How do you creatively recognize an employee of the month without breaking the bank? First, let me vent on behalf of employees. I was an employee for several years and one thing that did not motivate me to work harder was a ten second, praise report. If you want more out of your employees do something different.
For example, offer your employees a free one-hour massage if they are selected for employee of the month. But, how can you afford such a gift every month? Trade out. The barter system is alive and well in this world’s economy so if you have a restaurant offer them meal trade outs in exchange for their service. Regardless, of the trade out make sure that the trade is even or the relationship might end poorly.
Oh, and please make sure that everyone knows the guidelines for employee of the month because if not the rumor mill will spread and pretty soon everyone will say that the system is rigged and no one will try any harder except the teachers pet who always does a good job.