The Impact of Employee Service Awards on the Workplace


Employees sacrifice their time and energy to help the organization succeed. That dedication deserves to be recognized, especially regularly.

A Gallup and Workhuman study found that prioritizing recognition results in a 56% decrease in employee job searching.

Increased Productivity

In a world where short work tenures are the norm, praise for employee loyalty and commitment is more important than ever. Employee service awards are one of the best ways to do so.

An employee service award traditionally includes monetary prizes and tangible items like a plaque, certificate, bonus, or gift card. By having experiential rewards or personalizing your program to each individual, you can make your employee service awards even more meaningful for your team.

Presenting the awards in a ceremony or broadcasting them during an all-hands meeting is another way to make the experience feel special for your team. It’s also an excellent opportunity to inspire your team members to strive for their years of service milestones by seeing their peers being celebrated in front of them.

Increased Morale

If you’re using your employee service awards program to celebrate the tenure of long-serving employees, you want to ensure that it’s a memorable and unique experience. This often means curating a unique and personal gift to your employees’ interests and life milestones.

It may be tempting to fall back on traditional ideas like a pin or a glass trophy, but these gifts lack the personal touch of a customized experience. Instead, consider allowing employees to select their gift through an employee appreciation catalog.

A good recognition and rewards platform will help you create a program that truly makes your employees feel valued for their years of dedication and loyalty to the company. In a world where employee turnover is high, consistent and genuine recognition can make all the difference.

Increased Retention

Employee service awards programs are an effective way to show employees that their work matters. Companies that focus on creating a meaningful award program can help reduce turnover. Persistent turnover causes many issues for a company, including loss of productivity. In addition, it can be not easy to replace experienced employees.

Providing employees with years of service awards will let them know that their company cares about their dedication and loyalty. Whether they receive a gold watch, a personalized plaque, or a lapel pin, your employees will treasure these awards. Adding an experiential element to the years of service award will further increase its value. These experiences can include an unforgettable vacation or event tickets, making employees want to continue working hard for your company.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

At a time when job hopping is the norm, employee service awards create a sense of loyalty and connection that helps to prevent turnover. This benefits the company by saving on training costs and boosting morale.

Traditionally, employees receive a physical award for their years of service, like a customized plaque or pin with their current tenure year. To make your program even more meaningful, include a personalized handwritten note demonstrating how much you value their work. This is especially powerful since a study showed that 76% save handwritten notes.

A well-designed employee service awards program can boost your company’s brand image, making it a desirable workplace. To ensure your program is effective, it must be updated regularly to reflect the changing nature of work and the needs of employees.

Increased Employee Engagement

A well-designed employee service award program can contribute to company morale and engagement. However, if this form of recognition falls flat, it can do more harm than good.

Many years-of-service programs offer a standard custom plaque and pin when an employee reaches their tenure milestone. But this can feel impersonal to employees who want to know their work is appreciated.

To avoid this pitfall, consider adding a personal touch to your program. For example, on the third anniversary, let the employee select their reward from a custom catalog only they can access. Additionally, adding a handwritten note of appreciation from their manager is another great way to increase the emotional impact of your anniversary gift. Lastly, regularly seeking feedback and iterating your service awards program helps your program stand out from the crowd.

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