When you commit to rewarding a winner every month, you box yourself into a corner. The same top performers tend to win all the time, leaving others resentful. And if you change your mind and start rotating the recognition every month, the whole ritual loses its meaning. Steer clear of such stale, formal programs where you select winners based on rigid rules. Instead, give surprise bonuses and other recognition on a case-by-case basis. Document the reasons for each award so that you can justify your actions; you don’t want to play favorites. And don’t forget simple praise. When someone gives a strong effort, express sincere appreciation.