Gift Programs

4 min read

The 5 Ws and 1 H of Planning an Employee Service Award Program – Part 3: Where and When


Structuring an employee service award program to recognize length of service at your company can be a daunting task. To break this process down into more manageable steps we’re tackling the “5 Ws and 1 H” of an employee service award program.

Last time we considered “What” type of awards your service award program will use to recognize milestones and this time we will take a look at “When” and “Where” you will actually present these awards.

Part 3: Where & When

When to recognize employees for a service milestone anniversary probably seems like a simple question - on their actual milestone anniversary date, right?! While this is definitely a popular schedule to utilize, there are also a lot of companies that might decide to recognize all the employees with milestone anniversaries for the entire year at an annual event like an employee recognition ceremony, company picnic or holiday party.
Options for presenting the awards:
As with the decisions related to each of the other steps in setting up your service award program, determining when and where to present your service awards will depend a lot on your individual company and how it’s structured. If your organization has locations throughout the country (and maybe even internationally), it may be more unlikely that you have a specific event where all the employees will be gathered together. You may decide it’s more feasible to have a manager present awards on each employee’s anniversary date or perhaps recognize all anniversaries within a certain timeframe at a monthly or quarterly meeting.

Presenting awards can be dependent on company size.
Another thing to take into consideration when determining when and where to acknowledge service milestones is your particular company’s culture and values. Smaller companies or organizations that highly value a “family” or “team” culture amongst their workforce may find greater value in gathering together on a certain date and recognizing the employees who have attained milestone anniversaries in a group setting whereas larger companies may decide to recognize employees individually on their anniversary dates rather than having everyone sit through a formal presentation that might take hours to complete due to the sheer number of recipients.

A combination approach for meaningful recognition:
A number of our clients have found a meaningful way to compromise between the two approaches. They’ll present the actual awards to employees on their individual anniversary dates but then take the time to publically thank / recognize the award recipients at the annual picnic or party. This option helps to ensure relevancy and personalization to each individual employee but also provides public recognition so the entire team can share in congratulating them on their accomplishment.

More details to consider:
Deciding when and where you will present awards to employees who have hit service milestones will help you structure your program to be most efficient and meaningful within your company’s structure.

The next step will be to decide “how” you will notify the employee of their award – if you’re presenting the award on each individual anniversary will you have a congratulatory email automatically scheduled to be sent or would you prefer a tangible piece for a manager to actually hand to the employee? If an annual ceremony or party will be where the award is presented do you want personalized presentation materials or would you prefer to hand each employee the actual award item itself? Sign up for our blog to receive the next post as soon as it’s published!
Where and when does your organization present service milestone awards? Do you have an annual event where all the relevant employees are recognized publicly at once or is the approach more personalized and scheduled for each anniversary date? What considerations went into the decision to utilize one method over the other? I would love to hear about how your company presents milestone awards to make them most meaningful and memorable to your employees!

Next Up - Part 4: How

Contact Us

Leave a Comment