"Employee of the Month" (EOM) programs often fizzle after a short time. The plaque in the lobby goes months without an update, nominations decline and eventually employee moral decreases. Institute an EOM program that's easy to sustain and encourages fairness, improves moral without feelings of favoritism.
Involve the employees in setting the criteria for participation in the program. Determine how long an individual must be employed in order to be eligible for EOM.
Choose a date each month to select the EOM. Place the name of all eligible employees in a hat (or coffee mug) and draw one name.
Notify the individual that she is Employee of the Month. Include a certificate of the award as well as a list of benefits of the honor. Make an announcement in the employee newsletter and post the selection on the community bulletin board.
Create a list of perks for the Employee of the Month. Include suggestions made by employees. Allow the EOM to name an extra day in the month a "casual day." Arrange for the supervisor to take the EOM to lunch one day.
Have employees vote by ballot for their top 5 to 10 EOM benefits. Announce the top choices after the balloting. Distribute printed details to all employees.
Create a special bulletin board or display case in which the EOM displays his photos and memorabilia so that others can get to know him better. Make sure that the current EOM clears the space before the selection of the next EOM.
Put the EOM in charge of gathering the employees to select the next EOM. Allow time for this activity on the last day or first day of the month. Eliminate the names of the previous winners for an agreed upon period.
For non-monetary awards, consider a prime parking space for the month, an extra break each day, an extended lunch one day a week or leave work early during the prize month.