Program Best Practices

4 Tips For A Successful Anniversary Awards Program

By 2030, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. One of the most critical things to recognize about employees in this demographic is that they tend to have lower than average tenures and only spend around 2.3 years with their current employer. Not to mention that around 60% of millennials are also open to new job opportunities. 

This means that it’s more important than ever to think of ways to reverse some of these negative trends in retention. One of the best ways to do so is to acknowledge the employees who are loyal and recognize that it truly is an accomplishment to stay longer at a company these days. That’s why, in today’s market, investing in a scalable and meaningful anniversary awards program may be the key differentiator that keeps employees at your company instead of going to a competitor.

The business case for investing in anniversary award programs

There’s a clear business case for anniversary award programs. First, research shows a connection between meaningful years of service programs and employee retention. Specifically, employees are likely to stay at their jobs two to four years longer when there’s a meaningful anniversary recognition program in place. Employees are also more likely to be motivated to stay at a company if they offer a particularly compelling award for their anniversary milestones. 

How to craft a successful anniversary awards program

So what does it take to launch a successful anniversary award program? We believe there are a few key ingredients necessary to create memorable milestones for your employees. We’re sharing our full recipe for success with best practices that we learned across our hundreds of active tenure programs in this new eBook, and summarizing our top ideas below: 

Make it authentic

There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to a recognition program. So don’t copy and paste another organization’s approach to anniversary awards. Instead, make sure yours is an authentic reflection of your organization’s values, mission, and vision. For instance, let’s say you work at a company whose core value is curiosity. Then perhaps your three-year anniversary award allows employees to pick up a new hobby like glass blowing or learning a foreign language. Just try to avoid the status quo of offering branded swag, gift cards, and other generic gifts for employees as your anniversary award. 

Make it memorable

Employee anniversaries provide the perfect opportunity to give a gift that will create a lasting impression. A meaningful anniversary award should amplify an employee’s passions, challenge their comfort zone, or inspire them to try something new. That’s why we believe experiential rewards are such a powerful way to celebrate anniversaries. By giving your employees a memorable award, they’ll forever associate that positive experience with your company - which can boost their feelings of loyalty to your organization. Another way Blueboard helps make anniversaries memorable is to treat employees to a dedicated Concierge staff that handles all the logistics of booking and organizing employee rewards from start to finish. Having this seamless experience and not having employees do the heavy lifting of managing their own rewards will make the milestone feel that much more special. 

Make it shareable

Design your anniversary award program to be as shareable as possible. There are many ways to accomplish this: ask your leadership team to celebrate anniversaries at all-hands meetings, recognize these milestones in company newsletters or emails, and encourage employees to share their award experience on social media. This type of socialization generates more buzz around your program and gets other employees inspired to hit their tenure milestones as well! Also make sure your rewards themselves are worthy of sharing because, let’s be honest, employees are much more likely to talk about their cool skydiving experience than their anniversary plaque.

Celebrate from the top-down

Everyone - from your CEO to your newest hire - should actively participate in your anniversary awards program. In particular, getting your leadership excited about your recognition program is key. Their enthusiasm will cause a ripple effect that will encourage higher participation among other employees and build a culture of recognition. So prioritize getting leadership buy-in and brainstorming ways to get them involved in the process. 

Having a scalable and meaningful anniversary award program can have a hugely positive impact on your organization. From boosting employee retention to skyrocketing productivity, a customized recognition program is key to making sure you have a workforce that feels appreciated for all they do. Consider using the tips we outlined above to ensure your anniversary award program is a huge success.

If you’re interested in additional best practices for planning a successful anniversary program download our eBook here. You can also reach out via the Request Demo button at the top or give us a shout in the Live Chat window at the bottom right corner to coordinate a live discussion and demo with our Sales team.

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