Are you looking for a way to bolster employee morale and reward outstanding performance? Employee of the Month (EOM) programs are a classic route to these goals, and for good reason. They can be a great way to give kudos to employees who have gone above and beyond in their work, while also providing an incentive for others to strive for excellence.
When done right, these initiatives can help create a company culture that rewards excellence and gratitude. They’re also fun! From one-off rewards to repeatable incentives, creating the incentives for this program is a great time to unleash your creativity. Here are 17 ideas to get the ball rolling!
- Gift Cards with a Personal Touch
Why not treat your EOM to a delightful gift card from their favorite restaurant, store, or online retailer? When you put thought into their preferences, you show how genuinely you value them as an individual. You could also consider gift cards to help them relax and unwind from a hard day's work, like a massage, a spa day, or a healthy dinner.
- Social Media Fanfare
Roll out the virtual red carpet for your star employees by giving them a special shoutout on your company's social media platforms. This public recognition boosts their morale and showcases your organization's appreciation for its team members. For those who might not be on social media, consider sharing this message through email, Slack, or whatever public online space your team uses.
- Swanky Company Swag
Reward your superstar performer with exclusive company swag, like trendy branded clothing, accessories, or office supplies. This thoughtful gesture helps foster a sense of pride and belonging while promoting your organizational culture. Like a sports uniform, it can help get people into the team spirit.
- A Well-deserved Day Off
Another great recognition idea is offering your best employee a day off to relax, recharge, and pursue their interests. Rest is incredibly important for employee engagement, performance, and the prevention of workplace accidents. A meaningful reward like this demonstrates your commitment to work-life wellness and employee wellbeing.
- VIP Parking Spot
If you want to make your EOM feel like a rockstar, you can reserve a prime parking spot just for them. This simple but effective perk shows that you value their time and effort. If they don't don't drive to work, consider subsidizing the transportation they take. For remote employees, you can give them a break from their home office with a rideshare gift card that will help them get around town.
- Peer Recognition Power
You can boost camaraderie by encouraging peer recognition through a nomination system for the EOM. Peer recognition can foster a supportive work environment and strengthen team bonds. You can post these nominations in an online space or organize a small office celebration, complete with snacks, drinks, and music, to announce the winner each month.
- Shoutouts with a Bang
Another way to leverage public recognition is to spotlight your EOM during team meetings. Consider offering praise or feedback about their achievements and expressing heartfelt gratitude for their contributions. Or, if your team is asynchronous, you can share a personalized video message from the company's leadership.
- Glitzy Awards Ceremony
Consider hosting a glamorous monthly awards ceremony, complete with a certificate, plaque, or trophy! You can create a customized award that reflects their unique skills and achievements. An awards ceremony event can create a sense of excitement and anticipation, and the material award serves as a keepsake and a tangible reminder of their success and your appreciation.
- Break Room Paradise
If you want to help motivate and re-energize your top performer, try transforming your break room into a relaxation haven. We're talking plush seating, delectable snacks, and TV and movie streaming options. Consider paying for a team lunch or a happy hour so the rest of the team can join the celebration too.
- Snazzy Custom T-Shirt
Consider designing a one-of-a-kind t-shirt featuring the EOM's name, accomplishment, or a quirky design that represents their personality. This wearable keepsake is a creative and fun way to celebrate their success. Plus, they can show it off by wearing it to work!
- Heartfelt Handwritten Thank You Notes
You can show appreciation with a sincere, handwritten thank-you note from the management team. Try not to use generic language or a template each time you write these notes. Using personal language with the recipient can go a long way in making them feel valued.
- Inspiring Wall of Fame
If you have an eye for visual design, consider creating an awe-inspiring "Wall of Fame" in your office to showcase past and present employees of the Month. This employee recognition is a visual reminder of their achievements and an ongoing source of motivation and pride for your team.
- Feature in Company Newsletter
You can also showcase your EOM in the company newsletter, sharing their story, accomplishments, and words of wisdom. This recognition helps create a sense of pride and connection within the organization and is especially beneficial for remote employees without a central office.
- Professional Development Opportunities
Professional development opportunities such as workshops, conferences, or online courses can reward your staff members while helping them learn and grow. You can also offer mentorship programs and pair your EOM with a company leadership team mentor for a one-on-one session focused on career development and guidance.
- Personalized Workspace Upgrade
If your budget allows for it, consider upgrading your EOM's workspace with new ergonomic furniture, office gadgets, or decorative items that reflect their personality. This thoughtful gesture demonstrates your appreciation for their hard work and enhances their daily work experience.
- Charity Donation in Their Name
Consider making a charitable donation in the name of your Employee of the Month to a cause they're passionate about. This meaningful reward reflects your organization's values and supports the greater community and a cause your employee is passionate about.
- Surprise Quarterly Celebration in honor of all EOMs
Imagine coming into the office, and bam! Balloons, confetti, streamers, and cake! Coordinating a monthly surprise celebration for each EOM recipient might be ambitious, so you could consider a collective surprise party for the quarter’s EOMs. This unexpected gesture can create an unforgettable experience and improve morale company-wide.
Giving Employees of the Month Bonus Wellness Benefits
Another way to reward your superstars is with bonus wellness benefits. These rewards perfectly align with fostering a culture of recognition and celebration that contributes to your organization’s holistic wellbeing.
These extra perks can fit right alongside your typical wellness program. They could include extra days off, additional gym or fitness class memberships, a massage package, or a meditation app subscription! These rewards also show that you value the importance of physical and mental wellbeing within your organization—a message that all employees can appreciate.
If you want to help bolster the wellbeing of your entire workforce, connect with a Gympass wellbeing specialist today!
- APA Survey Finds Feeling Valued at Work Linked to Well-Being and Performance. (2012). American Psychological Association. Retrieved May 31, 2023 from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2012/03/well-being
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.