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Years of Service Awards: Critical to Building a Culture of Employee Recognition

A Personal Touch to Employee Service Awards

Here’s the thing. Technology makes all of our lives easier. We couldn’t do business without email, computers, and cell phones. No one is denying that it’s probably a bit more cost effective, and definitely quicker to offer everything via the Internet. However, we think that some aspects of business, including employee recognition, should be more personal than a simple email announcement. Do more than tell your employees they matter — show them. It's all about creating memories that last a lifetime.

The Importance of a Years of Service Award

A Years of Service Award Program is about more than just getting a gift for sticking around. A systematic service award program encompasses the event, the award, and the recognition experience. By providing tangible, personalized presentation options that fit with the organizational culture and budget, you are able to maximize the impact and improve overall satisfaction of the program itself.


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

Years of Service Awards: Tried and True

Recognition is an inherent human trait.  As a culture, we place a great value on recognition; birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduations, accomplishments, achievements, employment years-of-service milestones, and more. It has been an American tradition for over 75 years to recognize employees for longevity. Let’s take a look at how and when the tradition of recognizing anniversaries began. 

The History of Celebrations

Wedding anniversaries are the most common and popular of milestone celebrations. This is nothing new. Wedding anniversaries were celebrated way back in the ancient Holy Roman Empire. On their 25th anniversary husbands would crown their wives with a silver wreath, and on their 50th anniversary, a gold wreath. This was the origin of the modern day silver and gold wedding anniversaries. This custom, silver and gold anniversaries, was carried on by the medieval Germans.


Topics: Employee Recognition, Service Awards

Great Ideas for Service Award Banquet Themes


Your company gets it. You know your employees are the lifeblood of your organization; you understand how important it is to reward them for their hard work; and you realize just how critical it is to recognize your team for their years of service.

But when it comes to throwing a great service award banquet that makes a lasting impact, you could use a little help. Good news, C.A. Short Company has you covered with three ideas that are sure to be big hits!


Topics: Service Awards, Employee Recognition Strategies, Appreciation, years of service awards

5 Elements of Successful Service Award Programs: Meet Eddie Littlejohn

How to Create a Successful Service Award Program

Last week, C.A. Short Company hosted our annual service award program at our Shelby, North Carolina facility. It is always a great time to celebrate the hard work and dedication that our employees exhibit year after year. This is an exciting time for C.A. Short Company - we have recently launched our People Are Everything employee engagement platform, our PeopleAre™ mobile application, and we are continuing to grow our team and our product lines. With all the change and improvements to our company, the theme of this years’ service award banquet was, “Race to the Chase: Welcome to the New Age.”


Topics: Employee Recognition, Service Awards, Employee Recognition Strategies

How to Successfully Change Service Award Providers

You have been given a difficult, time consuming task. It's time to review your service award provider and you know you need a change.

Oh how you dread that transition! You know that being held accountable for the success of your program is a huge responsibility. Never fear, the answer is near!

What's Your #1 Objective?

Your number one objective is to have an experienced service award provider, right? By experienced, that means more than 15 years in this Industry. You need a provider who works with you to build a program that fits all of YOUR needs, not their's.

You need a vendor who:

  1. Is open to suggestions and personalization
  2. Is always moving forward with the generational transitions
  3. Can lead you with today’s best practices

Of course, we always turn to Recognition Professional International (RPI ) for our best practice standards. As our workforces change, so do our needs for our service award program.


Topics: Employee Recognition, Service Awards, Employee Recognition Strategies

Getting Employees Engaged in Your Service Award Programs

My family and I have been undertaking a move from one home to another. The neighborhoods are across the street from each other, so there was no need to hire a full moving crew. Heck, I have 3 pre-teens - it was high-time they stepped up! As I grew exhausted carrying loads and loads of their stuff to the car, I realized that I was making 3 trips to their one. I noticed that the boys would carry one sock and a hula hoop to my stack of stuff so high I could not see where I was going. 

Motivation for Moving Day

I told everyone to pump the breaks. I asked them what could be done to get us finished and relaxing in the air conditioning quicker. One idea was to throw it all in the trash and buy new stuff; another idea was to have a yard sale. It was then that I explained to them that the more they take to the car at one time, the fewer number of trips we'd have to take. In an instant, they all grabbed as much as their scrawny arms and legs could bear and loaded up the car. We finished in record time and they were relaxing in the AC at the new house in no time.


Topics: Employee Recognition, Service Awards, Employee Recognition Strategies

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.


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

How to Control Your Employee Recognition Budget

I get asked the question, “Is it possible for you to give me a total cost analysis, down to the penny for our service award program?” all the time. Most are shocked when I am able to confidently answer them with a “YES, I can!”

The reason that organizations are shocked, is that most employee recognition companies use what is a called an “average pricing” model when designing service award programs. In my opinion, this “average pricing” model is antiquated and honestly, pretty deceptive.


Topics: Budget Control, Employee Recognition, Service Awards, Employee Recognition Strategies

Communicating & Promoting Your Employee Service Award Program

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 his or her 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. 


Topics: Employee Recognition, Service Awards, Employee Recognition Strategies

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