Employee Of The Month Ideas (Certificates, Awards, Gifts and Alternatives)

Curious about the Employee of the Month award? Whether you are a manager looking to implement it or an employee interested in it, this will help you out.


Synkdup Editorial Team   

|  16 January 2024

Employee of the Month Ideas

Who doesn’t like awards? Whether it be big award shows that are telecasted or an employee of the month award in the office, something is exciting about them.

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The curiosity among the crowd about who’s going to win—all of this makes things very exciting. It is also great for the awardees. Apart from their fifteen minutes of fame, it helps build lasting confidence, and they can create a motivated group of employees who are determined to thrive and help the company achieve its goals.

What Is An Employee Of The Month Award?

It is an award that has been introduced in many companies as a means of rewarding outstanding workers in the organization. It is common for such prizes to be given in front of everyone. The recognition and applause feel great for the recipient.

This is a practice that is prevalent in many organizations. Many companies that didn’t have it originally have also begun adopting it as a practice after seeing the benefits that rivals have gained.

Employee Of The Month Certificate

Some companies offer an employee of the month certificate in addition to or in place of an award. Some employees even get them framed because they consider them valuable.

Certificates may even be used by employees during job interviews with future companies. Some even add it to their resume. They act as the epitome of one’s work ethic and can make their resume more effective.

Certificates are also considered more credible as they have signatures, company names, designations, etc. on them compared to just receiving a physical award. Hence, they are easier to verify as well.

The Importance Of Employee Appreciation

This is a concept that needs to be taken seriously by any company. Companies with good employee appreciation practices tend to have more productive and healthier environments to work in. It is important to examine employee appreciation from different viewpoints.

Management Perspective

A manager needs to find the right balance between valuing an employee’s efforts and providing constructive criticism. Too much praise can lead to complacency or conceit, while too little can lead to resentment and low self-confidence.

Employee appreciation can be expressed through words or actions as well as through tangible rewards like bonuses, awards, etc. It can also be done through promotion to a higher post, sometimes.

Top companies tend to take better care of their employees compared to mediocre ones. There are cases of workers being dissatisfied with high-paying jobs simply because they don’t feel valued by their bosses. Lack of employee appreciation is a major reason why an employee may hate their job.

Employee Perspective

Employee appreciation also provides an incentive for other employees to work harder so they can attain such a distinction next time. It can also help raise the self-esteem of employees who receive it.

It may even inspire them to become better versions of themselves and take on more responsibilities in the future. It may create healthy competition among workers, which can increase their productivity and the synergy of the group.

Criticism, provided that it is constructive in terms of intent, is also important from time to time as it helps people realize their shortcomings. They realize where they need to improve to become even better.

Ideas For Winning Employee Of The Month

It is a fantasy that many have but not all attain. Many items need to be ticked off to make it, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Hopefully, our suggestions can help you out.

We’ve skipped over the basics, like working hard, dedication, discipline, etc., which are of course needed but way too obvious. Our tips are a bit different but still relevant and may help you stand out.

These go beyond just achieving an award or certificate and extend to other areas as well. They can both make you a better worker in general and also change your life.

Associate With Ambitious People

“You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with."
         - Jim Rohn

The easiest way to improve the quality of your life is to improve the quality of your social circle. One of the biggest reasons for unhappiness among people is that they have too many toxic people as their friends.

Instead, spend more time around people who are ambitious, higher achievers, hard-workers, etc. If you regularly spend time with such people, eventually their good habits will start to rub off on you.

Engage In Self-Education

Always be willing to grow and pay great emphasis to on-the-job learning. A great way to do this is by reading about subjects related to your line of work and industry. This may be through books, magazines or even articles on blogs (like this one itself!) by experts, etc.

Apart from reading, one can also listen to podcasts, watch informational videos, attend seminars, etc. We live in an information age where there is so much knowledge available everywhere. All one needs is the will to learn and the possibilities.

Seek Constructive Feedback From Bosses

There are a lot of things that our superiors and others notice in us that we don’t. Gaining an alternative perspective on our performance can help us learn new things about ourselves.

Also, bosses tend to be more experienced and have the insight needed to guide us in our work. They can also act as mentors and help us go far.

For example, many successful businessmen have had mentors and idols whose teachings have guided them towards making progress and one day starting their businesses too.

Take Good Care Of Your Mental And Physical Health

Too many workers neglect their bodies and take on too much stress in their lives. Over the years, these negative tendencies can compound into serious health problems later on down the road. What workers need to realize is that taking care of their minds and bodies will not hinder their work but rather improve it.

If we are healthier, we can do more work in the long term, and if we have persistent health problems, it will hinder our ability to work. This does not mean one has to go out of their way and become a complete fitness fanatic. Just a bit of daily exercise and a good diet can go a long way.

Mental health is also important, and exercise can improve that too. One should also have a life outside of the office. One of the biggest causes of mental health issues among workers is poor work-life balance.

Other Positive Habits

These include things like being punctual by showing up on time (if possible, a few minutes earlier), being well-behaved and nice to co-workers, meeting deadlines, and, if free, accepting delegated tasks from bosses, as these can offer great on-the-job learning opportunities.

Alternatives To Employee Of The Month Awards

There are other options as well, which companies can use to increase productivity. For any method adopted, the key thing is how well it is managed and executed.

Bonuses Or Incentives

A bonus is usually an additional financial benefit awarded to an employee. They are separate from salaries and are typically one-time benefits. e.g., holiday bonus.

Incentives are also financial benefits but are usually ongoing. They also linked certain tangible measures of productivity. E.g., sales commissions Both may be awarded to an employee in appreciation of their efforts and what they have accomplished for the company. It does not pit employees against each other, as there is no rule that only a limited number of employees are eligible for bonuses.

In theory, all employees can get bonuses, provided their efforts enhance the company’s profitability by enough of a margin.

But one drawback of this system over an employee of the month award is that it takes money out of the company’s pocket. Many workers prefer the feeling of recognition from awards over money, making them work harder without costing the company much.

If managed well, bonuses and incentives have the potential to add more value to the company. They also align individual goals with those of the company, promoting a healthier office culture.


These could be expensive items or even average, budget-friendly presents. The key thing is that they acknowledge the effort of the worker. It can bring smiles to the faces of employees and boost morale. They can act as a decent incentive for employees to work hard and aspire for more. It also creates a good atmosphere in the office and improves the work culture.


Making the step up to a higher post is a good move toward advancement in any field. The higher status and respect in the office are good motives for employees to work even harder.

Plus, the added responsibility can make them grow and prepare them for bigger roles in the future. It can also open up new opportunities for the future.

More Paid Time Off

Offer the best employee of the month some extra time away from work. This is perfect in modern times when many hard-working employees struggle to find time to relax.

There is greater importance now in finding a balance in our lives. Creating rewards like 2-paid days off for the one that wins employee of the month can help.

Travel Vouchers

These are great incentives for employees to improve their performance. A weekend getaway or a short trip away to another destination can be a great way to de-stress and unwind. This may be to a countryside destination or a metropolitan city. In modern times, the travel trend is on the rise, and travel enthusiasts are on the rise.

The Downsides Of Employee Of The Month

Unfortunately, such initiatives have another side to the coin as well. It is not always as simple as all employees becoming more motivated to work harder. Brace yourselves, for there is a dark side to it as well!

The Ugly Side Of Competition

They say competition brings out the best and the worst in us. It is not at all rare in a corporate setting for the latter to prevail. Sometimes, instead of pushing each other to be better, workers may attempt to tear each other down.

Blinded by their lust for the award, workers often end up forgetting that they are a team; they work for the same company and should all be on the same page.

This can lead to individual agendas overtaking collective progress. Whenever that happens, an organization is bound to suffer. Here, the role of management is crucial in curbing the side effects.

Scope For Favoritism By Panelists

Such accolades are usually awarded based on opinions, but sometimes opinions can be flawed. There is always the possibility that a more deserving candidate may miss out on the award owing to favoritism. This is not at all uncommon in office settings or any field, for that matter.

For those not favored by the panel, it can lead to them feeling demotivated to improve their performance as they know the award will go to the kiss-ups. This may lead to them working less hard, which could affect the output of the group.

It can also hinder employee connection and lead to some workers feeling detached. Sometimes, in the end, they may start feeling like outcasts and could even want to change jobs. The management must set the right standards.

Potential For Conflict

Awards like these can result in office politics, which can also lead to the formation of cliques in the office. A place where workers dislike each other is never going to make for a productive work environment.

Also, workers may not want to stay with such a company, which can reduce employee retention rates. All these things can cause headaches for HR departments

It can also lead to those receiving the award becoming conceited, and, on the flip side, those who don’t win can develop feelings of envy towards others who do win them. All these things can create toxicity in the work environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is employee of the month a good idea for a company?

Ans: An employee of the month award can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on how it is managed and executed. As long as it is done fairly without favoritism and does not create conflicts in the office, it can be a good option.

Q: How to choose employee of the month?

Ans: The criteria for choosing who gets the employee of the month certificate or prize vary from company to company. But generally, they involve work ethic, performance, behavior, etc.

Q: Do employee of the month programs work?

Ans: This depends on how employee of the month programs are implemented by the management. But if done well, they offer enormous benefits to the company and can raise productivity massively.

Q: How to get employee of the month?

Ans: To obtain the Employee of the Month award one must put in hard work, take on responsibility, be well-behaved, etc. It takes a lot of drive to pull it off, but it is well worth it.

Q: How to implement an employee of the month program?

Ans: There are numerous employee-of-the-month ideas that companies can use to create a program. The main thing to make sure of is that it is done fairly.

Also, systems like voting are not the best as they can become popularity contests. A panel being appointed that chooses the winner is a better option.

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