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Happy Anniversary, Happier Employees

May 13, 2015

Written by: Steve Huffman
(View Author Bio)

Service anniversary programs are alive and well (and working).

Service anniversary awards cupcake BI WORLDWIDE Latin America.


At BI WORLDWIDE, we use the principles of behavioral economics to create the best engagement strategies on the planet. We work with expert academics who advise us on the latest research on human behavior, engagement and decision-making. We use non-cash rewards and recognition to engage and motivate employees and sales teams. Check out our case study library to see how our customized and results-driven solutions have helped clients all over the world.

Contrary to what some industry “insiders” may say, many of today’s employee service anniversary programs are transforming and evolving tremendously… and all for the better.

In fact, when executed to their full potential, effective and often unexpected service anniversary programs have never been more impactful to those employees being celebrated. (Think personalized recognition experiences, intuitive award options and seamless integration with other employee engagement initiatives.) All of these exciting program enhancements are giving employers more effective and engaging tools to recognize employees for their years of service. In return, these organizations are experiencing higher retention rates, employee productivity levels and customer atisfaction ratings. 

Because there has been tremendous change in the service anniversary industry over the past several years, programs vary greatly from organization to organization. Remember, any company paying attention to employee loyalty is on the right track. But where does your program fall in comparison to others?

1. Effective (Good)

A basic service anniversary program often:

  • Recognizes with emblematic or symbolic award (lapel pin, certificate, plaque)
  • Celebrates only the major milestones (10, 25, 30 years)
  • Is used in some departments but not all

2. Enhanced (Better)

Boosting a basic program with minor yet effective enhancements often includes:

  • An online platform for celebrating and delivering service awards
  • Recognition starting at five years of service and every five years after that (5, 10, 15, 20 years)
  • Effective communication to promote the program throughout the organization
  • Manager engagement
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