What About Celebrating Birthdays and Anniversaries?

Do you celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries at your organization?

It is an interesting question.  

Some organizations are for it while others are not. 

Organizations using online recognition programs usually have options in their programs for employees to turn on or off the ability for people to know when their birthday or work anniversary occurs. Or, if they allow visibility, when someone sends them a congratulatory eCard greeting, employees can still keep it private between the recipient and giver or make it public to everyone. 

And then there are managers who think celebrating birthdays and work anniversaries is like something done only back in high school. At least, that’s the line they are saying to excuse themselves from celebrating their staff. 

How do you handle these situations around personal and work celebrations? 

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Embedding Recognition in the Everyday Life of the Company – Part 3

This is the third post in a series on Embedding Recognition in the Everyday Life of the Company. In Part 1, I addressed integrating recognition into your onboarding strategy and practices. Then, in Part 2, I took up how you can weave recognition into your meetings and learning opportunities.

This post will cover more traditional recognition moments such as career milestones (length of service anniversaries) and retirement recognition.

As you read these ideas, evaluate how you are doing with recognition in your organization in these areas, and if there are steps you need to take to improve things.

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How to More Effectively Approach Milestone Recognition

Career milestone award or service award recognition programs have been around for many years.

Over those years there have been the customary plaques, symbolic crystal awards, and gold watches—and these used to start when a person reached 25-years of service.

But as tenure reduced significantly with economy and business changes, and retention of employees was harder to maintain, career milestones now begin at 5 years and 5-year increments thereafter. Today, you will find many companies now start career milestones at an employee’s first year of service.

The reality is, whether you give an employee something tangible or not, they always have a workplace anniversary every single year.

How do you plan to make the next round of your milestone recognition celebrations more meaningful and effective?

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Taking a Quick Look at Career Milestone Awards

How are your career milestone or service award programs doing these days?

It seems the majority of organizations have tenure or long service award programs. According to WorldatWork’s 2017 Trends in Employee Recognition, length of service recognition remains the top ranked recognition program with 85 percent of organizations. 

Historically, and especially within the public sector, career milestone years were only acknowledged when an employee reached 25 years or longer. Today, most progressive organizations commence with at least 5 years and then celebrate every 5-year increment thereafter.

But when you look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average tenure for salaried employees is 4.2 years. That average drops to 2.8 years for the mobile 25 to 34 year old employees.

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How To Represent Your Company Well With Recognition

Make sure you survey your employees on how well recognized they feel. Provide an opportunity for employees to share their perceptions in responses to open-ended questions.

You’ll strike gold when you do this. You gain true insights and examples of what is going right with recognition and what can be improved upon.

Here are some thoughts I had after reviewing one organization’s employee feedback on employees’ recent service anniversary recognition. (more…)

What You Can Delegate With Your Recognition Programs

I remember standing at the front of a boardroom in a meeting with a dozen or so regional presidents for an organization we were launching a new upgrade for their recognition and reward program.

One regional president seemed to brush off some of the finer details we were instructing them on because, as he said, “I just have my assistant do all my recognition.”

With a few clarifying questions it became clear he wasn’t joking. He was not delegating recognition because of legitimate absences or specific needs. He literally delegated all recognition giving to his assistant and he made no attempts at giving recognition himself.

I recall saying to the entire group that you cannot delegate the act of giving recognition. You can only delegate the transactional and administrative aspects of your recognition and reward programs.

Check out the following situations that might happen in your workplace that could warrant delegating recognition program responsibilities. (more…)