Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why We Launched Length of Service Awards

Happy New Year to everyone! We are excited for 2014 and are excited to announce that we just launched a new way to help companies manage length of service programs.

According to BI almost 90% of large corporations have some formal program to celebrate an employee's tenure. When designed well and as part of a larger talent management strategy, length of service awards can go a long way in showing appreciation for an employee's continued contributions. 

Unfortunately, length of service programs often feel lackluster because:

1. Awards are not provided every year but only on specific milestones (such as a 5-year anniversary)

2. Recipients are given a plaque or have to redeem points for merchandise

3. The recognition is not delivered on an employee's actual anniversary

4. The program can be difficult to manage for HR

With our focus on helping companies bring recognition programs from offline to online and in ways that integrate social solutions into HR processes, we’re enabling companies to capitalize on opportunities to celebrate successes big and small throughout the year. Giving companies the tools to more effectively recognize employee anniversaries in more timely, fun, and relevant ways is a natural next step for us in revisiting the ways HR programs can work in a digital age.

We worked closely with two forward-thinking companies (a major financial services company and high tech company) to develop a product that...

1. Celebrates an employee's work anniversary every year 

Why keep someone waiting five years for their first recognition when the average tenure at many firms is only four years? Our approach is to acknowledge an employee's service every year with a certificate and social alerts to team members. 

The benefit of this new social way is that team members can join in celebrating an employee's anniversary and help make it feel more meaningful. 

2. Reinforces service with digital gift cards 

On specific milestones, such as every two years, include a digital gift card to a brand the employee chooses.

While plaques can be nice, more and more employees prefer something tangible that they can use for their home, family, or just to go out. And most would agree that the trend in rewards is to go digital so the recipient can use the award instantly. 

3. Celebrates an employee's anniversary on the actual day

It’s labor-intensive to celebrate every employee’s anniversary on the actual day, so most companies recognize a pool of anniversaries only once a month, quarter, or year. 

The challenge is that a work anniversary is like a birthday. It feels more meaningful to recognize it on the actual day. 

4. Simplifies the management of the program

One of the biggest HR tech trends has been to shift away from separate individual tools to more comprehensive solutions that bring together things like employee feedback, recognition, performance, and now service awards. As companies go social, many of these HR tasks will be brought into platforms. 

In our approach, HR approves all upcoming service awards once a month and then on the actual day, the awards are sent on behalf of the manager according to HR's program rules. Sounds easy, but many programs don't work this way. 

We want to thank the two companies who worked closely with us! The new length of service award tool is available as a stand-alone product or as part of our main social recognition platform.