Each of us are unique human beings and are truly works-in-progress.
I would never expect that each person who writes and sends an anniversary or career milestone ecard, or any ecard, look exactly the same way. That would make them impersonal and insincere.
However, the recent experience of reaching my 15th year with Engage2Excel, previously known as Rideau Inc., provided some wonderful insights to learn from with the emails or ecards that I received from leaders and peers alike.
Let’s look at some messages sent to me and learn some practical principles when expressing recognition in writing on a long-service anniversary.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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…)