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We make this stuff :-). One of the top ways you can motivate your people to try harder, especially if they have a chance to earn some recognition, is a ‘team/crew member of the month program’ that highlights effort, expertise and someone ‘going the extra mile.’

We’ve been helping large and small businesses implement these for decades, and although you’ll find these kinds of programs generally run HR managers in large corporations, we know from experience that small businesses can implement these programs with great success – if you’re careful to make the program genuine – rather than just recognise everyone in turn.

If you try and turn your program into a participation effort, aka, corporate socialism, be prepared for it to backfire; everyone will cotton on very quickly and just sit back and wait for their turn. And be careful about titling it ’employee of the month.’ There’s nothing less impressive than that archaic term.

It quickly becomes a demotivating effort, rather than a motivating one.

Other than recognition on a wall, decide what each month’s winning team member will receive as a motivating reward for their effort – and it doesn’t need to be expensive – small cash prizes, a copy of their plaque, paid parking for the month, a dinner for their family, shopping vouchers or even. a day off.

Each year, display a larger plaque that recognises the most consistent winner over the previous 12 months, or the most effective team member that’s been supporting those individual winners all year.

Publicise the award in local media, and especially social media – and make sure you update it each month. Don’t start it, run it for a month or two and then run out of time (or interest). That’s a de-motivator too!

Set some rules from the outset. Announce the program to your people and lay out the ground rules and the criteria for winning to make sure that everyone understands how it will work.

Announce the winner every month with an explanation of why she or she won, and explain how they met the criteria – or better yet, exceeded it.

Photo: The foyer at Hillarys Yacht Club, an ever-changing wall of Crew Member of the Month plaques. Another Heritage Medals project. We’ll be updating our plaque section over the coming weeks here;

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