Gift Programs

5 min read

Six Service Award Program Trends HR Managers Need to Know

Is your company considering an employee recognition program? Here's what you need to know before getting started. 
Various independent studies have repeatedly shown how important it is for organizations to recognize their employees. Service award programs are the most popular type of recognition by far. We've included some best practices below for ensuring your award program is as effective as possible.
When employees are supported and recognized, and their work is appreciated, they're significantly more capable and productive (Aberdeen Group). Find out how your organization can get started with these best practices:
 Tangible Awards
Best Practice 1: Provide Variety

54% of companies who award for years of service use tangible merchandise awards.[1] Check out our award catalog, which offers thousands of brand name items for every lifestyle! It's continuously updated with the latest trends too.
Best Practice 2: Recognize Early 

The average job stay is only 4.2 years, so companies with high turnover have begun to recognize earlier milestones.[2] Encouraging and rewarding employees who meet your company’s longevity milestones will cut down on productivity losses and training.
Award Amount

Best Practice 3: Award Adequately
Providers report seeing an average budget of $10-$25 per year of service across all industries. Planning a budget for employee recognition programs is usually one of the largest hurdles companies run into, but we're here to help - contact a specialist anytime here.


Best Practice 4: Reward Often

The most effective service awards are presented as close to the actual anniversary date as possible.[3] Relevancy, timeliness and fairness are three main aspects that should be taken into consideration when planning an award program, in order to have the lasting effect.


Best Practice 5: Plan Ahead

Due to tax allowances set forth by the IRS, most companies recognize anniversaries in 5 year increments.[4] Deciding how you will present awards to employees who have hit service milestones will help you structure your program to be most efficient and meaningful.


Best Practice 6: Offer Selection

Employees value being able to select their own award as the most important element of an award program.[5] The key is to find out what type of award will have the most impact for your workforce.

If you’re unsure how to start a service award program, download this award program start up checklist that can help guide your decision making process.

Awards Network specializes in strategic recognition programs to help organizations, of various sizes, better align employee engagement with business objectives and improve overall performance.

1. Incentive Research Foundation - IMRA Small Business Merchandise Market Study, 2016
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employee Tenure Summary, 2016
3. Bersin & Associates - Making Recognition and Rewards Matter, 2012
4. Internal Revenue Service - Publication 525
5. Incentive Research Foundation - The State of Tangible Incentive Research, 2012

View Our Resources

Leave a Comment