Making Service Milestone Awards Matter

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Service Milestone awards are one of the original and longest-standing components of employee recognition. The happy send-off with a handshake and a gold watch is a familiar image to many of us. However, over the last several years, that image has become symbolic of times past.

Recognizing employees for their loyalty, celebrating important work anniversaries, and meaningfully rewarding these team members has become critical to sustaining a happy, satisfied team that stays with your company long-term. 

As the global workforce evolves, turnover and even job-hopping are more common.  This can, of course, create disruption within your organization – but beyond that, the benefits of a cohesive team with years of collective experience are significant. Showing your team that you value their commitment to your organization with meaningful service milestone awards is crucial to building a strong Culture of Recognition.

Meeting the Needs of a Changing Workforce

Millennials now account for over 50% of the workforce, with Gen Z employees poised to join them before too long.  These generations value different things and bring different needs than their predecessor. It’s essential to understand how to meet those needs when reaching career milestones. Effectively recognizing these employees with meaningful service milestone awards can have a tremendous effect on their productivity. 

Above all, these employees value choice based on their lifestyle when it comes to service anniversaries, rewards, and recognition. If you have a Service Anniversary program in place, are your employees excited about the rewards they can receive? Ensure your service milestone rewards are modern, appealing, and meaningful. It will go a long way toward cultivating these millennial and Gen Z employees as valued contributors for years to come.

Consider Remote Employees

Many traditional service milestone awards can’t be celebrated in the same way by a remote workforce as they can by an in-office team. Desk awards like plaques and trophies are great, but displaying them to peers is part of what makes them great. Public recognition is valuable. Being congratulated by peers and displaying these tokens of appreciation in the office benefits your service milestone awards program. 

For remote employees who are not present for in-person award programs, coupling these tokens of appreciation with lifestyle rewards can help make up the difference.  Additionally, managers must take extra steps to make sure remote employees are recognized meaningfully for their years of service by their peers – be it an e-mail, an announcement in a team meeting, or even a congratulatory video call.

Don’t Wait

If your service milestones awards program feels stale, now is the time to evaluate and adjust. Show appreciation for your employees’ commitment in a way that matches their lifestyle. Consider how they fit and function in your organization.  Get in touch with us today to talk about how we can help you elevate your service milestone awards program.

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