The Ultimate Guide to Service Awards

Samantha Mikos

Your organization’s best employees do more than just work for your enterprise. 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-true 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.

Unfortunately, developing an effective service awards program can be harder said than done. At Cristaux International, we’ve worked with many leading businesses to create gorgeous and 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.

Simple-and-Effective Employee Service Award Ideas

The first step to doing service awards right is defining what type of service you want to recognize. The most common strategy for service awards is to recognize both excellent customer service and overall years of service with your company. By recognizing both types of service, you’ll be able to reward more employees over time and create increased employee engagement across your organization. Work closely with your companies leadership team to determine service recognition goals and metrics. Once you’ve decided what type of service you’re recognizing, you can start working with an awards partner to create meaningful mementos to commemorate these special occasions.

Getting Started with Customer Service Award Ideas

When it comes to creating incredible service awards, it’s essential to create something inspiring. Your employees are most likely not playing a youth sports, and therefore you don’t want to recognize them with trophies that look like they came off a cheap factory line. Instead, dream up something that truly captures the spirit of your organization.

After all, you really want your awards to commemorate your employee’s exceptional accomplishments. You want them to physically embody what makes your employees great. Think about the environment you strive to create in your workplace. Is your organization fun and quirky? Are you all about tradition and formality? Make sure that your service awards reflect the spirit of your incredible organization.

Even More Service Award Gift Ideas

In addition to offering award plaques or statues, many companies also give gifts to employees who have reached service goals. Gifts serve as incentives for employees and offer them something tangible in exchange for their service. When it comes to these gifts, service award experts recommend that company leaders give employees choices.

Remember that what might be perfect for one individual might not be appreciated by another. Instead of focusing on one type of gift, choose several different types of rewards and let employees choose which they would prefer best. In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to ask employees which gift they would prefer several weeks before you formally present their customer service award.

Recognizing Years of Service

Awarding employees who have dedicated their careers to your organization is also important. To effectively recognize years of service, you will need to appoint an HR staff member to monitor employee anniversaries. Be sure that you have prepared a memento or gift for an upcoming anniversary several weeks in advance. Recognize employees on their company anniversary at a team meeting or special ceremony. While you shouldn’t go too generic with years of service awards, you can give the same type of award to each employee who reaches a milestone. For example, you might give the same lapel pin to every employee who spends one year at your organization.

5-Year Service Award Ideas

In today’s high-turnover employment environment, spending five years with the same organization is a big deal. Consider rewarding a five-year anniversary with

  • a personalized plaque,
  • a custom award branded around your organization
  • a special mention in your company newsletter,
  • a framed recognition of service from a company leader or
  • a few extra days of paid vacation time.

10-Year Service Award Ideas

If spending five years at one company is a big deal, a 10-year anniversary can be considered a serious milestone. Consider honoring a ten-year anniversary with

  • a special luncheon to recognize that employee,
  • a customized statuette for the employee’s desk or
  • a feature story in your company newsletter.

For Stellar Tenure: Long Service Award Ideas

If you need to recognize a long-term commitment to your organization, consider doing so by combining a customized award or statue with another incentive or accolade. You might hold a dinner in honor of an employee and give out the custom service award at that function. You could also reward a long-term employee with an extra week of paid vacation, a special parking spot or by naming an office in your building after that individual. Whatever you choose to do, remember that it should fit the spirit of your organization and should show thoughtfulness for the personality of the person being recognized.