A pat on the back as “employee of the month” can be a confidence booster and can even add a bit of professional credibility to a resume. This is especially true if the award is given to a staffer recognized by her peers for her contributions and achievements. While management should generally set the criteria for employee of the month recognition, several standout behaviors should warrant extra accolades.
A staffer who is an exceptional team player is a candidate for employee of the month. Think of people who lend a hand without expecting anything in return or who volunteer to help you even when they should be walking out the door for the day. Good team players look for ways to reduce stress among their colleagues by being a sounding board, helping with brainstorming and troubleshooting, and providing constructive feedback when asked.
The staffer who lands the major account everyone's been trying to get for the past two years deserve some recognition. Give consideration to colleagues who manage a major professional feat that positively affects others in the company. This can include major earning milestones, completing a long-term strategic project or implementing a company-wide training initiative that helps everyone in the company improve their service skills.
If your office continually gets notes and phone calls from happy customers who were aided by one of your service-oriented colleagues, that person deserves extra attention for her efforts. Nominate a co-worker who goes out of her way to help customers solve problems, handle a troublesome client no one else wants to deal with, or who diplomatically gets the company out of a professional jam by mediating a dispute with a consumer.
Not all the work done in an office is paid or required by job description. Recognize co-workers who give their personal time to volunteer efforts inside the company. Maybe a colleague put together a comprehensive recycling program for the office or organized an entire supply room that's been in disarray for months. Perhaps there's someone who takes it upon herself to organize holiday gift exchanges, monthly potlucks or always circulates a card for birthdays and hire anniversaries. Give her extra kudos for her thoughtfulness in the form of an employee of the month nomination.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.