Not all employee reward programmes are successful. Some have been thrown together without much thought, some lack imagination and others are not appreciated by those they are meant to celebrate. This is unfortunate, as a poor service award programme is a lost opportunity for an organisation. Done well, employee awards celebrate the cohesion, relationships and shared successes within an organisation, which maintains motivation and increases retention of valuable, experienced staff. Here are three milestone gifts and rewards for great workers.
Retirement is one of the most significant life transitions in our later years. The approach you want to take with your gift, whether it be classic, utility, personal or just a joke gift will need to be considered.
You can gift the retiree something that commemorates the work that they did, such as a framed map of the area they were responsible for, or a trophy engraved with a pertinent quote. Consider sentimental retirement gift ideas that do not obviously relate to work, but which are beautiful to look at, whether a sculpture, painting or photograph. If they had a uniform for work, this could be converted into a pillow cover using the tie as well as other emblems or symbols from the jacket.
The expression of gratitude from past and present employees who have worked with the retiree, as well as fun stories and other recollections that current colleagues may not know about, make for a happy send-off. These can be written on post-it notes, sent by email or collected in numerous ways before being collated into a scrapbook of memories.
Years of service awards
Years of service awards should be far more than a “participation award,” for simply turning up for work for another year. Instead, it should be used to show appreciation to employees for their talent, their value, their accomplishments and successes whether it’s their first year at an organisation or their 20th.
Organisations should work towards celebrating anniversaries with lasting memories, combining symbolic and personal awards. Cash is too impersonal since most employees will use this to pay bills or make other unmemorable purchases. Instead, tailor a gift to suit the individual, with a personal award item such as a food mixer for a keen baker, a mountain bike, jewellery, a coffee maker, headphones, cookware, a backpack or apple watch that the individual would not justify buying for themselves.
Other service awards that employees appreciate are a personal note of congratulations from the company CEO or senior leader; a personalised card with messages and comments from peers and leaders, which when marking milestone years could become a book created online that past employees could also contribute too before it is printed and bound to be gifted.
Employee recognition leads to a welcoming, productive workplace culture that helps individuals thrive. It improves both the quantity and quality of work, encouraging workers to reach higher, accomplish more and be keen to stay within the organisation.
When an employee has reached a target, won an award outside the company or done some work that has had a significantly positive effect on the company’s reputation, profit margins, future sustainability etc., this can be rewarded through a recognition programme.
To thank them for their contribution, a gift voucher for something they will enjoy, but is also educational, is a great gift. This gift recognises the individual is someone who has not stopped learning and is keen to continue learning more. Gifting a day off with a voucher for unusual activities include skiing, rock climbing, surfing lessons or a beginner’s lesson in ballroom dancing is a novel and fun experience.
For those who have worked together to achieve or surpass a significant goal within the company, is to organise a team celebration that they request, from a meal out to a day paintballing or hiring a private karaoke room.
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