The employee of the year - Is this practise broken?

The employee of the year - Is this practise broken?

The employee of the year - Is this practise broken?

The employee of the year - Is this practise broken?

Is the practise actually broken? Firstly, let’s talk about the reason an employer working in an organisation would want to have an employee of the year, month or week. Usually the main reason for employee of the year, month or week can be to recognise your employees “hard work”. Initially, employees may start to want something more than just a paycheck to feel like their job has meaning. As we are all fond of being praised for our ‘hard work’ and feel appreciated for it. Therefore, companies have taken this into consideration to promote more motivation within the workplace and give an employee of the year, month or week to their employees. The following text will mainly discuss key factors of an employee of the year.

What are the rewards?

When employers have chosen to give one of their employees the “employee of the year”, they receive a reward. There are variant types of rewards that an employer can give to their employees as discussed below.

A “Thank you”

It can be a way of recognising your employee’s achievements. By simply thanking your employee for their hard work so that the employees can be acknowledged.


  • Thanking your employees will make them feel appreciated for their hard work. And make them feel as their hard work is getting noticed.
  • As people, we love being praised for our hard word, therefore employers may use this as a way of motivating their employees.


  • A drawback of only rewarding the employee of the year with a curiosity of a “Thank you”, is that they may expect more from you. They may expect things like a bonus or tangible goods as a reward.
  • Employers only rewarding their employee of the year with a “Thank you” may be demotivating for other employees as they expect more.

Bonus pay

This is another type of reward an employer can give to the “employee of the year”. This can be any amount of money or depending on the job it can be based on the number of sales. This can be calculated by the determined number of total sales that have been made and the determined number of total bonus percentages multiplied together. Vouchers for, clothing, food, shopping etc. Or gifts, such as electronic goods, gift sets etc. This is usually the method of rewards that are given to the employee of the year.


  • The main benefit of granting a bonus payment to the employee of the year is that it continues to give the employee motivation as well as motivating other employees. Vouchers and gifts can also increase productivity as employees will feel like their hard work is being recognised.
  • The employee of the year will feel appreciated in receiving a reward, either a bonus payment, vouchers or gifts.


  • Other employees may feel demotivated, unappreciated and unrecognised for their hard work and may feel like they deserved the employee of the year.

A recognition on the “wall of fame”

This is where some employers may place a picture of the employee of the year on a wall of recognition. This is their way of giving the employee acknowledgement for their hard work.


  • The employee of the year will feel like they have a purpose and feel needed within the workplace. This again will motivate them further in their job role, getting great results within the practice.


  • It can demotivate other employees as they may feel like they achieve the same results as the employee of the year and want recognition for themselves. This can become unhealthy within the workplace between the employees.

What does ‘hard work’ actually mean?

Hard work can be defined as many different things, however, how do employers accurately measure their employee’s hard work?

  • Respect - Being respectful within a practice is not someone who agrees with their co-workers every time. A respectful employee would be someone who values their co-worker’s opinions and views regardless of them not agreeing with them. A person that has a high level of respect constantly with their co-workers and not offending or discriminating against others. This scan is about their decisions or lifestyle. Lastly, a person is polite, considerate and values their co-worker’s opinions all the time.
  • Work commitment - Commitment within a practice is where someone comes into work because they are passionate not because they have to. Commitment can also describe having a high level of commitment. For example, this can be someone who comes in and is the last to leave. They also have positive energy to share with their co-workers.
  • Credibility - One way of knowing an employee is highly credible is when you can depend on them. Credibility is also where co-workers communication skills, clarity, integrity and competence is perceived. When it comes to their job role they do what they say, and are always straightforward to their co-workers.
  • Personal performance - Evaluating the way that employees do things and getting the other employees views of the employee’s performance and attitude.
  • Fellowship - Someone who creates a healthy and happy working environment. A good practice will usually express a high level of humanity. Even though a person with an increased level of fellowship does necessarily mean that they have to be friends with everyone in the workplace or have to hang out with them.
  • Equality - This is where an employee treats other employees with fairness and respect, prevents favouritism or any kind of bias towards others and is considerate. As well as, keeping in mind not doing something that they would not do to themselves.

Overall, a hard-working employee that can be chosen as the employee of the year is a person who is always engaging with other employees and having a positive attitude. A person that is not only skilled in the job role they do but also someone who is very committed to their job doing their hardest. As well as, a person that helps create positive energy in the working environment and always being respectful.

How do employers “actually” choose employee of the year?

  • Favouritism - Favouritism can be said to have less harm than harassment or bullying within a workforce, however, it still causes an impact on employees/ workers morale and encourages conflict. An example of favouritism, where one employee comes into work late most days, hands in their work past the deadline and gets away with it. They also have a good relationship with the managers, always hanging out with them in their office. However, if another employee was to come into work late or hand in their work after the deadline there are consequences put into place. This is just one example of favouritism and it can be a factor when managers/ employers choose the “employee of the year”. Also known as, bias.
  • Discrimination - This is very serious within a workplace as it can impact an employee who may be getting discriminated against. They may feel unwanted, find it hard to communicate even to those who may not discriminate towards them and even just simply smiling at work they may find it hard. Because discriminating an individual in a workplace, it can impact their work, motivation and be happy in their place of work. Therefore, it can be a negative factor when choosing the “employee of the year” as they will have low chances of getting this recognition.

Is it healthy within the practice?

It can be argued that giving “employee of the year” to one person within the company is not healthy. The following text will discuss why it isn’t healthy and the risks that it can have on your company.

Naming a person the ‘employee of the year’ means that the employers will be singling out that person from a team and impartially giving them the name of being the “best employee” of the year. This can have a negative impact on your employees and the company because:

  • It can result in resentment within the team.
  • The employees can turn against each other via unhealthy competition because of it. Even though the purpose may be to give recognition and praise them to motivate and encourage the team.
  • Make employees feel like they haven’t done good enough, compare themselves with other co-workers. This can encourage unhealthy competitions and rivalries between the employees. This can become a risk to your business as unhealthy competitions will mean team members can not work together resulting in the work not getting done to a good standard, a bad reputation and demotivated employees.
  • When something has been achieved within an organisation it has happened because of teamwork, therefore, only rewarding one person out of the whole team can cause serious issues within the team’s dynamics.
  • It can make other employees feel unwanted, unrecognised for their hard work and can cause stress and overwork. This is because they may feel like they haven’t done good enough, compare themselves.

In conclusion, there’s a question of whether it would be a point of risking a healthy relationship between your employees and the job to be completed at a good standard. Also, the impact that it will have on individual employees, as discussed above, the stress it can cause because of not feeling appreciated and praised for their hard work.

document verification

Document Verification

Fully automated. No Human-in-the-loop.

Learn more
1 Platform 8 checks

1 Platform - 13 Checks

Innovative Platform For Employment Vetting

Learn More
Skilled Worker Mock Audit

Skilled Worker: Mock Audit

Immigration compliance and right to work checks

Learn More

Use Complygate to increase confidence in decision making.

Related Posts

24 May 2022

‘Building Back Better’ Or ‘More Of The Same’? Just Where Is

WFH research showed that in international comparison UK had the highest share of employees who said they would quit if forced to return to workplaces full time.

Read More
19 May 2022

5 Ways to mitigate risks with robust Background Checks

Background Check investigates and verifies employees' past, ensuring they are who they claim to be. It is a crucial part of a successful recruiting process.

Read More
12 May 2022

What Do You Know About SMCR

SMCR is aimed at those who hold positions that require regulatory authorisation. It sets rules that govern critical personnel behaviour and accountability.

Read More