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Rethinking Your Years of Service Needs

You submit your Years of Service Award employees to your recognition provider, but that is only the beginning of the Employee Recognition process. You need to make sure your employees are appreciated and engaged throughout the year. Here is where your provider should step in.

Opportunities to Celebrate Your Employees

Employees celebrate Service Award anniversaries every month, and if you don’t have a budget to have a formal event, at the very least, call your department together and present the awards in front of their co-workers. 

If you have a budget to have an event or can combine it with a holiday party, it is best to recognize employees in front of their peers. Come up with a new “theme” each year and design posters, banners, invitations, and eVites. An event should be about those not receiving awards, as well so that everyone in the company feels engaged and appreciated. 

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Topics: Employee Recognition, Service Awards, Employee Recognition Strategies, work anniversary, years of service, employee milestones

5 Benefits of Honoring Employee Work Anniversaries with Years of Service Awards


It’s possible to become so wrapped up in tradition, we can forget why it is we’re doing something. When that happens, we run the risk of simply “going through the motions.” Sadly, this occurs far too often when it comes to honoring employees for their loyalty and commitment.

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Topics: years of service awards, work anniversary, years of service, employee milestones

The 5 Elements of Employee Recognition

The Importance of Employee Recognition

There are few things in the corporate world that I would consider “fun.” Most days are chock full of meetings, conference calls, and emails. However, recognizing your employees for achieving a service award milestone, is one of those things that should be a highlight of your day. It should be a chance for you to take a moment to show sincere appreciation for all your employees do for you and your organization. What is unfortunate is that many organizations have not created a strategic employee service award program that creates a culture of recognition within the workplace. By not providing employee recognition training, and not having a formal process in place, many times what should be a fun experience for all, is looked at as more of a burden or waste of time & money.

A quick story. I worked at an organization for about 5½ years right out of college. On the anniversary of my 5 years of service, I received an envelope on my desk with no explanation, my name misspelled, and a small coffee stain on the right corner. I honestly thought I was getting fired in the most inappropriate way I could imagine. As I cautiously opened the envelope I saw a letter from the CEO thanking me for 5 years of service and a small catalog of awards to choose from. The catalog consisted of 5 branded trinkets ranging from a stress ball to a hat. To top it off, it was going to take nearly 4 weeks for me to get the hat. I left the office that day feeling less appreciated than I did the day before. I felt defeated and unappreciated for the 5 years and countless hours of overtime I had given that company.

So, the point of the story is, just because your company has a Service Award Program, doesn’t mean that it is well-structured, nor that it is having the impact on your employees that you believe that it is. In fact, it could be doing more harm than good.

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Topics: Employee Recognition, Employee Recognition Strategies, Employee Appreciation, work anniversary, years of service, employee milestones

Service Award Programs: Give the Gift of Choice

The History of Service Award Programs

Employee Years of Service Awards have been a part of our American culture since the mid 1930’s. It has been said that the AMA (American Medical Association) was one of the first organizations to provide their member nurses and doctors with service award pins – pins for the nurses’ caps and lapel pins and tie tacks for doctors, all designed with the employers’ symbolism. For many years following, service award pins were the traditional standard recognition awards. 

It was jewelry manufacturers that were the providers of these awards, so as time went on, other jewelry items were added which allowed the award recipients some limited choices, which include items such as necklaces, bracelets, stick-pins, brooches, tie-bars, dangles, and other items on which the employers’ crest could be displayed. This became known as the traditional emblematic years-of-service program.

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Topics: Employee Recognition, Service Awards, Employee Recognition Strategies, Employee Appreciation, work anniversary, years of service, employee milestones

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