Workplace Recognition and Incentive Programs

Ten Ways To Maximize Longevity Awards For Performance Improvement

Posted on July 17, 2013 by Carl Bonura in Engagement, Motivation Stream

Here are ten recommendations organizations can use to leverage a longevity award program, as a key component of a comprehensive recognition system for performance improvement.

1. Focus on the satisfaction of participants. Conduct research to determine current attitudes toward employee recognition programs. This provides a baseline measurement against which to gauge future improvements.

2. Make sure each recognition initiative supports corporate strategies. Corporate alignment is key to bringing about positive changes in corporate culture.

3. Target specific, measurable outcomes. While longevity programs are not generally linked to ROI, comprehensive recognition systems can be linked to specific, measurable corporate strategies.

4. Integrate longevity awards with other employee initiatives. This reduces the administrative burden for managers and the communication overload for employees. By combining award opportunities, organizations can offer more award selections and allow employees to accumulate award value for more meaningful awards.

5. Communicate employee recognition throughout the organization. Use internal publications, meetings, and bulletin boards to broadcast people’s accomplishments and contributions.

6. Give managers the tools they needs to recognize individuals. Managers typically are not comfortable with their ability to give recognition. With some basic training, they can create memorable recognition presentations.

7. Realize that recognition is part of a larger process. Successful recognition programs involve numerous elements: communications, training, database management, administration (customer service), award selection and fulfillment, and program evaluation, to name a few.

8. Award people commensurate with performance, not based solely on tenure. By doing so, organizations can use longevity awards to drive corporate strategies.

9. Provide a wide selection of tangible awards. Be sure the award selection satisfies the greatest diversity of individuals.

10. Do not wait five years to recognize employees. Begin recognition as soon as employees contribute to the organization. An integrated recognition system makes this easy.
In spite of shorter average job tenures, the importance of longevity awards shows few signs of diminishing. Instead, longevity awards are changing to meet the needs of changing organizations. Longevity award programs remain an important tool for employee recognition. The key is to focus on the satisfaction of award recipients and on supporting corporate strategies, not on the awards themselves.

By integrating longevity award programs with other recognition efforts, organizations can ensure that all the efforts are aligned to accomplish performance improvement strategies. That new approach to employee recognition can play a primary role in sustaining a positive corporate culture, ensuring it is one in which people will want to work for a long time.

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