HR Recognition Considerations for 2015 Service Awards

February 9th, 2015
Ann Lyons by Ann Lyons


‘What sort of recognition are employees into these days?’ is a question that Gift Innovations is often asked by HR when considering options for employee service awards. As we begin 2015, we have reflected on this question and have gathered 5 points for HR’s consideration in the year ahead.

Employees do not only want cash or vouchers for cash amounts

It is not surprising that employees ask for cash or vouchers for cash amounts. Vouchers are an easy option and cash is always appreciated, however, neither is particularly thoughtful. Service awards allow companies to connect with employees, celebrating and recognising their achievement. A thoughtful gift or choice of gifts becomes far more memorable: it creates a real career milestone.

Younger employees are not only interested in the latest gadgets

While digital items are very popular gifts, we have noticed that many younger employees can make ‘practical’ recognition choices. Their 5 year employment anniversary often coincides with them settling down. Selecting a decent set of pots and pans becomes more of a priority. Younger employees also influence one another, so there may be a trend for particular items in different companies. Older employees with long service like to use the opportunity to pamper themselves with more luxurious gifts.

Employees like the option to select multiple gifts

When given the option, employees prefer to select multiple gifts. A points-based programme allows employees to select one gift or multiple gifts. This is particularly true for high-value service award programmes. This suggests that employees like to treat themselves to a couple of gifts or to share their award with other family members.

Employees do not need an endless choice of gifts

While employees appreciate an extensive choice of gifts it becomes confusing if the choice of gifts is too large or too diverse. Service awards are a one-off occasion for a company to recognise loyal employees. If a company offers a balanced choice of quality gifts and premium brands to mark this occasion, they will continue to remind employees of your gesture over the years.

Employees want meaningful recognition

It is advisable to seek feedback from employees to determine whether the awards and the recognition process are meaningful to them, however, what employees say they want is not always in the best interest of the company. The success of your recognition programme should be measured by how valued employees feel on their anniversary and how memorable your service awards become.


Ann Lyons

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