We've identified 5 major trends this year for years of service awards programs. These trends reflect the emergence of technology and automation in the HR field. They also reflect the importance of timely recognition to a diverse workforce. Recognition on-the-spot is becomming increasingly popular among many organizations because it's directly related to job performance.
Trend #1: Recognition Right on Time
Did you know that 70% of employees are recognized once a year? Many companies are using automated years of service awards platforms to schedule recognition emails. This ensures each employee is recognized on their actual anniversary date, first thing in the morning. How great would it be for you to come into work, and see an email waiting for you already? Recognition right on time is an important trend this year, I don't see it going away any time soon.
Trend #2: Service Award Info is Sent Online
According to a WorldatWork.org survey from last year, 73% of award program information is sent via email. It isn't just the convenience of email that makes this popular. Papers tend to get shuffled around and lost, but emails with ordering instructions can be saved/printed/filed and overall kept so that more people redeem their years of service awards. However, managers are still taking the time to recognize their employees for their years of service awards in person. It is important to employees that they be recognized by a manager or company leader, depending on the employee's position. If you have an annual award ceremony, or plan on celebrating years of service awards publicly, ask employees first. Not everyone wants their moment in front of a group.
Trend #3: Recognition is Impacting Job Performance
Recognition and employee engagement are closely tied together. In fact, 55% of employees agree that the quality of their company's recognition efforts impacts their job performance. There are many other factors that can increase after an employee recognition program is put in place, as noted by SHRM in 2012. Recognition and feedback is especially important to Millennials, who constitute a large portion of the working population.
Trend #4: Early Service Awards
I think 2014 will be remembered as the year people started figuring out that each years of service award matters, not just the milestones. 88% of organizations have recognition programs in place, and almost all of these programs are for years of service awards. If you are only awarding employees for 5, 10, 15 years, etc, then employees are only getting recognized once every 5 years. This is not enough recognition to impact employee engagement and productivity in the long term.
Trend #5: Recipients Select Multiple Awards
When it comes to the perfect years of service awards, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. In fact, giving employees a wide range of price points and choices can help to make sure each person finds the service award that is perfect for himself/herself. This year more than ever, HR managers are giving employees a number of credits that can be spent on a wide variety of gifts. If an employee is given $200 in credits, they may get one $200 gift, or select 2 $50 gifts and a $100 gift-it is up to each person how to spend the credits.
There you have it: the top 5 trends of service awards programs in 2014. What trends are you seeing? How do you recognize years of service? Looking forward to hearing your feedback in the comments section below.
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