Dec 29, 2014
The top 7 myths: Uncovering the truth about service award programs.
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.
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.
Myth #3: Everyone loves your program.
Reality: You shouldn’t maintain that your program is best-in-class year after year. Is your provider continuously bringing in new ideas, sharing the latest trends and updating their redemption technology to improve your program? Your participants should have a memorable and enjoyable experience each time they are recognized through your program.
Myth #4: All of our managers should embrace their roles in the service award recogntiion process.
Reality: Many or most of your managers are engaged and doing their part in your service recognition program but all need continuous support. Your provider should have a manager engagement plan complete with training, assistance and resources to make their roles amplify the experience for your awards audience.
Myth #5: It's okay to use gift cards in service anniversary programs.
Reality: IRS rules forbid the use of gift cards in service anniversary programs. Use of denomination based gifts will be subject to income taxes by the participant. Seek a provider that offers merchandise rewards, as these comply with IRS guidelines and provide a highly emotional and enjoyable experience for your recipients.
Myth #6: The more gifts you offer, the better.
Reality: People are overwhelmed by too many choices. The behavioral economics principle tyranny of choice explains our inability to process a decision when confronted with too many options. Choose a provider that offers a collection of thoughtfully selected awards that reflect the demographics of your audience and will make them feel good about what they have accomplished.
Myth #7: Transitioning from one provider to another is risky.
Reality: A responsible provider will have detailed processes that make the transition from your current provider easy and risk free. Make sure the provider you choose has detailed action steps that will guide you along the way.
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