PROs and CONs of Employee Of the Month Programs

Two Factor Theory (Human Motivation)
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Best Practices
Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

PROs and CONs of Employee Of the Month Programs

A common recommended and used form to increase employees’ motivation and performance is Employee-Of-the-Month (EOM). Such a strategy would boost morale through employee rewards and giving credits to excellent employees.
However, the EOM-strategy has negative sides as well; many criticize this strategy as a result. So, what are the disadvantages of an EOM-strategy? Johnson and Dickinson (2010) mention the following disadvantages of Employee-Of-the-Month programs:
1. EOM-rewards are only based on results: By only considering the final results, EOM-incentives neglect the ways in which the results are achieved. As a result, employees will be encouraged to get engaged in unethical and unacceptable behavior so as to achieve the best results.
2. Unclear conditions: Another criticism is the lack of clarity of the conditions needed to become EOM. Employees do barely know what specific actions they need to take to become EOM and are therefore unable and unmotivated to take the right actions and make the right decisions.
3. The winner takes it all: EOM has a typical winner-takes-all construction. So, even if there is only a small performance difference between the best employee and the other employees, only the best employee will be rewarded. This is likely to lead to decreased motivation to become EOM, at least in the long run.
4. Non-referenced evaluation: Evaluations of EOM are often norm-referenced, which means that EOM is chosen by comparing the employees with each other without having a set of pre-defined criteria. This type of evaluation can lead to unhealthy competition that may turn out to have negative outcomes for the organization.

⇒ What are your experiences with EOM programs?

Source: Douglas A. Johnson and Alyce M. Dickinson (2010) “ Employee-of-the-Month Programs: Do They Really Work? “ Journal of Organizational Behavior Management Vol. 30 Iss. 4 pp. 308-324

  Jeff Gordon
CEO, United States

Criteria for Employee of the Month Programs

The majority of the disadvantages stated about EOM programs can be mitigated with clear criteria about what is required ...

  Johnny Michael Tan
Management Consultant, Malaysia

As a Customer, I Like Hotels with an Employee or Team of the Month Program

If managed effectively with proper guidelines and execution, it is definitely positive. If I walked into a hotel that h...

  Bryan Hunt
Director, China

Employee of the Month - Pros and Cons

This initiative doesn't work for all. My guess is most employees are dis-engaged by this sort of reward. Team of the mo...

  Mircea Tanase, Suceava, Romania
Manager, Romania

Employee of the Month Works in Hospitality

I have recently taken over a hotel as GM and I was surprised to see how important this competition is for the employees....

  Mona Al Sheikh
Professor, Saudi Arabia

Teacher of the Year Award

We have experience with TOY award which not only includes a trophy, but also a financial reward of 6500 dollars. The awa...

  W Atkinson
Management Consultant, United Kingdom

Sector and Company Culture Influence EOM Program Implementation

Like most initiatives they work if its suits the culture. Whilst I believe we can all recognise workplaces like hotels u...

  Emmanuel Mwirichia
Manager, Kenya

Metrics in Service are Easier to Measure

@Mircea Tanase, Suceava, Romania: I agree. In a service establishment, the metrics are easy to measure - satisfaction, s...

  David Torres
Manager, Mexico

Employee ⇒ Team of the Month

I prefer team of the month, because an employee could use others/subordinates to achieve his own targets, but if we work...

  ton voogt, Netherlands

Alternatives for Employee of the Month Programs

Some thoughts on this topic: these individual or team programs intend to level up the general level of performance, or l...

Manager, France

Employee of the Month VS Team of the Month

I prefer "Team Of the Month" This means everyone has to work and share his own experiences with his/her colleagues. Th...

  Fekadu Asmamaw

EOM Program Needs Great Care & Attention

I used to work in a hotel with about 300 employees that had an employee of the month program. Each department manager se...

  Jacob Andrews
Entrepreneur, United Arab Emirates

Keeping the Employee of the Month Program Alive

An Employee of the Month program is good. But if this program is run in a particular manner it may easily become monoton...

  Moustafa Alam
Director, Kuwait

Employee of the Month

I believe it is a good way to motivate employees. If you can boost it by a group project that collects all employees of...

Manager, Thailand

Starting an Employee Of the Month Program?

I am about to start EOM in my factory, looks like more need to be considered, thanks for the input! I originally thought...

CEO, South Africa

Consider and Prepare Employee of the Month Carefully

Like all initiatives consider carefully before implementing: - First and most importantly: What behaviors do you want t...

Manager, Morocco

Employee of the Month is a Recognition

EOM should be regarded as a recognition for someone who did something extraordinary to eliminate a meaningful company lo...

  abens anna jacob
Student (Other), India

Why Employee of the Month is Not a Good Motivation Tool

Employee Of the Month is not a good way to motivate employees. EOM comes with a target for every employee. If there is a...

Professor, India

Employee of the Month Advantages

Of course this is one of the methods adopted by many organizations to motivate employees and falls under self actualizat...


Employee of the Month? Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No

I think that an EOM program is really very difficult to manage well, but I am sure that sometimes it is effective and so...

  Clinton Lee
HR Consultant, United States

Employee of the Month Program per Focus Area

I believe EOM programs are basically good if they are designed correctly. Most companies have different focus areas, fo...

  Ahmad kanj
Manager, Lebanon

Employee of the Month: Assessment

I'm voting for the title: " Team of the Month " for considerable results. The competition between individuals becomes m...

  Jackson A. Rhys
Professor, United States

A Short Sighted Process

Myriad research studies have shown that people working for an external reward do less than those who are working for int...

  Vincent Miholic
Manager, United States

Outdated. Old-school

EOM? Outdated. Old-school. Need a comprehensive recognition system, yes. As one vendor succinctly sums, recognition shou...

  Maimon Arif
Manager, Malaysia

Team Based Yellow Shirts with Peer Validation

We introduced a quarterly yellow shirt award for the best team and the chicken award for the lowest performance team. T...

Student (Other), India

The Purpose of EOM

EOM is a basic motivational title which everyone would love to be recognized with, as beginners in the work life. Howev...

  Tom Downs
Teacher, United States

External Motivation is Out of Date

Extrinsic motivation belongs in the dustbin of history. 20th Century thinking. This is no longer helping us move forward...

  Lazhar Charfeddine
United Arab Emirates

Employee of the Month Remains a Good Practice

It is not only about the result, it should be a full appraisal of the performance from all sides. Besides it is not nec...

  Shaik Murtuza Illahi, Saudi Arabia

EOM Worked Well in Manufacturing Industries

I was in charge of a production line of an air conditioner manufacturing company. The scheme of EOM worked successfully ...

  Ssamanya M.Geowillis
Manager, Uganda

When EOM is not Suitable

There should be well defined benchmarks for the EOM program to be appreciated and adopted. Otherwise the EOM program bec...

  W Atkinson
Management Consultant, United Kingdom

Extrinsic Motivation is History - BUNK

(Editor: bunk = absurd) @Tom Downs: Everyone loves Dan Pink because he deals with the top segment of Maslow. Motivatio...

ICT Consultant, Costa Rica

EmployeeS of the Month or Team of the Month

For me, there should be the employeeS of the month. Inclusively the team of the month. This way more than one person wil...

HR Consultant, Ethiopia

Employee of the Month Ideas

EOM program may lead to unhealthy competition if not handled with care, a few ideas: 1. Every employee of the org shoul...

United States

Change Employee of the Month Criteria Every Month

Team of the month is a great idea. I won EOM twice because of some exceptional work I did when the management asked us a...


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