3 Steps to an Employee of the Month Contest for your Small Business

by / Wednesday, 04 June 2014 / Published in Small Business Advice

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Employee engagement is an important factor in the effectiveness of a business, making a large difference in the speed and quality of production within your offices. Aside from management techniques that enable employees to become accountable and vested in their results, adding some fun incentives to the work week is another strong way to bring your staff into a more productive and committed state of mind while on the job. Towards that end, here is how you can set up an employee of the month contest in three easy steps! It’s always a good ow your employees that you appreciate them, and when there is a little bit of competition in the air (in the spirit of fun) it can lead to better results on the part of your employees.

1) Decide what you are going to use as criteria. There are a few ways you can spin an employee of the month contest, and depending on your desired result, different criteria will be more important for you. For example, in an environment where you have employees who have been with you for a long time working with employees who are relatively new, you might want to split the contest into two categories, with senior employees voting on the best performance out of new employees, and new ones voting on the best mentor among the senior staff. If you have a group of employees where you think there might be hard feelings based off of a popular vote, you can set benchmarks for performance in order to try and measure employee performance on a more objective level. The key to making your employee of the month program successful is to clearly define what the parameters are for winning and try to minimize hard feelings.

2) Decide on an appropriate reward for winning. The employee of the month title often comes with a bonus, potentially in the form of extra cash, but that does not have to be the reward necessarily. A privilege such as a reserved parking spot, a small celebration, or extra vacation are all potential stand-ins for cash, but be aware that the prize should be commensurate with the effort that the employee put in to winning it. If you have a large staff then  you may want to consider offering a couple of runner up prizes to keep your employee base engaged, since if they perceive only a small chance that they will win, they may decide that the extra effort it would take the winner is not worth it to them.

3) Manage voting and announce the results. If you are going to collect a vote, a simple way to do it is by setting up a ballot through SurveyMonkey or another questionnaire service that will allow you to set up for free. The results can be managed and monitored from the results page, but be aware that if you choose this method you may need to take steps to ensure that employees don’t vote multiple times from different computers. A safeguard against this is only allowing the voting link to be active during business hours which in theory should stop people from voting multiple times after they leave the office. If you are determining who to give the prize to yourself, it is important to be as objective as possible when comparing the performance of your employees. If a personal bias goes in to making the decision, it has the potential to undermine the whole purpose of the contest in the first place. Remember, your contest is not a popularity contest, it is an added incentive to your employees to be engaged and do their jobs.


Photo Credit to AFGE on Flickr

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