Gift Programs

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


Service award programs are by far the most popular type of employee recognition program but there are still many organizations that haven’t created a formal plan on how to celebrate their employees’ milestone anniversaries. If you’re considering putting together a service award program and are unsure how to start, a good approach might be to tackle the “5 Ws and one H” (i.e. Who, What, When, Where, Why & How).

Part 1: Who
The first thing you’ll need to figure out is whose milestone anniversaries you want to celebrate.
Now, I’m not talking about picking out your favorite employees and only recognizing them, because one of the most important aspects of an employee recognition program is to keep it fair. Instead, I mean deciding which milestones are important enough to your company to formally recognize.

Most companies award service milestones in the standard 5 year increments (5 years, 10, 15, 20, etc.).
If your company experiences high turnover or has a young workforce that may be more likely to job hop, celebrating lower milestones such as 1 and 3 years might be very important to your company culture and improving your retention rate. We have even encountered some companies that recognize employees who have been with the company less than a year because it's important for them to recognize when employees hit and pass their 90 day review.

Know your company's details.
Having details like what timeframe turnover is most likely to occur within, or what milestones are seen as key indicators of retention by managers at your organization will help you decide which milestones are most effective to recognize employees.

How to get started:
Deciding which anniversaries will be recognized is the first step in getting your service award program planning started. Once you have that figured out it will also help you to be able to start planning your budget. You will want to obtain the start date of all the employees in your company, which will allow you to see how many employees have either reached or will soon be reaching those milestone years.

The next step will be to decide "what" type of award you will use to make this milestone memorable to your employees. Subscribe to our blog to receive the next post as soon as it’s published! 

Does your organization have a service award program in place or are you working on planning one now? Who do you plan to recognize and which milestones are important to your organization? How did you decide on these milestones and are they different than the typical 5 year increments? I would love to hear about which milestones are important to your organization and why!

Next Up: Part 2 - What

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