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Honoring service award recipients

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Question: I have been tasked with putting together a service awards program for our company. Since the company is not yet 15 years old, we have taken on only 5- and 10-year awards.

But the company has bought some facilities that are much older and have some employees with 30 years of service. Should we honor those employees with an award? If so, how? 

Also: What is the best way to track all of these employees' anniversaries? And what type of gifts are given for 15, 20, 25 and more years of service? We have been giving a gold watch at 5 years and a mantle clock at 10.

Any advice would be welcome. Thank you.  -- CIB


I work for a University, and we have a great annual service recognition awards ceremony. We have a policy that details what each category will receive in terms of a gift for service. We also honour those who have retired or resigned from the University at the same event. For our long service employees, recognition is given in 5 year increments, starting at 10 years of service. Each employee that falls in the category for recognition, receives a University pin - 10 year receives a copper pin, 15 year receives a silver pin, 20 year and beyond receives a gold pin. Each pin has the Universiy crest and notes the year of service. The employee can exchange their pin for a charm or a certificate of recognition instead. Retirees receive a gift - the amount of the gift is dependent upon the number of years of service. The retiree is treated to a formal dinner on campus. Following the dinner, a reception proceeds where the retiree receives his/her gift, and the long service employees receive their pins. It's an excellent event every year - one which employees look forward to and talk about every year. If you want further details, email me and I will send you a copy of our policy.

If you plan to do this,you will need to include the "old timers" from the recently-added organization to demonstrate that you are now ONE company. There are award companies out there who can provide you with a choice of gift catelogs of 5-10-15-20-25 - or 30. They can send gifts directly to the home or you can have all available for employees at the awards event.
HR will have to maintain personnel records showing hire date for all - but award only for 5-yr anniversaries. We give the award in the year following the anniv. so that all who earned one in that year can be included.

We have a Service Award and it goes as follow 5 years is a nice company pin with a congratulation letter. At 10,15,20 years they get an all together formal luncheon were they also get a pin with the years of service mark on the pin, They get recognized and a hand shake ceremony and a group picture for that particular year milestone. We have what we call the 25-Year Club is for everyone getting to the 25-Year at that time they get the "Gold Watch" with five hundred dollar bonus on their pay check and $250.00 book selection gift or gift card last year we changed it a little ( the gifts in the book were not as nice to be worth $250.00)
after you are part of the 25-year club you continue to get invited to this even is a Gala Dinner about 2 to 3 hour the entire event with open bar the first half hour to an hour. I am surprise about your company "Gold Watch" at 5 years, Then every 5 years at 35 years+ if the person still with the company they still get invited to the 25-Year Club but get larger Cash Bonuses in there paychecks. Not the retirees do.

We have an annual Employee Recognition Luncheon that is catered and very good. At the luncheon awards are given in 5 year increments, upwards to 35 years. For 5 years you are given a small wooden digital clock with the company logo on it and your name and year engraved on a gold plate. For 10 years you are given a gold pen and pencil set in a wooden base with the company logo and your name engraved with the year. For 15 years you are given a gold clock with the company logo on the front glass and your name and year engraved on top. I will reach 20 this year and I am not sure what that is. At one time people selected crystal pieces from a catalogue.

Here's what we give (part is copied from our personnel policy manual):

The credit union takes pride in recognizing loyal service by its employees and volunteers. Special recognition is given at the annual dinner for those employees and volunteers completing service in 5-year increments. Service awards are presented for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service. The cut-off date for recognizing years of service is December 31, of the year in which the award is given.

Once an employee has achieved 20 years of service with the credit union, he or she will receive an additional day off, in the form of a 'Milestone Holiday,' for each year of service beginning with the 20th year, not to exceed a total of five such 'holidays' in a calendar year once he or she has reached 24 years or more of service.

In addition, employees receive a nice service lapel pin in five-year increments. They also receive cash in the following amounts:

Five years: $50
Ten years: $100
Fifteen years: $150
Twenty years: $200
Twenty-five years: $250
Thirty years: $300
Thirty-five years: $350

We give out Service Awards once at year at our Xmas holiday luncheon.
We use a company called O.C. Tanner in Salt Lake City, Utah. Around Sept, I send them a list of employees who are celebrating 5,10,15,20,25 etc. years and they make up a folder for each person with gifts that they can chose. About 15 or more and depending on years of service the gifts are more valuable for each 5 years. They range from crystal vases to digital cameras. I then give these folders to the employees supervisor with a "Please return by" date.

At our holiday luncheon the Plant Manager or H.R. Manager presents the gifts to each employee and their pictures are taken. They are also given a copy of the picture we take and print out here for them.

O.C. Tanner does a great job. Gifts arrive on time and I have never had a problem with their service.

I agree that even the companies you are or have currectly purchased should be given the same treatment. Everyone needs to feel appreciated, especially employees whose company has just been bought out and for a while probably were worried about what the future would be for them and their families.

You will have to include the older employees from the previous company, it will create good faith and positive energy; they need to feel part of the team vs. two separate teams. We present years of service gifts at our company holiday party each year. Staff is awarded these gifts by date of hire. People who have been here 5 years receive a silver (Tiffany's) braclet, 10 years receive a silver necklace, staff over 15 we have only awarded 1 so far and it was a male who received a Tiffany belt buckle with matching cuff links with initials. It has been something that staff looks forward to, but once you begin something like this it is very hard to stop without creating negative feelings for the staff who is coming up on 5 years. So whatever gift you choose it should be of same value each year.

By all means include the older employees, this in itself promotes good will and a positive inpression. We are a company with 32 employees and what we do is on the employee's anniversary each year they receive a $20 gift card with a personal note, signed by the president of the company, I do Best Buy, local book stores, coffee shops, etc.

We also recognize 3,5,10,15,20 years of service (we choose new gifts, same price range, each year) (3yr)gold engraved lapel pin w/# of yrs, (5yr)Silver engraved pen/stand w/name & # of yrs, (10yr)Brass Star Desk Clock w/name & # of yrs, (15yr) Crystal Star Sandstone Award w/name &# yrs, (20yr)a very nice wood,or chrystal mantel clock. They also get their gift card. Since we have 4 locations each location will have a lunch or dinner to celebrate also.

We have great employees and I know they enjoy the recognition. I also make a big deal about each anniversary in our company newsletter.

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