The Employee of the Month Criteria for Success

The Employee of the Month Criteria for Success

When done right, having a formal and robust Employee of the Month criteria in your company can be a very powerful tool to boost morale, motivate employees and promote a culture of public praise, excellence awards and recognition.

In this post we will dig into these topics:

Why Have an Employee of the Month Program?

Ways to Award the Employee of the Month

A Better Way to Recognize Employees

How to Implement a Cross-Employee Survey Solution

Process to Select the Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month Criteria: What Should You Measure?

Credibility

Respect

Fellowship

Identity

Equality

Work Commitment

Personal Performance

Setting Up Rules to Select the Employee of the Month

Mix it Up

Choosing the Right Rewards

 

Why Have an Employee of the Month Program?

Implementing a monthly employee recognition program can have a powerful effect on your team. However, it should always be done with clear goals in mind, otherwise you risk spending a lot of time and money on a glorified popularity contest that will achieve little results and risk alienating some of your team members.

Also read: Employee Of The Month Program – Is it worth it?

So, what are you looking to accomplish? Here are some popular goals:

  • Better employee engagement
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved customer service ratings
  • Higher quality in your products or services
  • Reduction in errors or complaints from customers
  • Faster turnaround times
  • Improved employee retention

Ways to Award the Employee of the Month

Once you have defined the main goal you wish to achieve with an employee recognition award program, it’s time to set up the mechanics for selection.

A very common way to choose each month’s winner is to create a nominating committee composed of managers and executives from all the different departments in the company, including human resources. In this case, the committee meets once a month and each member nominates a person based on the goals set above; then the group discusses the merits of each nominee and proceeds to vote for the winner.

The downside to this approach is that some managers might do a better job at “campaigning” on behalf of one of their team members than others. In some other cases, the committee can fall into the practice of simply rotating from the list of previous nominees until everyone gets a chance to earn the title.

A second way to award the Employee of the Month is by involving the whole company in the nomination process. This can be achieved by using, either simple, low-tech nomination forms and a drop box or more sophisticated online forms, where each nominator can enter the name of their nominee along with a short paragraph justifying their decision.

While this is a more democratic way to select the winner, getting everyone to participate can be tough, especially after the program has been running for a few months. Furthermore, this type of nomination process tends to favor employees who, by the nature of their work, normally interact with more people within the company and thus are more visible and, potentially, more popular.

Also read: How to select the Employee of the Month

A Better Way to Recognize Employees

What if you could have the best of both worlds? What if there was a way to automatically, organically, and with very little effort, reveal each month’s outstanding employees in different dimensions and have everyone in the company actively awarding the winner in a more objective and natural way?

Imagine this scenario:

Every employee gets a weekly anonymous survey asking them questions about the people they interact with on a regular basis. Each question would be designed to score the person being evaluated on a variety of dimensions that a company cares deeply about. Then, at the end of the month, the same committee could meet and award the winner simply by sorting the employees’ scores in each dimension evaluated. This would allow for a massive amount of data to be collected, allowing the committee to reveal the winner or winners in multiple categories.

How to Implement a Cross-Employee Survey Solution

  1. Write a list of at least 150 questions.
    1. We recommend between 5 and 10 categories.
  2. Categorize them in 5 to 10 Dimensions (you can use the ones we suggest below)
    1. Make sure that each dimension has a minimum of 20 questions. Remember that you will be asking only a few questions each week.
    2. To make it easier for you, here is a list of the best questions to ask about your team members already categorized by some popular dimensions.
  3. Using a service like SurveyMonkey, Wufoo or QuestionPro, create a survey.
    1. Ask no more than 5 to 10 questions each week.
    2. Make sure that each question allows the user to associate the score to the name of at least 5 coworkers with whom they have a close working relationship.
    3. It’s very important that your survey is anonymous, so do not ask for the respondent’s personal information.
  4. Send the survey via email once a week. This frequency will allow you to gather more information more rapidly while, at the same time, making sure you have enough statistical confidence to trust the results.
  5. Collect and analyze the data on a spreadsheet.
  6. Identify the top scores in each of the dimensions of the questions you asked.
  7. Present the results to the committee and award the winner/s.
  8. Repeat every month.

If you think manually creating such surveys is too much work then look for an employee engagement software like EPIC which takes care of the whole process for you, start to finish, and provide you with all the scores and right data to make the most informed decisions.

Process to Select the Employee of the Month

Once you’ve gathered all the results from the survey you can calculate the average of each of the dimensions as well as a general average of every single answer given about a particular employee.

Now that you have identified the top five or ten team members you can, either award the winner directly from their scores or submit the finalists to the committee who can vote on the winner.

Seems like a lot of work? To be honest it is. However, the benefits of having everyone participate in the selection process will, not only ensure that the right people are recognized, but also creates a feeling of purpose, camaraderie, identity and belonging in every department.

If you don’t have the time or energy to put together this type of program on your own, keep reading. We have a ready-made software solution that will make your life a lot easier.

But first…

Employee of the Month Criteria: What Should You Measure?

In our opinion, the criteria to select employee of the month should include having both, an impeccable work performance record and also a high degree of Emotional Intelligence and thus is a consistently good fit for the company and their team.

Someone with a high Emotional Intelligence score will usually be a very engaged employee with a positive attitude. They are, not only skilled and competent workers, but also highly committed to doing the best job they possibly can. On top of that they spend time and energy helping to create a respectful, fun, creative and overall positive working environment for themselves and their teammates.

There are many criteria to evaluate how a person fits in the organization and, at Clarity Wave we’ve narrowed it down to seven key dimensions that make up a well-rounded individual:

  1. Credibility
  2. Respect
  3. Fellowship
  4. Identity
  5. Equality
  6. Work Commitment
  7. Personal Performance

Credibility

This dimension measures how the person is perceived in terms of their communication skills, competence, clarity and integrity. A highly credible employee is usually very dependable. They show up on time, do what they say and say what they do. They are honest and straightforward with their coworkers.

Respect

A respectful person is not one who always agrees with everyone but rather someone who values the opinions of their coworkers even when they don’t agree with them. Someone with a high level of respect makes a constant effort not to discriminate or offend others for their decisions or lifestyle. They are always appreciative, polite, considerate and recognize the value in other people’s points of view.

Fellowship

Being a person with a high level of fellowship doesn’t mean being friends with everyone in the office and hanging out with them during happy hour every Tuesday. It means working every day to create a healthy and warm work environment. The best companies to work for usually exhibit a high level of humanity that can only be made possible when there’s a sense of camaraderie and affinity.

Identity

Identity is that feeling of belonging that team members get when they are 100% committed to their job and their company’s success. People with a high level of identity are usually the best brand ambassadors. They promote their company, not only to its clients but also to any prospective employee. They feel proud to be part of something bigger than themselves and they wear the company’s colors every day.

Equality

An employee who treats everyone with a sense of fairness usually helps create a workplace in which politicking and back-door deal-making is seldom the way to get things done. People in supervisory positions are usually easier to evaluate on this dimension however, every single person can follow the Golden Rule and make sure they never do unto others what they don’t want done unto them. People who avoid favoritism or show any kind of bias when dealing with their coworkers are usually considered to have a high degree of equality.

Work Commitment

People who come in to work, not because they have to, but because they are passionate about what they do have the highest level of commitment to their job. These employees will usually do little things like turning off the lights when the conference room is empty or picking up a piece of trash even when no one else is watching them. They come in early and leave late and, for the most part, have positive and optimistic conversations with their teammates.

Personal Performance

Note that this dimension of emotional intelligence has nothing to do with measurable KPI’s but rather how others perceive your professional development within the organization. This dimension closely evaluates how things are done and the co-workers’ perception regarding the employee’s overall attitude. Since goals are usually known only to the employee’s supervisors, the perception of the rest of the team regarding the person’s performance can be very telling.

Setting Up Rules to Select the Employee of the Month

When creating a program like this you must make sure the rules are clear. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Does an employee need to have been working for a minimum period of time at the company before being eligible to win?
  2. Can an employee win back-to-back titles or should there be a break between wins?
  3. Are part-time employees just as eligible as full time ones?

Mix it Up

Depending on the goals of the company you can very well rotate the different dimensions each month and focus on one in particular. For example, one month could be all about Personal Performance and the winner would be selected by picking the person with the highest score in that dimension. On month two you could shift the focus to Credibility, Identity or any of the other dimensions.

Choosing the Right Rewards

The Employee of the Month should be publicly praised and rewarded with something meaningful. The team member should feel special in many ways. Some of the most common ideas are:

  • Gift cards
  • Parking space
  • Plaque (publicly displayed)
  • Cold hard cash
  • One-on-one lunch with the CEO
  • Free day off
  • Trophy

Better yet, give the employees the chance to tell you how they would like to be recognized and you’ll be surprised by how one prize might be great for one person and not so much for another one.

Conclusion

As we mentioned above, manually creating a cross-employee survey requires a lot of hard work, but the payoff is extremely worth it. However, using tools like EPIC make this process a lot easier and far more organic. The amount of information you’ll receive about each employee will let you, not only have an accurate Employee of the Month criteria for selection, but also pinpoint any toxic elements that might be generating a lot of stress within your organization.

If you have any questions about how to manage an Employee of the Month program using our unique engagement software system, EPIC, visit us at ClarityWave.com.

 

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2018-04-10T13:27:31+00:00 By |Employee recognition|

About the Author:

CEO & Co-Founder at ClarityWave

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