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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 suitable candidates and retaining them for a long time is challenging in this highly competitive job market. Hence, rewarding and recognizing tenured employees 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 also acknowledge and appreciate the loyalty and dedication of employees who have contributed their best for years.

What are Long Service Awards?

Known as long service awards or simply service awards, these are meant to recognize the loyalty, dedication, and commitment of employees, who continue to work with the organization for a significant period of time, generally five years or more.

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.

Therefore, organizations fully understand that today’s employees frequently switch jobs for better and faster career growth.  

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

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Hence, an employee who spends at least five years with the organization would have demonstrated loyalty towards the organization and good performance.

Such long-serving employees are highly trustworthy and critical to 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.

A few decades back, it was common for employees to spend their entire careers 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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Recently, the concept of long service awards has undergone a significant 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 allow organizations to express 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 they have invested in 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 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 growing cynicism or negativity among older employees, who might feel the organization is sidelining them.

This helps build a positive and cordial work environment where older and younger employees can collaborate.

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 and boosts their engagement levels within the workplace.

So, older employees feel motivated to share their skills and experiences with the younger workforce members 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 essential consideration for job aspirants, especially for the top talent.

What are the Best Practices of Long Service Awards?

Awards Event

Organizations must recognize and reward long service appropriately to drive a sense of loyalty among the workforce.

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 essential 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.

Recognizing such contributions to the organization is critical. This can enhance 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 crucial to present them at large gatherings 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 know 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 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 and helps enhance the organization’s brand value 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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Organizations must make the entire experience memorable and create an emotional connection with the employee.

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.

Organizations can also consider a sponsored higher education/ training program, a fully paid family vacation, or a scholarship for children.

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 vital in boosting employee motivation, retention, and workplace culture.

Hence, organizations should consider including them as an integral part of 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 corporate and entrepreneurship experience. In the past, Sagar has worked in leadership roles with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.