Employee of the Month Award Ideas [+ Guide for Employee Recognition] | Edco Awards
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Employee of the Month Award Ideas

employee of the month awards

Table of Contents

What Are Employee of the Month Awards?

Employee of the Month Awards are awards that you present to your employees once a month.The purpose of the Employee of the Month Awards program is to demonstrate your appreciation for your employee, encourage certain behaviors, motivate them and continue to push the organization forward.

With employee recognition, workers recognize each other and make the workplace feel more inclusive, human, and employees feel an improved sense of value and appreciation. Employee recognition is one of the most important factors in driving workplace engagement, productivity, loyalty, and employee retention.

How Do You Choose Employee Of The Month?

This depends on your organization and the industry. Do you have a competitive sales team? Then consider sales awards for your top performers. Do you have several teams working on major projects? Consider awarding someone who takes initiative with a leadership trophy.

Once you establish your criteria such as:

  • Is an employee a team player?
  • Have they been consistent?
  • Do they offer and accept feedback?
  • Do they share their ideas?
  • Do they uplift others?
  • Are they enthusiastic?

There are a variety of different skills, achievements and attributes that can be noticed and awarded. Consider your budget, the skills you’d like to award and the culture you’d like to cultivate.

EDCO offers thousands of different employee awards for every budget including exclusive custom awards.


Employee Of The Month Mistakes To Avoid

Creating an employee recognition awards program is a great way to make your employees feel values, seen and recognized by upper management and their peers. Not every recognition program is created the same and there are certain mistakes you should avoid to maintain an effective employee recognition program:

  1. Awarding the Same Person
  2. Not Defining Recognition Rubric or Criteria
  3. Using a “One Size Fits All” strategy


20 Employee of the Month Ideas Your Team Can Use Today

  1. Employee plaque
  2. Employee of the month trophy
  3. Employee of the month parking space
  4. Gift Cards
  5. Day Off
  6. Wellness day voucher
  7. Catered lunch
  8. Coffee
  9. Points for perk redemption
  10. Company swag
  11. Happy hour
  12. Team activity
  13. Game day
  14. Gift box
  15. Certificate
  16. Website feature
  17. Social media recognition
  18. Monetary rewards
  19. Club membership
  20. Equipment upgrades


Unique Employee of the Month Ideas

Crystal Employee of the Month Awards

  • EDCO Crystal Pinnacle Award Red Tower: Honor your top performer with one of the most impressive awards ever created, the Crystal Pinnacle Tower. Constructed from the highest quality K-9 optical crystal and custom engraved with your logo and message.
  • Crystal Rocket Trophy: Celebrate a special accomplishment with our stunning Crystal Rocket Trophy. Produced from clear, red and blue optical crystal, accented with round metal windows and elevated atop a base with ample engraving space! This unique accolade can be used to recognize employees for special achievements, leadership and much more.
  • Victory Wings Crystal Award: Honor extraordinary performance with the stunning Victory Wings Crystal Award. Sculptured from a combination of pure clear and jet-black crystal. Your company logo and congratulatory message will be deep etched into the black base and highlighted with silver paint.
  • Eminence Spotlight Crystal Award: Choose the Eminence Award to spotlight your top performers. Constructed from clear optical crystal, this award features stunning facets designed to reflect light and create colorful prisms.
  • Crystal Round Gem Award: Our Crystal Round Gem is the perfect Excellence Award to recognize your top performers. Featuring a stunning diamond-edge bezel designed to bend light and create colorful prisms. This award offers a large imprint area and ships in a satin-lined presentation box.
  • Blue Diamond Crystal Award: Make a splash with our Blue Diamond Awards at your upcoming recognition ceremony! This majestic award is constructed from pure optic crystal and available in two sizes. The blue diamond atop of this award is symbolic of reaching greatness.
guiding star awards

Glass Employee of the Month Awards

  • Blocks of Success Crystal Award: Your associates worked hard. Show them your gratitude by presenting them with this beautiful Achievement Award. The Blocks of Success Award is produced from flawless optical crystal and deep etched with your congratulatory message.
  • American Diamond Award: Honor excellence and inspire continued success with our American Diamond awards! Constructed from premium quality .75" thick jade crystal and sand etched with precision craftsmanship.
  • Guiding Star Award: The Guiding Star Award is a limited edition sculpture that features a unique metal star frame with a glass inlay. Perfect for the rising star within your organization.
  • Blue Crystal Globe Circle Plaque: Choose our truly unique Crystal Globe Circle Plaque. This award is constructed from premium quality optical crystal and deep etched with your congratulatory message and company logo.
  • Silver Gear World Globe Crystal Plaque: Choose our stunning Silver Gear World Globe to honor someone special. This award is constructed from premium quality optical crystal and features a metal gear cut from thick brushed silver metal.

expression art glass award

Art Glass Employee of the Month Awards

  • Dreams in Motion art Crystal: The unique Dreams in Motion Art Crystal features a lyrical swirl of blue and green hues dancing together to form a helix flame. The hand-blown flame is elevated atop an optical crystal base which is deep etched with your custom engraving and company logo.
  • Expression Art Glass Award: Recognize someone special with the Expression Art Glass Award. Streams of vibrant hues collide in molten glass to form a beautiful symphony expressed in color.
  • Vulko Flame Art Crystal: Celebrate success with our stunning Vulko Flame Art Crystal. This award is extraordinary and will deliver the WOW factor at your upcoming celebration. Constructed from glazed crystal and elevated atop a jet black crystal base with deep etching and silver fill.
  • Service Recognition Award: Our Service Recognition Twist Spire is simply a stunning award! An elegant choice for recognizing years of service and performance. Artistically constructed from hand blown glass, this award will speak volumes of your appreciation.
  • Blocks Art Glass Award: Award someone who has advanced or excelled on a project with our Progression Award. This award features unique glass blocks stacked on top of each other resembling the gradual process of advancing toward a goal. Your logo and text is available for engraving on a black metal plate, or sandblasted directly into the glass base and filled with silver or gold paint.

Premiera Plaque

Employee of the Month Award Plaques

  • Premiera Plaque: Award Plaque or work of art? We think you'll agree that our Premiera Plaque is a little bit of both. This contemporary designer plaque maintains warmth through the use of cherry-stained wood and black leather that is contrasted by the use of chrome-plated rods.
  • Art-Stone Recognition Plaque: The Art-Stone Plaque is constructed from a combination of sculptured resin and a floating acrylic panel attached using stand-offs. Enhance your recognition event by introducing this imaginative award crafted by our artisans specifically for those who stand out within your organization!
  • Mirrored Crystal Gold Plaque: Choose this absolutely stunning award plaque to honor your top achievers. Constructed from unique rose-gold mirrored crystal and deep etched with black paint fill.
  • Crystal Clear Glass Plaque: Choose our Crystal Clear Glass Plaque to honor your star performers. Constructed from clear-mirror glass and decorated with a custom engraved black plate with bright silver engraving.
  • Designer Green Marble Star Plaque: Our Designer Green Marble Star Plaques are the perfect accolade to use when celebrating special achievements. Choose this plaque as part of your upcoming employee awards celebration.


The Key Ingredients for Recognizing Employees with Monthly Awards

There are many kinds of employee recognition, from on-the-spot verbal praise to employee of the month programs. But employee recognition awards for your top performers are a special category. These awards are typically presented quarterly or bi-annually to recognize employees who have set a new  bar for achievement in any number of employee recognition award categories. They’re often awarded at an event or ceremony and are on the premium side because they recognize such important achievements.

There are three ingredients to creating the perfect recognition program for your top performers:

  1. The categories
  2. The employee recognition awards themselves
  3. The event

We’ll go over them here so you can get started honoring your best employees.

1. Employee Recognition Award Categories

Don't think of employee recognition awards as being for salespeople only. You can – and should – reward top-performing employees in every department. Just make sure you’re following a system of measurement so that your employees know what to work toward. Here are some popular ideas by department:

  • Sales: Most sales made
  • Customer service: Most customer complaints resolved
  • Engineering: Most bugs fixed
  • Product: Fastest product turnaround
  • Human resources: Most recruits

You can also create employee recognition award categories that are chosen from the entire company for accomplishments like:

  • Attendance: Fewest sick days taken
  • Personal development: Most goals achieved
  • Promotions: Largest promotion given

2. Premium Employee Recognition Awards

The final ingredient for incredible employee recognition awards is a high-quality, premium trophy or plaque. You want to send the message that only the best awards will do for your best employees. Here are our top premium options:

  • Crystal awards: Our optical K9 crystal is the highest clarity and best quality on the market. It’s precision cut, polished and personalized with your thoughtful message using state-of-the-art etching techniques.
  • Plaque awards: Premium plaques are an attractive addition to any office. In stunning gold, handsome hardwoods and contemporary glass, there’s a plaque to fit any company brand or employee style.
  • Glass awards: Custom engraved glass awards will add visual excitement to your awards program while strengthening company branding.
  • Art glass awards: Give a dedicated employee a truly unique employee recognition award by recognizing them with an art glass award. These awards are hand-blown and each piece is one-of-a-kind, as the techniques used to create different patterns of bubbles each time.
  • Acrylic awards: Used by companies and teams whenever accolades are in order, our acrylic award products surpass the competition in appearance, durability and cost.
  • Custom awards: Simply pick one of our standard mock-up designs and submit your art at checkout. Our workshop will quickly create a virtual template for your approval.
  • Vases and bowls: Hand-blown and hand-cut from fine European and Oriental 24% lead crystal, our vases and bowls are elegant and sophisticated employee recognition awards.
  • Trophy cups: Reward a big accomplishment with an equally sizeable trophy: These are some of our tallest and most impressive trophies. They come in shining metal, sparkling crystal, and even blue cobalt, and add a triumphant touch to any desk or office.

When it’s time to recognize your top performers, it’s all about creating a distinctive atmosphere that makes them feel special. Ready to choose your employee recognition award categories and get started? We’ll see you at the ceremony!

3. Employee Recognition Events

How to plan an employee recognition event? So you’re ready to hand out employee recognition awards – make a big deal about it! These awards are for the best of the best, and the ceremony should reflect that. For larger companies and international companies, an annual convention or conference is an ideal time to give out these awards. But even smaller companies can create a yearly event that will excite employees and give them something to look forward to – and you don’t need a huge budget to make it fun. Just follow these steps:

  1. Choose your theme: A theme makes everything more fun, including employee recognition awards ceremonies. “Shooting for the Stars” and other space themes are popular; you can also have a Hollywood theme and honor your own “star actors.” International companies can choose a global theme, highlighting all the different countries they operate in. Other popular themes include luaus, casino nights, winter wonderlands and the roaring ’20s.
  2. Pick your venue: Try to rent an indoor venue to avoid any weather problems, and make sure there’s plenty of seating. Choose a location that’s close to your office to accommodate different commute times and to avoid seeming biased. If you’re really on a tight budget, you can have the party at your office. Planning a virtual event? Check out our Guide to Virtual Employee Awards.
  3. Get food and drinks: Top-notch award ceremonies will provide dinner and drinks, but it doesn’t have to be fancy. Whether you go for food trucks, hors d’oeuvres or a full sit-down dinner, the important thing is to give your employees a chance to socialize over food and drinks.
  4. Choose your employee recognition award categories and winners: Check out our list above to get started, then get creative. Winners can be chosen by vote or by committee, depending on the setup of your recognition program.
  5. Prepare your speeches: Have the CEO and members of upper management give speeches throughout the evening. For larger companies, this is often the only time employees get to interact with these senior positions. When handing out awards, give a short speech about the employee, the accomplishment and how it helped the company.
  6. Have fun! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to plan and organize. You’ll be less stressed and have more fun when the day arrives.

About the Company - Why Order Employee Awards from EDCO?

Here is why you should order with EDCO Awards & Specialties:

  • Responsive in-house team
  • Been in business for over 45 years
  • Guaranteed on-time delivery
  • Highest quality products
  • Lowest Price Promise
  • Free engraving & shipping


Employee Recognition FAQs

  1. What is Employee Recognition?

    Employee recognition is the act of publicly acknowledging your staff members for who they are and what they do. It is positive feedback of an employee’s strengths and an expression of gratitude and appreciation. 

    Essentially, the goal of employee recognition in the workplace is to reinforce particular behaviors, practices, or activities that result in better performance and positive business results. Employee appreciation also helps foster a meaningful relationship between staff members and loyalty to their organization. 

    With employee recognition, workers recognize each other and make the workplace feel more inclusive, human, and employees feel an improved sense of value and appreciation. Employee recognition is one of the most important factors in driving workplace engagement, productivity, loyalty, and employee retention.

  2. How Important Is Employee Recognition? And Why?

    Employee recognition isn’t just a nice way to treat your staff; it’s also an extremely effective communication tool that can help you to get the best out of your business. Whatever method of recognition you decide to go for, your actions will reinforce good behavior within your team and staff and will communicate to them what sorts of actions and behaviors you want to see from them. If you own a business and want to keep your staff motivated and bringing in money for you then a simple employee recognition system can produce immediate, positive results.

    Businesses and companies too often forget about the importance of employee recognition and the effects it can have on employees and job performance. Many businesses think they're saving time and money by skipping out on employee recognition programs, but in the long run, they're actually losing out on time, money, work quality, and employee retention. It's important to take the time to appreciate an employee's hard work in order to better improve the company and business as a whole. 

  3. What are the Benefits of Employee Recognition & Appreciation?

    Employee Awards & Recognition make a difference on the bottom line. 


    It's simple, by rewarding your team for good performance, you are reinforcing productive behavior.  Award and Recognition Programs build employee loyalty while helping to achieve goals more efficiently. They also create a competitive environment with a positive spin.  People are just more likely to repeat the behaviors being rewarded.  As Florida's largest manufacturer of Corporate Awards we hear our customers say time and time again how impactful their awards presentations are on staff members.  Awards people receive become cherished heirlooms and have a lasting effect.  This leads to satisfied employees which leads to satisfied customers and ultimately better financial performance for the company.

  4.  Additional Resources for Employee Recognition and Appreciation -