Making it personal

Too often, service awards miss the mark
By Mike Byam
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/09/2012

In giving a talk on employee recognition to a group of about 100 business leaders recently, I asked how long they had each worked at their current employer. Everyone in the room was able to state the date of their hire, with the longest-tenured person a gentleman who had been at his organization 37 years.

What does this tell us? We are wired to commemorate milestones such as birthdays, graduation reunions and wedding anniversaries. It’s no different in our professional lives. An occupation is a significant component of most people’s self-identity, so it stands to reason service anniversaries are important on a personal level.

Anniversaries are also important on a business level. Service milestones provide employees with an opportunity to reflect on their career goals and objectives — what they’ve accomplished to this point and where they hope to go in the future.