Home Blog 10 Employee Of The Month Ideas To Boost Staff Morale

10 Employee Of The Month Ideas To Boost Staff Morale

Photo of Valentin Hinov Valentin Hinov 09 March 2023
An image of the an Employee of the Month winner with trophy

In a competitive job market, where companies are struggling with high turnover rates and lagging employee engagement, it’s becoming increasingly important to show your team that you care. Building a positive work environment is a step in the right direction on that front - but it isn’t always easy.

That’s where an employee of the month programme comes into play. By regularly handing out employee of the month awards, companies can nurture a culture of employee appreciation and recognition.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some creative ideas for employee of the month programmes. Whether your office is remote, hybrid, or on-site, Thankbox has you covered with an idea your employees are sure to love.

Let’s dive in!

What is an employee of the month award?

An employee of the month award is a common form of peer recognition where one staff member is honoured for their exceptional performance, attitude, or contribution during a given month.

Chart showing preferences for employee recognition

These awards allow companies to establish consistent recognition systems that reward employees who exhibit traits or behaviours that improve the company as a whole. By publicly recognising top performers, you’re providing an excellent example for other employees to model, while making sure that the top performer feels appreciated - something the UK’s workforce is crying out for.

The winner of the award may receive gifts or prizes, but the primary goal is to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of your staff - either company-wide or within individual departments.

Creative ideas for virtual employee of the month

Now that we’ve gone over the basics, here are some virtual employee of the month award ideas that you can use to recognise and appreciate your remote employees:

1) Send a trendy e-card with Thankbox

As employee of the month awards are about celebrating your team, Thankbox offers a perfect combination of sincerity and functionality. Our e-card builder helps you and your team write and customise a note that’s sure to brighten a special employee’s day.

A snip of Thankbox Congratulations card landing page

Every team member can add a personalised message to show their appreciation, along with unique backgrounds, GIFs, images, and videos to make their online congratulations card even more special.

2) Gift a digital gift card with Thankbox

Thankbox offers more than just personalised e-cards. The platform also allows you to set up an online group gift collection for your employee of the month. Recipients can claim the cash value as a gift card or receive a prepaid debit card, making it a versatile and functional choice.

Image of the How it Works section of the Thankbox homepage

There’s no need to worry about collecting money, either. Your team can securely contribute a cash amount online with Thankbox. And over 700 popular retailers worldwide, and the ability to redeem in over 150 currencies, guarantees gift collections are effortless, flexible, and always appreciated.


3) Social media takeover

This perk allows the employee of the month to grab the reins and take over content for one (or all) of the company's social media channels. You're essentially offering them a chance to showcase their creativity, while also receiving recognition for their hard work.

The content created during the takeover could include links to personal projects and artwork - whatever they want to share with the world. The only caveat is that you’ll need to make sure they’re aware of (and willing to stick to) your social media policy.

4) Organise a virtual lunch

A virtual lunch is one of the best group gift ideas for an employee of the month. It brings remote employees together and helps build a sense of company camaraderie

To make it a special celebration, do some sleuthing to figure out your employee of the month’s favourite restaurant. Then offer to order their lunch and schedule a time when your whole team can eat together.

5) Host a virtual award ceremony

If you and your team are a fan of theatrics, hosting a virtual award ceremony is a great way to recognize remote employees who have gone above and beyond. The ceremony can include multiple award categories, such as “employee of the month” and “best team player.”

An image of an Employee of the Month trophy winner

Treat the virtual ceremony like the Oscars - allow the recipients to give a little speech about their achievements and send out certificates or trophies for them to open.

On-site employee of the month ideas

Now that we’ve covered remote employee of the month awards, here are some exciting employee of the month programme ideas for on-site teams:

6) It’s party time!

One of the most effective ways to celebrate performance and boost team morale is by throwing an office party (after all, who doesn’t love a party?). Aside from making the party’s guest of honour feel special, celebrating together fosters a sense of community amongst your team.

7) Extra PTO for award winners

Annual leave is a scarce resource for many employees - especially in America, where workers receive an average of just ten days of PTO per year. To show appreciation, consider offering extra PTO to your top performers that they can use at their leisure. 

An image to represent PTO (paid time off) - a beach scene

Instead of imposing a strict deadline, allow them to redeem the extra PTO at any time up to a year after their win.

8) Prime office space

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll know that some desks are definitely better than others. We’ve all dreamed about a better view or a bigger desk, so reserving a special space for the employee of the month is a great way to incentivise your employees.

To make it even more desirable, consider kitting out the space with extra perks like an espresso machine or extra comfortable furniture. 

9) Showcase the recipient on your company website

Everybody wants to see their name up in lights, so showcasing the employee of the month on a public platform can make a great award for your programme.

Creating a page on your website is an easy way to highlight the incredible work that your team is doing. Plus, it’s another way for customers and clients to get to know the faces behind the brand.

Alternatively, social media is a more toned-down way to highlight their success.

10) Let the winner choose a team-building activity

Speaking of making the employee of the month feel special, consider organising a team-building event that they get to choose. 

You could either provide a pre-screened list of options, or simply set a budget and let them decide. This will give them a chance to feel more involved and valued.

Hands in all together group image

Here are some ideas for team-building that you could suggest:

  • An escape room

  • A company quiz

  • Lip-sync battle

  • Scavenger hunt

  • Volunteering or community service

Make your employee of the month feel appreciated with Thankbox

By implementing some ideas discussed in this article, you move towards a culture of appreciation and recognition that champions the employees who make your teams (and company) thrive. Remember, small gestures go a long way towards making your employees feel appreciated.

With Thankbox, it’s easy to celebrate employee of the month (and any other occasion) with a beautiful card and gift collection


Image sources:

Recognition Preference Chart - Trophy holder - Beach picnic - Team hands

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