Employee recognition is a powerful way to retain workers and yet some organizations surprisingly do not take the time to recognize employee anniversaries. If your company does not have a recognition strategy in place for years of service awards, there is no better time than now to build an employee recognition program. I have three different employee anniversary gift ideas below that represent the most common approaches to service award programs.
Presenting Awards on Anniversaries
One of the best ways to thank an employee for his or her loyalty is to present him or her with a service award on the actual anniversary date. For clients that want to do this, I often set up monthly order confirmations and send out all of the anniversary packets for a month at once. At the end of the month, the Human Resources manager has all of the anniversary packets for the upcoming month to recognize employees with.
If an organization is spread out and has employees at many locations, anniversary emails can be sent out on the employee’s actual anniversary. The anniversary email includes a recognition component along with information on how to select an anniversary gift.
Holding Annual Service Award Ceremonies
Another way to give formal recognition to employees who have reached milestone anniversaries throughout the year is to recognize them together at an annual ceremony. Some of my clients will hold their annual ceremonies at the beginning or the end of the calendar year while others stick to fiscal years. For clients in the education industry, years of service awards are given at the end of the school year. No matter what time of year your service award ceremony is, the event is designed to bring together all employees in order to recognize milestone anniversary achievements. It amazes me when I receive orders for years of service packets where the individual has achieved 50 or more years of service. It would be even more amazing to learn the length of service co-workers have reached via an annual ceremony.
Incorporating Anniversary Awards into an Incentive Program
If your company already has a safety or general incentive program, adding recognition awards into the mix is simple. You can still provide printed paper packets to years of service award recipients and instead of having an order form for a onetime gift, the order form lets the person know the amount of points awarded for his or her anniversary and lists the incentive website to redeem the points on. For companies looking for a green service award solution, anniversary emails can be sent out on an employee’s anniversary instead of handing a printed packet.
All three of these approaches allow employees to select their own anniversary award from a wide variety of brand name merchandise and travel options. HR Magazine reported a couple of years ago that length of service awards are becoming more personal and by allowing employees to select their own awards, gone are the days of one size fits all recognition programs. Additionally, length of service programs that utilize merchandise as awards are often not considered taxable income. Printed recognition components should only take up a small portion of the recognition program budget permitting you to use most of your budget on the anniversary awards themselves.
If you are not currently recognizing employee anniversary milestones, it is not too late to start a recognition program for next year! Try one of these ideas or create your own employee anniversary gift idea and start recognizing employee loyalty.