What Is a Service Award?

A service award is given to an employee based on the number of years they have been with the company. The Bureau of Labor states that the average employee only works for a company for just over four and a half years. Statistics have shown that anyone born in between the years of 1977 and 1997 are only going to commit to a job for just short of three years.

Since companies are choosing to honor their employees after five years of employment, this has become almost an impossibility. The most traditional of the service awards are given every five years. They begin with the employees first five-year mark and continue until twenty-five years have been achieved.

The theory is that if employers began giving these awards to their employees earlier, this may affect the length of time the employee chooses to stay with the company. By not beginning to give service awards for the full five years, some employees feel like their work does not have value.

Why Service Awards Work

Being recognized for hard work has a lot of meaning, especially if it has been personalized. When a company recognizes a person for specific achievements, that person feels appreciated and valued. This motivates them to not just work harder but to continue the same behavior that won them the award to begin with. When an employee feels that the praise given them was genuine, it becomes more meaningful.

It is helpful when an employer knows their employees well enough to decide if the award is better given in public or in private. Do not take too long a period of time to show recognition. An employee who is shown early on they are valued and appreciated will be more likely to stay with the company and be a model employee. Using social media to show an employee how well they are doing is also a great tool. The most important thing is to be certain your employees feel like their accomplishments are seen and appreciated.

How to Make Service Awards Valuable

A service award basically means you are saying thank you to an employee who has performed their job extremely well. To make a statement that has meaning, give them something they will always remember. Relate to the impact they have had on the company by accomplishing their tasks exceedingly well, and honor the achievement with a special award.

Offer different programs to your employees, each with some different criteria and set of tasks. This give employees a sense of determining their own path within the company, combined with the ability to be recognized for completing certain tasks effectively. This will show employees that you are openly trying to acknowledge their past, and hopefully future contributions to the company.
Simply put, if a person is happy with their job, they will remain with the company. If they are unhappy they will leave, and time and expense must be spent to train their replacement. This can be avoided with the proper recognition.