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The Truth About Service Anniversary Awards

Dec 29, 2014

The top 7 myths: Uncovering the truth about service award programs.

Truth about Service Anniversary Awards


There are many misconceptions about service anniversary programs and the companies who provide them. We’re here to set the record straight and offer some insight into how you can get the most from your current provider – or perhaps these myths sound all too familiar and you should be taking your program elsewhere.

Myth #1

All service anniversary award providers are the same.

Reality: All providers are not created equally. Each company is different in both subtle and significant ways.

  • Many providers are also jewelry manufacturers and will urge you to reward your program participants with jewelry. Consider working with a company that is unbiased towards what to offer your audience.
  • All providers feature web-based technology to accommodate redemption of your awards but most are out of date and don’t feature social recognition, reporting or an intuitive user interface.
  • Most providers do not offer a full suite of services and cannot extend the employee recognition experience beyond service anniversary awards.
  • Only a few companies base their solutions on behavioral economics, an understanding of what motivates your audience. Doing so will result in engaged employees who receive relevant awards for their accomplishments.
  • Not all companies provide the same level of assistance to your audience. Make sure you have the full support your audience needs – otherwise the calls will be directed to you. 

Myth #2

It’s important to provide gold and diamonds as gifts.

Reality: People do associate value with precious metals and stones but these materials represent a great deal of pricing volatility. Gold was stable in the 80’s and 90’s at around $350 per ounce but in 2006 it skyrocketed to a high of almost $1,800 per ounce, which resulted in monthly price hikes on anything with gold content. Rather than base your program on awards that are likely to fluctuate in price, design your program with a selection of awards that reflect your audience demographics, corporate culture and budget and will protect you from regular price changes. 

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Steve Huffman BI WORLDWIDE

Steve Huffman

Vice President
Recognition Services

As VP of Recognition Services, Steve works with an experienced team of Design and Delivery Specialists that are devoted to the development and distribution of symbolic and lifestyle merchandise awards programs. His focus is on the customer’s needs and expectations as they relate to recognition systems and individual award initiatives. Steve has been a member of the Recognition Team for over 25 years and with BI WORLDWIDE for more than 30.