Modernizing Your Service Milestones

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Service Anniversary 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.  Over the last several years, however, 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 more than just a foundational component of a strong recognition program.  It’s become critical to sustaining a happy, satisfied team.  As the global workforce evolves, turnover and job-hopping are more common

The disruption that this creates is clear. Conversely, a cohesive team with years of collective experience offers significant benefits organization-wide.  Showing your team in meaningful ways that you value their commitment helps you build a strong Culture of Recognition.

Meeting the Needs of a Changing Workforce

Millennial and Gen-Z employees now account for a significant, and growing, segment of the workforce.  These generations value different things than their predecessors, and they bring with them different needs. It’s important to understand how to meet those needs effectively.  Recognizing these employees for their tenure and commitment can make a tremendous impact on their satisfaction and productivity. 

Above all, these employees value choices based on their lifestyle when it comes to rewards and recognition.  If you have a service anniversary awards program in place, are your employees excited about the rewards they can receive? Offering modern, appealing rewards that leave a lasting impression will go a long way toward cultivating these employees as valued contributors for years to come.

Remember Your Remote and Hybrid Employees

Many traditional service anniversary awards – plaques, certificates, or trophies – can’t be celebrated in the same way by a remote workforce as they can by an in-office team.  One valuable component to celebrating service milestones is public recognition. The opportunity to both be congratulated by peers and to display these tokens of appreciation in the office goes a long way.  For remote employees who are not present to participate in things like this, coupling these tokens of appreciation with a lifestyle reward can help make up the difference.  It’s also helpful for managers to take extra steps to make sure these remote employees are recognized meaningfully to their peers – be it an e-mail, an announcement in a team meeting, or even a congratulatory video call.

Retention Matters

Turnover and hiring come with significant costs, and in today’s workforce, retention matters more than ever. Employee recognition programs are proven to be effective retention tools, and service anniversary awards are an important strategic component of those programs. Celebrating service milestones creates a crucial messaging opportunity. By making these occasions important, you send a clear message to your team about just how much you value their commitment to your organization.

Don’t Wait!

If your service anniversary awards feel stale, now is the time to evaluate and adjust. Xceleration can help you show appreciation for your employees’ commitment in a way that both matches their lifestyle and accounts for how they fit and function in your organization.  Get in touch with us today at to talk about how we can help you implement strategy, structure, and meaningful rewards into your service milestone recognition effort as you continue to build your culture of recognition.

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