Merit Increases or Awards/ Employee of the Year Award

Some of our staff are tossing around the idea of a Merit $$ Increase for someone who does an extraordinary job, exceptional performance, etc. and or when they notice an employee who goes above and beyond in some manner, i.e., stays late to help a department get a job done on time, which in turn helps the company as a whole.  Perhaps give them a gift card, tickets to movies, etc.

My thought as an HR Administrator is awards whether it be a merit raise or a token of appreciation giving the gift,  often causes bad morale as you don't always see everyone doing a terrific job or a job above and beyond due to the type of work they do. 

Also Employee of the year awards which we do have now seem to cause bad moral.  Can anyone out there give me some ideas of whether or not you do do any of this and if so what has your experience been with this?  Thank you 


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Quality Supervisor + Nice but not Extravagant Reward = Good Outcome

    Poor Supervisor + (Junk or Envy-Drawing-Gift) = Poor Outcome

    Bad supervisors make bad choices.  They do things like reward the least effective team member for a single visible contribution, or reward people for their winning personality or good looks, but not their job performance.

    Gifts that are too good draw envy and resentment toward the recipient.  Gifts that are junk draw scorn for the company.  Great performance should be part of a performance appraisal, which may or may not encompass a raise in pay.  I would keep that separate from point-in-time gifts for particular acts.

  • The problem that seems to arise if the decision of who to recognize is made by a supervisor is that it is supjective and staff will cry favortism. 

    We recently started a system where staff can recognize co-workers for a job well done in our monthly employee newsletter.  Since we have multiple departments and multiple locations this works out well.  Then once a year all the names of those recognized throughout the year are put on a ballot and staff vote for employee of the year.  Staff do the voting so they cannot say that it was favortism.  It has worked out well for us.

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