crossed in an office setting. They are wearing a button-down black shirt.


A suc­cess­ful employ­ee of the month pro­gram has three things in com­mon. As a result, com­pa­nies who want to cre­ate an effec­tive pro­gram should con­sid­er doing the following:

1. Set Clear Guidelines

From goals to eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments and more, the most suc­cess­ful employ­ee of the month pro­grams have clear­ly defined process­es and reg­u­la­tions. In oth­er words, peo­ple should always know what they need to do to qual­i­fy and become an employ­ee of the month.

For exam­ple, com­pa­nies will need to answer ques­tions like:

  • Is it just full-time employ­ees or part-time as well?

  • Does a per­son need to be nom­i­nat­ed by their super­vi­sor to be eligible?

  • What fac­tors make a per­son an employ­ee of the month? (e.g., the most sales, the high­est pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, out­stand­ing cus­tomer feed­back, or team spirit)

  • Can a per­son win more than one time?

As a rule of thumb, com­pa­nies should aim to make the deci­sion as objec­tive as pos­si­ble. In oth­er words, rather than mak­ing the cri­te­ria based on sub­jec­tive met­rics like pos­i­tive atti­tude and ded­i­ca­tion, com­pa­nies should also include objec­tive num­bers and per­for­mance met­rics as part of the rank­ing material.

2. Get The Employees On Board and Excited

A person wearing a blue jacket is at the office and clapping their hands. They are sitting in a chair. The person standing next to them is wearing a brown jacket and shaking someone’s hand.


If employ­ees don’t buy into the employ­ee of the month pro­gram, it won’t be suc­cess­ful. As a result, com­pa­nies need to ensure they cre­ate a pro­gram that’s moti­vat­ing and worthwhile.

It takes sev­er­al things to do this suc­cess­ful­ly. To get their peo­ple to buy into the pro­gram, com­pa­nies should con­sid­er con­duct­ing sur­veys before begin­ning the pro­gram to get an idea of what employ­ees want. Then, they should con­duct fol­low-up sur­veys as the pro­gram pro­gress­es to ensure their peo­ple stay engaged.

Com­pa­nies also need to pro­vide thor­ough edu­ca­tion and intro­duc­tion to the pro­gram, because it will def­i­nite­ly fail if the employ­ees aren’t aware of it or don’t under­stand it. In addi­tion, busi­ness­es should think about get­ting the employ­ees involved in the selec­tion and nom­i­na­tion process. It will help reduce unhealthy com­pe­ti­tion and keep the employ­ees engaged in the process.

Final­ly, to get and keep their peo­ple on board and excit­ed, being rec­og­nized should be worthwhile.

3. Make Employee of the Month Recognition Worthwhile

If get­ting rec­og­nized as employ­ee of the month just means get­ting a shoutout in the cor­po­rate email, peo­ple prob­a­bly won’t be moti­vat­ed enough to invest in the pro­gram. Lead­ers real­ly have to cre­ate worth­while ben­e­fits for winning.

Some ideas for employ­ee of the month recog­ni­tion include:

Ulti­mate­ly, the incen­tive for win­ning has to excite and moti­vate the employ­ees to stay con­nect­ed to the pro­gram. While tak­ing feed­back sur­veys is an excel­lent idea for get­ting a start­ing place for incen­tives, it’s impos­si­ble to excite every­one with the same incentives.

For that rea­son, using some­thing like points on the Fringe lifestyle ben­e­fits plat­form is one of the best ways to cre­ate suc­cess­ful employ­ee of the month programs.

With Fringe, employ­ees can use their points to choose from over one hun­dred unique options like stream­ing ser­vices, food deliv­ery, movie tick­ets, books, fit­ness class­es, and more. With this option, employ­ees of the month can choose the recog­ni­tion incen­tives that engage them the most.

Getting Started with An Employee of the Month Program

A group of people sits around a table talking and smiling. They are all wearing neutral color clothes, and there is a corkboard behind the table with notes pinned to it.


Ulti­mate­ly, an employ­ee of the month recog­ni­tion requires three things: stel­lar plan­ning and clar­i­ty, employ­ee excite­ment and buy-in, and worth­while incen­tives. If a com­pa­ny can accom­plish all three of these things with their pro­gram, they’re bound for success.

Busi­ness­es should con­tin­ue to col­lect feed­back and adjust their pro­gram, too. After a while, the pro­gram can become tired and stag­nant. For the best results, super­vi­sors should keep an eye on employ­ee engage­ment in the pro­gram and read­just as nec­es­sary to keep it mov­ing forward.

Using a plat­form like Fringe helps mit­i­gate the risk of stag­na­tion because it keeps the incen­tives fresh, per­son­al­ized, and worth­while. Chat with our team to get started!