Milestone Awards for Employees in 2022

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It’s another year of employee recognition to consider, especially now that 2022 is well underway. You’re not standing alone if you haven’t given employees much appreciation. Nevertheless, whether you read this in February, October, or even December, the moment is now to resolve to change. Thinking about ways to make your employees’ lives better can never be too late.

This piece will concentrate on debatably the most popular recognition program now in use: milestone/employee service awards, as opposed to deluging you with thousands of options for recognition.

We’ll explain what these awards are, their mode of use, and how to create your own program to profit from the fantastic advantages of recognition.

What Are Milestone Service Awards?

Milestone service awards, which often start at the five-year point, are a way to recognize the length of time an employee has worked for an organization.

If you’re seeking a more formal definition, here it is: Milestone service awards, which often start at the five-year mark, are a recognition platform to acknowledge the length of time an employee has worked for a company. Most likely, you’ve seen or heard of prizes of this nature before. You get the idea: a personalized plaque with your name on it, a pin bearing the year of your current term, a fancy pin, or a personalized plaque.

However, in the workplace of today, these conventional service awards aren’t sufficient. A lot (a whopping 50%) of employees, according to a study, left their company service awards in the office after they moved on from the organization.

As if that weren’t enough, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average tenure for employees within the age range of 25–34 is only 2.8 years, compared to the average rate of 4.1 years for all other employees. Therefore, even the traditional meaning of milestone service awards is incorrect in the modern world. Most employees may never even receive a milestone award if you don’t start giving them out until year five.

The purpose of recognition incentives is to express your appreciation and gratitude for your staff, but what use do they serve if the great bulk of your personnel is never able to get one before they move on to another job?

Why Are Service Awards Vital?

When it pertains to establishing and maintaining proper relationships with employees, milestone awards play a critical role. By serving with their time and skills for a year (or longer), these awards demonstrate your appreciation for the effort and fidelity that employees put forth for the business. No matter how long an employee stays with your firm, we’re ready to assist you on how to update your employee milestone award program

so that every person feels valued and appreciated. Additionally, these awards are a form of recognition, and as we already established, acknowledgment has a buffet of advantages.

Regular recognition:

  • Reduces irritability by 28%
  • Enhances the quality of the work and fosters employee-employer trust
  • enhances worker engagement (which lowers absenteeism and improves productivity)

However, there’s still more! When given recognition, 63% of workers say they are extremely unlikely to hunt for new jobs. On the other hand, 44% of workers claim that their desire to change employment is fueled by a lack of recognition and involvement. Giving praise is an effective strategy to increase retention and decrease turnover, which might increase the average rate of 4.1 years, thus enabling you to dish out more milestone awards.

As you create a thoughtful service awards strategy that recognizes every employee for the work they perform and the value they bring to the table, job engagement and employee retention will rise. This makes it a win-win situation.

How Do You Recognize Years of Service?

We’ve discussed the typical method of service award acknowledgment, so you now understand why you would wish to do something different. What specifically can be done to honor such a significant turning point in the lives of your employees is the million-dollar question, though.


Work Anniversaries—Workiversaries

Work anniversaries are exactly what they sound like: they mark the day when an employee joins your organization. Both the firm and individual take this seriously. The individual has been there for the full year (or three or eleven) and has put forth a lot of effort to advance the business. The organization has assisted them in acquiring the abilities and information required to widen their horizons and advance their careers. It’s about time to commemorate such an accomplishment.

Milestone awards come in handy for this because you shouldn’t allow a work anniversary to pass by without giving it some kind of acknowledgment.


How to celebrate Workiverseries

What’s the greatest method to celebrate those job anniversaries that occur every year? Finding out just how every staff member likes to be appreciated is a great first step. Do they enjoy the thought of being acknowledged in front of others?

Consider including a part in your regular staff meeting that lists the upcoming anniversaries for your company. Alternatively, if they’d rather remain unnoticed, just give a handwritten note of gratitude to them for their outstanding performance the previous year. Oftentimes, that means the most to them as it shows thoughtfulness.

It’s now time for the reward itself. What kinds of items are best suited to recognize employee loyalty if plaques, paperweights, and pins are insufficient? The main piece of advice you take seriously is to give it a personalized touch. Cash is a nice gift for a lot of occasions, but your staff will value something more substantial—something that demonstrates that you gave them special consideration.

Personalized memory books that honor the moments of their previous year, gift cards to their preferred retailer, or some additional PTO are all wonderful ways to let them know you care.


Do Service Awards Have to Cost a Lot?

Not at all.

Okay, let’s get into further detail. It can seem like a lot of work to recollect each employee’s work anniversary AND make unique gifts and awards for every single one. To be fair, it does sound quite stressful when you think about it like that. But rest assured, it’s not necessary. You can find new ways to recognize your employees using a variety of platforms.

All of the gifts or awards don’t need to break the bank. You could make a video in their honor that features their executives or managers, publicly praise them, or temporarily give them access to park in the coveted location closest to the building entrance. As previously stated, handwritten cards are a wonderful, inexpensive method to express unique thanks.

Now that your creative juices are flowing, it’s time to whip up some delectable workiversary butter. How do you create a rewards system that endures, though? How can leaders get it to cover the workplace’s toasty surface? The ideal solution is to design your own milestone award program, and this will be discussed in the next section.

Service Award Programs

A service award program is exactly what it sounds like: a framework that governs the administration of recognition awards at your organization. Every element of service awards, including how they’re administered, what incentives are provided, how they’re distributed, and more.


What is a Milestone Service Award Program?

This is a framework that governs the administration of milestone awards at your organization. Every element of a milestone award, including how they’re administered, what incentives are provided, how they’re distributed, and more.

And among the few events, work anniversaries are one that we advise every business to host as part of a decent employee recognition program. All employees celebrate their birthday and their work anniversary. Consider those two chances to show everyone your appreciation and gratitude while deciding which recognition strategy is best for you.


Creating an Employee Service Award Program

After a couple of years of constant service, an employee would typically get a plaque or glass trophy as part of the awards program. However, that’s not enough. You should design an unforgettable experience that would be unique for every employee when you create a service award program. Create a strategy that truly honors them for their constant hard work rather than adding to the numerous employees who get gifts they’re not interested in!

After all, the purpose of milestone awards isn’t to boast that an employee has been working for a year without quitting. You should typify something more along the lines of, “We want to recognize you for the hard work you’ve put in over the past year.” It’s just like how birthdays are: we don’t celebrate someone’s life and all the things that make them special; we celebrate the fact that they didn’t pass away!

Following this pattern of sincere appreciation, you can make use of employee milestone award software to design an award program that excels. Through the use of software, you may automate the procedure, remind recipients, and offer incentives.


Shifting from The Conventional Means

We’ve already discussed the conventional approach to service awards, so we won’t go into great depth. To sum up, a lot of businesses follow a model like this:

  • Employees get a plaque with their details engraved after 5 years.
  • Employees are given a trophy after 10 years as a token of appreciation.
  • Employees get an even better trophy shaped “15” after that many years.
  • Employees receive a business pin, a branded blazer, and yet another elaborate trophy after 20 years. Do you notice something off with this image? How many employees desire plastic medals from their employer, no matter how nice, as a way of saying “thank you” for their years of service? Thankfully, this type of recognition strategy is no longer in use by many businesses, but it hasn’t completely disappeared either.

Creating a refined model for a modern workplace

We wish to propose a new milestone award program strategy that celebrates and acknowledges every employee’s contributions to your business, no matter how minor. Here are a couple of ideas to get all your employees off to a good start rather than wait 5 years to begin giving out milestone awards:


Onboarding: A new job’s early days and weeks are overwhelming and challenging. Begin your milestone award program right away and express gratitude to brand-new hires for their brave decision to join your organization!

Three months in The first couple of months is the only period that is more tasking than the first couple of days. Workers are now beginning to understand their roles and take on their obligations. Give them another little service award as a token of your appreciation and support for their accomplishments. A handwritten message goes a long way, so it doesn’t even have to be big.

One year: Using this occasion, you can establish a great tone for the rest of your employee’s employment. Give them a milestone award that won’t soon be forgotten because they’ve labored for a whole year and are finally starting to find their footing. Thank them for their hard work throughout the last year.

Two years and beyond: Every year, you should give each employee recognition. Don’t limit yourself to five-year intervals. Each year, give them unique gifts they’ll like and ensure the awards are commensurate with their service.

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