I love recognition programs. I a huge supporter of acknowledging and rewarding those who go above and beyond the expected to create results that are great.
However, I am against just giving an award because it's your turn. Generally Employee of the Month programs have turned into "Let's recognize everyone somehow" programs. I believe that this is a corollary to our school systems making classes easier in order to help improve the student's self-esteem. This is wrong. I could rant about the school systems, but I'll stick with Employee of the month.
If at your place of work there is one person that is the best, then every month that person should be employee of the month. If you don't like it, then get better, do more. Employee of the month should be awarded based on who the best is. However, I feel that there is a scale to follow. A senior level position has more expected of it and will require more in order to earn the employee of the month designation. I also believe that if everyone did just their job, then no reward should be given that month. A good Employee of the month program will recognize financially and verbally those employees that are doing extra things to help make a company great. If no one is doing extra things, then no one should be recognized.
Dilbert today is a classic case of Employee of the Month programs gone bad.
While searching for additional funnies to put in here, I found that next month a movie called Employee of the Month is being released. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.