The Complete Guide to Service Awards

These days, it's rare for an employee to stay loyal to a single company. Employees do more than just work for a company, they actively serve it. If you want to keep your best employees and encourage high levels of engagement across your organization, you need to recognize exceptional service. One of the tried-and-tested ways to do so is with service awards. Just like their name says, these awards are designed to recognize the ways that your employees excel at growing your organization and its customer base.

Employees are the most significant assets of any organization. The ones who have been associated with it for a long time are the most important. Today, people are more mobile and potentially more likely to change jobs regularly hence retaining them is a tough job. Developing an effective service awards program can be harder said than done. At Ovation Incentives, we’ve worked with many leading businesses to create unique service awards. Recognizing service is something we know about, and we’re happy to share that knowledge with you. Here’s what you need to know about service awards and how to do them well.

What are Service Awards?

Employee service awards are a recognition acknowledging how long an employee has stayed at your company, usually beginning at the five-year mark. However, as tenure has decreased, many companies now begin awarding service awards at 1 year. Service awards also celebrate the specific achievements and contributions that employees have made through their time at your organization. Employee service awards typically come with either a monetary reward or a tangible reward. Sometimes this includes a plaque, certificate, bonus, trophy, or lapel pin.

Employee service awards are often a missed opportunity for companies to not only recognize those who have stayed at your organization, but also celebrate the contributions an employee has made over time. One often overlooked element of employee service awards is that they have the potential to extend beyond simply acknowledging tenure. Service awards are an opportunity to highlight an employee’s specific accomplishments and contributions to your company over time.

Types of Staff Service Awards

Here we look at the current top five long-service awards.

Years of service awards

Years of service award programs are also called milestone awards, service awards, service milestones, length of service awards, employee anniversaries, and service anniversaries. They’re all the same thing–awards that recognise employees when they hit a specific work anniversary (5, 10, 15, 20+ years of service).

New starter awards

These awards are used for appreciating top-performing new hires. This employee has performed remarkably well within their first month/quarter/or year of joining the company.

Top performer awards

Performance awards are primarily based on an employees' efficiency in the workplace. Every time you acknowledge an employee for their efforts, it raises the bar for others to achieve. Thus, promoting healthy competition within the workplace.

Perfect attendance award

These awards are for employees who have a perfect or near-perfect attendance record and are showing commitment to their jobs and to the companies they work for. These rewards can be in the form of cash bonuses, merit increase in salary and free paid days. 

Team awards

The team award recognizes the collective efforts of an outstanding group of individuals who worked to complete a project that was important to the company’s mission, goals, and/or directives. Some key benefits for organizations for including team recognition are that it promotes team-working and collaboration and builds relationships and mutual trust among team members.

Customer Service awards

For those who have demonstrated excellent customer service. who shows a good presence of mind while handling difficult customer calls and resolves customers’ issues instantly. Keeping customers satisfied is no easy task, but delivering a great customer experience benefits everyone involved.Recognizing employees who provide great customer service helps your organization build on their success.

Leadership recognition awards

These are awards for individual achievement that acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership skills which have a positive impact on the staff and the business goals.

Peer to peer awards

They are awards that allow employees to show appreciation and gratitude for each other's work in a public setting. Some of the benefits of these awards are that it increases employee satisfaction, creates a cycle of recognition-giving, fosters collaboration, improves employee relationships ,reduces perception of hierarchy and improves overall profitability.

Service Award Ideas

We know that no company is the same, nor is the culture and office dynamics. Hence, we understand that not all employee recognition award categories will fit your workplace structure.

Following are some creative employees award titles and employee award categories:

Employee of the Month Awards‍

The employee of the month award recognizes those workers who outperformed others in the workplace during a given month. Organizing such monthly awards gives a boost to productivity by encouraging others. Moreover, it also allows employers to recognize their top talents and nurture their skills even more.

Years of Service and Work Anniversary Awards

Recognizing employees when they reach important milestones such as 5, 10, 20 years, etc is important and makes them feel as though the many years they may have put in were worth it. This is just a great way to say "thank you" for all the years of hard work they've dedicated to your business. This kind of employee service award, which could be accompanied by a staff party, is not only a great way to show how much you respect and appreciate that worker, but also to encourage people to stick around so that they can one day earn a similar reward for all their hard work.

Stand out Performer

A stand-out performer is one who constantly gives their best at work. It reflects the dedication of an employee towards his or her work.Employees who receive the title of stand-out performer are often the best candidates for a team leader or manager position.

Employees' Choice Awards

While many managers often take it upon themselves to tackle the job of trying to motivate employees, that shouldn't be seen as solely their responsibility. In many cases, an employee who works well with others and positively contributes to the company culture overall deserves to be nominated, recognized and awarded by their peers.

Above and Beyond Awards

Every manager likes an employee who goes the extra mile to get a task accomplished. Recognizing these kind of efforts will likely encourage others to follow in the award recipient's footsteps

Implementing Service Awards for your Employees

It is important to not wait for far-off milestones but to recognize and reward employees consistently along their career path while your company grows by utilizing integrated reward solutions to set up countless inspiring and meaningful employee awards. With over 20 years of experience Ovation Incentives can help you showcase your company culture by creating aspirational employee awards and develop an exceptional employee service award program that serves as the best tool for employee retention and talent attraction. Contact us today to find out how we could assist!