Employee Service Recognition
While Service Recognition Award Programs have grown to be the most widely used type of employee recognition, some parts of the program have evolved to make it even more effective.
Trend Change: the Type of Awards Given
The type of Gifts given for Length Service recognition has evolved. During the Industrial Revolution, it was common to get a Gold Watch after 25 years, or at retirement. That was often the only recognition companies provided for long service. That slowly changed to service awards being given at earlier milestones beginning at 5-years. But, still management pre-selected the employee's gift, such as a plaque, pin, or a mantel clock.
Today, the most common type of award is a gift of their choice, where a catalog (and its online equivalent) is presented to the employee - in a service award presentation packet, so they can choose the gift they prefer, use and appreciate!
Trend Change: Service Award Frequency / Intervals
Initially, service recognition was only provided at 25 Years, or at retirement
Today, it is the industry standard to give awards to recognize employee milestones beginning at the 5th anniversary of employment, and then at each five year increment thereafter. Enhanced retirement recognition is also common today.
Trend Change: adding EARLIER service recognition (1, 2 and 3 years)
The previously stated industry standard milestones (beginning at 5-years) worked fine until the Generation Y employees came in the work force (born from 1978 to 2000).
Today, the typical Gen Y employee tends to stay at a company for much shorter times, with the average of less than 5 years. (according to the US Dept. of Labor).
Since standard service recognition increments start at 5 years, these employees are not being recognized, which greatly increases the risk of losing these talented people. They want to make a difference in the companies they work for, and expect to be recognized for it. If they don’t feel appreciated, they’re very willing to move on.
Given these demographic changes, more companies are now offering awards with increasing frequency, adding Early Service Recognition, beginning at 1, 2 and 3 years.
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