Why You Should Consider Employee Service Award Programs

Date: February 14, 2023
Man sitting at workstation with his employee service award trophy

While many companies know about employee service awards, they typically think of them as programs that only show appreciation and acknowledgment when an employee has stayed with a company for a certain period. However, these awards do so much more than that. In many organizations, an employee service award program also celebrates an employee’s performance, achievements, and contributions to the organization during their time there. 

More importantly, these programs are essential to an organization today since company tenure has decreased. Companies often use the program to show appreciation so that employees stay with the organization.

Unfortunately, many companies do not implement this program correctly or fail to use it because they do not find any benefits with it. However, when done properly, companies can see great results. 

In the guide below, we will go over in detail why you should consider an employee services awards program and how to implement it in your organization.

What Can an Employee Services Award Program Be Used for?

While companies use employee service reward programs to show their employees that they value them and their contributions, they can also use this program for numerous other reasons, including the following.

Sales Milestones

Employee service award programs can significantly impact not only a company's employees but their overall profits and sales as well. These recognition programs help employees create a sense of belonging, improve their work-life, celebrate career moments, and stay motivated and productive. 

As a result of these benefits, companies will usually see greater employee engagement, which can increase productivity and retention, improve performance, and create new sales milestones that will do great things for the company. The rationale behind these recognition benefits is that employees are more likely to perform better when they feel appreciated. 

Meeting Goals

Rewarding certain behaviors in the workplace, such as meeting goals, can be a great way to motivate employees. It can also create a company culture of growth, which can help the organization as a whole meet its objectives.

However, to ensure that employees feel engaged, which can increase productivity, companies need to invest resources to encourage employees to share their successes with the business. They also need a program to reward employees. The more they feel celebrated for their achievements, the higher the likelihood of meeting the company's targets. 

Years of Service Employee Service Awards

Employee tenure service award programs, also referred to as service milestones, milestone awards, employee anniversaries, and service anniversaries, recognize an employee for hitting a specific work anniversary. While companies can implement these awards in ways that are best for the company, these service awards are generally split up into the following categories.

Third Anniversary Service Award Program

After three years, employees begin to feel comfortable with their teams and the organization. They are growing and looking to develop professionally. 

As a result, they may also be searching for more opportunities to get ahead. That is why some of the better gifts to present someone celebrating three years of service include the following:

  • Company goods, such as clothes, mugs, or other goods with the company logo
  • Gift cards to local restaurants
  • Homeware or tech goods

In addition, while goods are a great way to recognize significant accomplishments, don't overlook personal handwritten thank-you notes. Showing employees that their managers and co-workers personally recognize them can go a long way to motivate not only the employee but others. 

Fifth Anniversary

Employees begin to feel confident in their jobs at five years and genuinely value their relationships with their coworkers. Yet, while these employees may feel close to the company at this point, they may also begin to question their worth. That is why companies should acknowledge the time employees have spent at the company and their contributions with a service anniversary program for this significant milestone. 

A recognition program can help automate these awards, as well as give employees the choice to choose their reward and select something that resonates with them. Giving the gift of choice is powerful and something employees appreciate.

Some of the more common employee service awards at the five-year mark include the following: 

  • Gift baskets filled with unique items that appeal to the employee’s interests 
  • A gym membership
  • Travel essentials, such as new luggage or carry-on bags
  • Company-branded goods, including sweaters, bags, and other apparel 
  • Specific books
  • An additional work week of paid time off

Tenth Anniversary

At ten years, many employees are starting to feel a part of the company, solidifying their role in the organization and setting up plans for their growth. In many situations, they consider co-workers as not just work acquaintances but family. Due to these factors, companies need to recognize the significance of this occasion. Years of service awards for a tenth work anniversary is an exceptional way to measure employee retention and the longevity of the employee's career.

The more common tenth anniversary gifts include the following:

  • A weekend getaway
  • Special plaques 
  • Season tickets
  • Paid subscriptions for services such as gyms, groceries, books, meal delivery services, and even pet supplies
  • A raise or bonus
  • Stock options
  • Promotions
  • Unique training opportunities

Fifteenth Anniversary 

Employees working for a company for fifteen years usually feel settled and invested in the company. They have found a balance between work and personal life and value workplace relationships. They are proud of their contributions and hope the company will recognize them.

At the fifteen-year mark, recognize these employees through the following awards:

  • Glass trophies
  • Unique jewelry or watches 
  • An amazing experience, such as a guided tour or a cooking lesson with a private chef
  • A special night with the company's top people, such as the organization's CEO
  • The company shares the employee's story and achievements with others in the organization 
  • A company video dedicated to the employee
  • Stock options
  • An extended vacation

Twentieth Anniversary 

At twenty years, many employees are considered veterans. They’ve seen many changes in their professional and personal life and have a wealth of knowledge that can help others in the company, especially the younger ones. But, more importantly, these employees are considered loyal and deserve a significant gift when they reach this milestone.

That is why some of the more common work anniversary gifts for those who hit the twenty-year mark include the following:

  • A personalized watch or other extravagant gifts
  • A paid family trip
  • The company supporting the employee's charity of choice
  • New tech gifts, such as a new laptop, smartphone, or other goods 
  • An executive work bag
  • A beautiful piece of artwork
  • Expensive wine or champagne
  • Tickets to a big event
  • A wall plaque
  • An ergonomic chair

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary 

For many employees, the twenty-five-year mark is one of the top milestones in a career. It is not only a time to acknowledge and celebrate the wins of the past, but the present. 

At this point, the employee has been involved in many key projects and has shown loyalty to the organization. Yet, while they still have plenty left to give to the company, they are often more interested in passing their knowledge to their coworkers. 

Due to the significance of this twenty-five-year mark, awards at this point will usually include the following:

  • Expensive alcohol such as whiskey, wine subscriptions, or luxury chocolates
  • Large home appliances such as washing machines or a new fridge
  • New technology, such as a new laptop, new phone, or iPad
  • Top-quality golf accessories, if the employee plays the game
  • Scholarships
  • Work anniversary parties
  • Wardrobe upgrades
  • An office upgrade
  • Personalized trophies

Important Note: While any of these gifts will work well, not every employee will want or appreciate the same watch, gift basket, or plaque. It’s important that the individuals you want to recognize can choose from various options. Giving the gift of choice makes it that much more powerful, personal, and memorable. 

That said, this can be tough to keep track of. However, there are tools that can help. A rewards and recognition platform can automate this process and help you create a meaningful experience for every milestone and team member seamlessly.

Find Out How an Employee Service Awards Program Can Help Your Company

When employees feel unrecognized at work, they often develop resentment, leading to unproductiveness and a desire to leave. Thankfully, when companies implement a solid employee service awards program, they can diminish these feelings and create a system that helps employees excel, get ahead, and benefit the company in the process. 

If you want further information regarding an employee services awards program or professional help to ensure you create an efficient system that works, contact Bucketlist today and request a demo. Our team can work with you to develop an employee service awards program that is best for your company.

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