a beardy man facing right side and "Is your Service Anniversary Program cutting it? written on the left side

Is your Service Anniversary program cutting it?

In Recognition and Engagement, Service Awards by Lori McKnight

Is your Service Anniversary program cutting it?

Here are the top 5 Service Anniversary program mistakes

Did you know that 93% of employees can instantly recall their anniversary date? It’s important to recognize length of service in a meaningful way and you want to get it right. But, recognizing years of service is only one part of a comprehensive employee recognition strategy.

Here are 5 common mistakes companies are making with their service anniversary program, along with some tips on how we solve them!

Mistake 1: Generic branding and messaging

A generic cookie cutter recognition program that isn’t personalized to your
employee or your company sends the message that you’re going through the motions and don’t really care about the program or their milestone achievement. A great service anniversary program should be highly personalized with design and communication around the company brand, goals and values.

How We Help: CSI’s own design team assists our clients with branding all program communications. Custom letters from the CEO, custom presentation packaging, tailored award brochures and a branded website are all standard fare for our clients. This personalization will reflect your brand and leadership and comes at no additional cost. It’s that important. We won’t do it any other way.

Mistake 2: Keeping it a secret

Many companies try to save money by cutting their communications budget. But, if you don’t communicate the launch of a service anniversary program and promote it consistently and effectively over time, you miss the opportunity to communicate why the program is there, how it supports the values of the company and that you value people who are part of it. This creates indifference, rather than making employees feel proud about their commitment and contributions.

How We Help: CSI offers no fee communication support materials for both the launch and onwards, connecting the program to your brand and objectives – at no extra cost. This includes branded tent cards, posters, flyers and payroll stuffers.

CSI is also the only service program provider to offer no-fee social recognition tools. 70% of recognition should be non-monetary and our STARS PLUS recognition dashboard makes it easy to encourage peer-to-peer thanks, welcome new hires and celebrate ALL anniversaries and birthdays. All this without giving up your personalized service award package. Ask for a demo of STARS PLUS.

Mistake 3: Unprepared leaders

Don’t assume all your leaders are naturally good at recognizing achievements or milestones.

How We Help: CSI doesn’t leave this to chance. Our research shows that most managers are not naturally skilled at recognition. So, we offer research-based and field-tested learning programs to ensure managers understand the important principles of recognition and have had an opportunity to practice, drill, and rehearse in an engaging experience that translates easily from the virtual classroom to the real world. We offer support materials like our Ultimate Presentation Guide for managers to help them apply best practices to recognize and celebrate employee milestones.

Mistake 4: Pre-selected award choices

Offering only a small selection of awards doesn’t reflect the diverse interests of the people selecting them. Why not let employees decide what motivates them?

How We Help: We believe when it comes to good employee recognition, one size fits one. We think it is better to support an employee recognition strategy by offering a vast selection of awards and incentives that are culturally relevant and delivered quickly.

Mistake 5: Not recognizing everyday contributions

Most service anniversary and employee loyalty programs only recognize and reward employees at certain milestone years. The problem is, for a large demographic of the work force, that work contract has changed.

Employees want to be recognized for their contributions from day one, and certainly in years 1, 2 and 3. Job security and loyalty are harder to find in today’s workplace.

How We Help: Everyday recognition is key to retention. CSI brings together all of the elements you need to create a successful employee recognition program by engaging your leaders, giving you an easy-to-use platform, handling the administration and providing awards people want.

Does your Recognition Partner offer these value-added services?

CSI offers the following value-added services for no additional fee.

  • Customized award packets
  • Congratulations certificates
  • President’s congratulatory messages
  • Customized award forms
  • Social recognition platform
  • Administration tools
    • Custom award ordering site
    • Robust tracking and reporting systems
    • Manager e-mail notifications
    • E-cards
    • E-Certificates
    • Automated upcoming anniversary listings
    • Non-Responder notifications
  • Warranties & Returns
    • 30-day unconditional returns
    • 5-year warranty on all non-manufactured CSI merchandise
    • Lifetime warranty on all merchandise manufactured by CSI
  • Dedicated CSI Program Manager to assist with all elements of your program support
    • Phone support
    • Award processing
    • Generating reports
    • Coordinating returns

If your Service Award partner isn’t cutting it, this vendor evaluation checklist might come in handy!

Have we got your ear? Learn more by downloading our CSI STARS Service Program one-pager or flip through our Service Anniversary Packaging and Awards brochure.

Author: Lori McKnight

Lori McKnight
Lori is the VP of Recognition for CSI International Inc. She has a MBA with a minor in Human Resources, is a Certified Recognition Professional and member of the SHRM blog squad. Prior to joining CSI STARS, she worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Youthography, a youth market research agency. Connect with CSI STARS on LinkedIn to learn how we cultivate a workforce that loves coming to work.