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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Service Awards

A long service award can be anything from a nice certificate to a more formal event with speeches and presentations. It's important to recognize an employee's years of service with something that shows you care and appreciate them as an individual.

Long service awards are given to employees who have worked for an organization for a specific number of years. This is not only a way of thanking the employee but also an opportunity to recognize them and their contribution to the organization.

What are long service awards?

Long service awards are given to employees who have worked for an organization for a number of years. This is not only a way of thanking the employee, but also an opportunity to recognise them, and their contribution to the organization. The award can be presented at any time during the employee's tenure, but it is usually done when they reach their 5th, 10th, 15th, or 20th year of service.

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What are the benefits of long service award programs?

Long service award programs have many benefits, which include:

  • Promotes a sense of belongingness in the workplace.
  • Keeps employees happy and feeling valued by their employer.
  • Recognizes employees who have worked with your company for many years.
  • Motivates employees to stay with the company and continue working hard.
  • Boosts employee morale and motivation levels, which results in increased productivity and profitability for your business.
  • Shows that you appreciate all that they have done for your business.

How can companies strengthen their service awards programs?

Here are some strategies that can help you strengthen your service awards program:

  • Make sure your goals match your company values.
  • Keep it simple! Don’t add too many rules and regulations.
  • Set clear expectations for what you want from employees.
  • Communicate about the awards process clearly and make the awards meaningful.
  • Create a culture where employees feel comfortable coming forward with ideas to improve their processes.
  • Ensure the award criteria are clearly defined and communicated to everyone involved with the program.

What are some of the best years of service award ideas?

  • Digital gift cards: An excellent option for companies looking for something different from traditional awards. Consider giving employees a choice between gift cards or cash so they can choose what they want most out of their recognition.
  • Charitable donations in their name: This is a great way to show appreciation for an employee's hard work while giving back to the community.
  • Experiential gifts: A getaway or trip somewhere is a great way to give back for all those loyal years they served with your business. Many companies offer trips as employee rewards, but they often only go up to five years of service.

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Are employee of the month awards taxable?

The answer to this question depends on how the award is given and to whom. If your company gives an award to a single employee, then it's generally considered a gift, which isn't taxable. However, giving an award to multiple employees can be regarded as compensation and is subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

What do you give an employee a 20 years of service award?

  • A digital gift card: This is always a good choice when you don't know what to get someone. It could be a Visa, Mastercard, or a branded gift card.
  • A dinner at a fancy restaurant: This instills memories for a lifetime. Ask them to bring family members, which can include spouses and children.
  • Something sentimental: This reminds them of their past 20 years at the company. Maybe they had a favorite client or project they worked on while with your company, and you could buy them something related to that project.
  • A certificate: This is great but make sure to engrave their name and a title saying "20 Years of Service" on it. This is a classic option that employees always appreciate. You can also add their photo and their years of service if you'd like.
  • A plaque: Plaques are trendy because they're easy to display and can be personalized with text or images. They make great gifts because they're functional as well as decorative.

 What do you give an employee a 10 years of service award?

Here are some ideas for gift ideas that are appropriate for employees with 10 years of service:

  • A small gift card for a restaurant or movie theater. This allows employees to choose something they enjoy with their family or friends.
  • A coffee mug with the company logo on it or a coffee bean grinder. This shows that you value their contribution and their time at the company.
  • Awards, trophies, or plaques with photos of them receiving their award will be cherished by employees and serve as a visual reminder of their achievement every time they walk past it on their desk or in their home office.
  • A personalized book about their time with your company is a unique gift idea that will give them a keepsake that captures memories from their tenure at your organization.
  • A framed picture of the two of you together, along with an inscription thanking them for all they have done over the years. This will remind them how much you appreciate them and what they mean to your company.

What do you give an employee a 5 years of service award?

  • Awards plaques: A beautiful award plaque placed in a prominent space in the office helps show off the achievement.
  • Gift baskets: A basket full of treats could include candy, coffee mugs, cookies, or other edible items.
  • Gift cards: Gift cards are always appreciated by employees and make great gifts for any occasion. Choose from popular retail stores like Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, or restaurant gift cards.
  • An extended vacation or Paid Time Off (PTO): Many companies offer extra PTO days at certain milestones. While this isn't always practical if you're short on people in critical roles, it's an excellent way to reward employees who have been with the company for a long time.

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