Feb 15, 2023
Written by: Jenni Coronato, Global Compensation Recognition Specialist, HR Leadership Development Program, IBM; Kurt Muchow, Managing Director, Technology Vertical Team, BI WORLDWIDE
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Most companies celebrate work anniversaries, but what about all the other moments that are worthy of a celebration?
Here's IBM's story of how they have evolved to recognize the whole employee.
It’s traditional to celebrate service anniversaries. In the past, companies formally congratulated employees on their 5-year milestone and then celebrated key work anniversaries after that —10 years, 20 years and so on. With employees making more frequent job changes, first- and third-year celebrations have become more common and in some industries even first and sixth month anniversaries receive deserved recognition. But what about all of the other celebrations in employees’ lives? How are we recognizing those key moments that happen in both their work and personal journeys?
The lines between work and personal have blurred, with many of us working from home and giving our co-workers glimpses of our pets, children and dining rooms that double as desks. Those lines continue to intersect as many companies have a work from anywhere policy or an established hybrid model. And when we’re not together, it can become more difficult to stay connected and feel inspired.
In addition to this research, IBM surveyed their employee audience to find out what more they could do to connect and recognize employees from around the world. They discovered a gap in that the traditional service anniversary shout out was only part of the employee story. IBM leverages technology to enable digital celebrations for teammates and co-workers, but they found employees wanted the ability to recognize additional moments that matter. As a result, IBM took this feedback and considered how to expand the program to:
This framework provides a modernized approach to both Years of Service and Celebrations, giving IBMers the choice to celebrate personal milestones such as birthdays, weddings or closing on a house, or special work-related milestones like onboarding or retirement.
Though this is a new approach, IBMers around the globe are busy connecting and high-fiving! They have already launched 34,000 social pages with 164,000 total contributions. As a result of the evolution of their Years of Service and Celebrations programs, IBM has seen a 5% increase in their net promoter score.