Implementing Service Awards for Employees: What Not To Do

Service awards for employees are employee milestones with the company that should be celebrated. It’s not an option for a company to have an award like this, it’s a requirement. This is the award that shows that the company appreciates the time and the contribution the employees have made as they stayed on and grew with the company.

Here are some the things to avoid doing when implementing this award program:

* Years ago, companies only handed out service awards for employees for the employees’ 10th or 25th year. That is unacceptable now. Most companies begin the recognition on the employee’s 5th year; and then on the 10th year, 15th year, 20th year and so on. There are even some companies that recognize service on the third year of the employee’s stay with the company.

* Do not forget to celebrate the employee’s contribution to the company along with the years of service. Communicate this to the entire organization with a public celebration.

* You don’t have to spend too much on a lavish event for this award program. It can be a dinner to celebrate the employee milestones or it can be a part of a big event in the company like the anniversary. The more important aspect to remember about implementing an award like this is to be able to convey the company’s sincerity and gratitude. This will be able to do more in boosting employee morale and motivation than any kind of lavish event.

* Avoid making it seem like the award is for just showing up to work. Focus on the contributions and the employees’ skills.

* Don’t give the impression that the award is inconsistent and that it depends only on whims of the bosses. Make sure that you convey to the entire organization that the award is fair, objective and transparent. And make sure that it’s consistent. Follow the rules or criteria set for the awards at all times. Hold the awarding ceremony at a consistent period or date.

* Don’t implement an award program like this that operates in a void. It should be connected to other award programs and they should all share common objectives. Begin with the company’s goals. From these company goals, you should have a holistic motivation strategy that has goals that are tied to the company’s goals. And then from the goals of the motivation strategy, build the goals of the other award programs. Other awards programs that you can consider including in your motivation strategy are Employee of the Week or Month or Year, Instant Recognition or Spot Recognition, Peer Recognition, Employee Referrals, Birthday or Special Occasion Awards and Safety Recognition.

* Don’t forget to use both public and private components to the service awards for employees. A public component includes the official announcement, which should be accessible to everyone across the organization, and the awarding ceremony. An example of a private component would be the company’s top executive or executives personally congratulating the employees. Adding a personal touch like this, which should be a simple and sincere gesture, can go a long way towards conveying the right message and helping make the reward program more effective.