Incentra Insights

The Importance of Service Awards & 3 Trends for 2024

Posted by Vicki Hiney on Mar 19, 2024 9:02:46 AM

importance of service awards


We’re often asked, “are service awards really still important?” And the answer is YES when administered properly.  

The days of just sending a generic thank you note to employees along with a plaque for their years of service are in the past. There has been a significant shift in recent years to more personalized and impactful recognition for employees who are celebrating milestone work anniversaries. But remember, it’s not just about an employee’s tenure; it’s about creating a positive and meaningful experience for the person. 

Here are three service award trends to consider when evaluating your program.

Personalized Awards – Times have changed from when service awards were a generic plaque. It’s now all about personalization so that an employee can truly feel valued and appreciated. One of the most popular personalized awards that our clients use are e-gift cards where employees can choose from a selection of popular online retailers, allowing them to select a reward that they will enjoy.

Experiential Rewards - Experiences are gaining in popularity for service awards just as they are in general. Decluttering is a popular trend and people are looking for experiences to enjoy rather than just more stuff that takes up space on a shelf. Some examples of experiences can include a trip to the spa, concert tickets, or a special dining experience.

Gamification of Rewards – Gamification adds a twist of excitement to the usual reward options by adding an element of competition and a game-like experience. This could include a mobile game where points are collected or badges are earned.

Your Service Awards program should include ALL employees and provide simple tools accessed online that: 

  • Encourage managers and peers to recognize great work – more often
  • Automatically celebrate birthdays and all anniversaries
  • Provide reports to help managers prepare for performance discussions
  • Show executives the managers who are good (and not so good) at giving thanks
  • Let you poll employees on the progress of strategic new programs, tap into morale, identify workload issues or any other questions
  • Eliminate the time-consuming and error-prone job of manually preparing employee milestone files

Employees who are recognized for their work perform better and are more likely to stay with your organization – delivering stronger business results including profitability, productivity, and customer satisfaction. This is the ROI you and your executives want to see. 


It’s time to promote a Service Award program to your executive team that plants the seed for additional strategic solutions that drive engagement and improve business results. 


Want a quick personal demo? Contact us and we’ll show you how to effectively recognize your employees AND maximize the return on your service award investment – quickly and easily. 



Categories: Service Awards