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Guide For Long Service Awards In Today’s Workplace

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Guide For Long Service Awards In Today’s Workplace

Finding the right candidates and their long-term retention is challenging in this highly competitive job market. Hence, rewarding and recognizing tenured employee through long service awards to acknowledge their contribution has become critical for organizations.

Why is Timely Employee Recognition So Important?

Most organizations today have invested in employee rewards and recognition to boost the motivation of their workforce.

However, such programs often focus on recognizing employees only for their most recent achievements and contributions.

Long Service Award

An increasing number of organizations are also acknowledging and appreciating the loyalty and dedication of employees who have been contributing their best for years.

What are Long Service Awards?

Known as long service awards or simply service awards, it is meant to recognize the commitment of long-term employees in the organization.

What is The New-found Significance Of Long Service Awards?

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In today’s work environment, employee loyalty is becoming quite rare.

So, organizations fully understand that today employees switch jobs frequently in search of better and faster career growth.  

Also, most organizations have strict performance management process that ensures that poor performers are asked to leave each year.

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Hence, an employee who spends at least 5 years with the organization would have not only demonstrated loyalty towards the organization but also good performance.

Such, long-serving employees tend to be highly trustworthy and form a critical part of any organization’s workforce.

In fact, organizations have begun to value such long-serving employees even more in recent times as they help in creating a sense of stability in the otherwise constantly changing workforce.


There are many reasons why organizations should recognize tenured employees:

The tradition of long service awards goes back to possibly a century ago.

Till a few decades back, it was quite common for employees to spend their entire career in the same organization.

Back then, the long service award was about celebrating the completion of a milestone, a certain number of years in the organization.

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In recent times, the concept of long service awards has undergone a major change.

It is not just about recognizing the years the employee has spent in the organization, but for their contribution during that period.

Hence, long service awards have acquired new significance in today’s workplace.

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These service awards provide an opportunity for organizations to express their gratitude to employees who have stayed with them through multiple business cycles.

Hence, it is a way for them to thank such employees for the time and effort invested with the organization.

What are the Key Benefits of Long Service Awards?

Offering long service awards to tenured employees is a great way for organizations looking to build a dedicated workforce.

These awards can prove beneficial for organizations in the following ways:

Benefits of Long Service Awards

1. Creates Role Models

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Acknowledging and appreciating the loyalty and accomplishments of tenured employees sends out a positive message to the relatively younger members of the workforce.

It assures them that their efforts and contributions will be acknowledged and appreciated even after many years with the organization.

Therefore, it encourages them to stay longer and perform better, inspired by their seniors.  

2. Reinforces Employee Commitment


Employees who are awarded with long service awards feel valued for their work and contribution towards the success of their organization.

It reinforces their decision to stay with the organization for so many years, possibly sacrificing opportunities elsewhere. 

This increases their level of commitment to the organization and motivates them further.

3. Develops Organizational Culture

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Offering long service awards helps in boosting the happiness and satisfaction levels of tenured employees.

It also counters any growing cynicism or negativity among older employees, as they might feel being side-lined by the organization.

This helps in building a positive and cordial work environment, where older and younger employees can work collaboratively.

4. Drives Employee Engagement

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Being rewarded for their years of service helps in strengthening the trust of employees in their organization.

It strengthens their sense of security and belonging to the organization. It also boosts their engagement levels within the workplace.

So, older employees feel motivated to share their skills and experiences with the younger members of the workforce, through coaching and mentorship.

5. Enhances Employer Branding

Offering service awards can go a long way in enhancing the employer brand value of the organization.

The public visibility of these awards can assure potential candidates that the organization values its employees even after many years of service.

This is an important consideration for job aspirants, especially for the top talent.

What are the Best Practices of Long Service Awards?

Awards Event

To drive a sense of loyalty among the workforce, organizations need to recognize and reward long service appropriately.

Given the new-found importance of long-service awards, organizations need to figure out the best ways to make them effective.

So, here are a few of the best practices that organizations can adopt for setting up long-service rewards for their long-serving employees:

Best Practices of Long Service Awards

1. Recognize Achievements, Not Just Tenure

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It is important to acknowledge the contribution of their long-term employees towards the organization over their long tenure.

Hence, a long service award should ideally focus on appreciating the achievements of these employees, and not just the time they have invested with the organization.

It is critical to call out such contributions to the organization. This can go a long way in enhancing the motivation and commitment levels of the award recipients.

Such stories should be mentioned during the presentation and announcement of these awards in different forums and platforms across the organization.

2. Organize A Proper Award Ceremony

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To add value to the award, it is important to present them in a large gathering of employees such as an annual day event, awards ceremony, or employee town hall.

Possibly, the best way would be in the formal awards ceremony, offline or virtual, attended by a major segment of the workforce and the senior management. Inviting the family of the award recipients can make the occasion more memorable and further the emotional connection.

During the ceremony, the audience should be made aware of the highlights of the employee’s contribution to the organization.

The award could be announced or handed over by a member of the senior management team, preferably someone who has known the recipient for a long.

3. Create Maximum Social Visibility

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Public acknowledgment of their long-serving employees helps organizations send out a strong positive message.

Using internal platforms such as the intranet, email broadcast, Teams/ Slack, etc., to announce long service awards can help create social visibility.These announcements should also be shared on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

This creates significant social gratification for the award recipients. It also helps in enhancing the brand value of the organization among prospective employees.

They perceive the organization as an employer of choice where employees are willing to invest a significant part of their careers.

4. Make The Rewards Personalized And Meaningful

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he organizations must make the entire experience memorable and create an emotional connection with the employee.

Typically, certificates and mementos should be part of the award, which have great emotional value.

Apart from the emotional value of the reward, the employees should receive some financial benefits such as cash bonuses, gift cards, or a choice of merchandise like electronics or appliances.

A sponsored higher education/ training program, fully–paid family vacation, or scholarship for children are other options that organizations can consider.

Read the Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Employee Awards


Long Service Awards in today’s workplace have assumed renewed significance. It is no longer about just rewarding the employee for their time spent in the organization. It is more about acknowledging the contribution of the employee over the years spent with the organization.  

Long Service Awards can be key to boosting employee motivation, retention, and workplace culture.

Hence, organizations should seriously consider including them as an integral part of their employee recognition programs

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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