Your role in presenting a career-milestone award on a person's work anniversary is to create an experience that the recipient will always remember. Managers must learn how critical it is for them to honor employees on their special day. Follow theses Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Career Milestones and put these steps into practice.
1. Make managers responsible for milestones. You must assign managers to acknowledge their employees before or on the day of their anniversary. Hold them accountable by following up on what they did and share their employee's reaction.
2. Work hard to honor the person. Plan ahead of time to collect information and insights about award recipients to help everyone remember them and their contributions. Allow these musings and memories of years of service be reflective and memorable.
3. Highlight a recipient's attributes. Interview previous bosses and colleagues to discover their unique characteristics and attributes.
4. Find out what makes them an excellent employee. As appropriate to the individual share these thoughts in the presentation. Plan who the attendees should be. Lower year anniversaries are informal and can be their team members or one-on-one with their manager. Longer years of service merit finding out if a senior leader or family members should be present. Always find out their wishes first.
5. Find the right place to present. Check out your organization's facilities and see if there is a "perfect" setting to add to the whole award experience. Discover if there are special memories associated with specific spots that could create a unique memory.
6. Capture memories of this day. Do whatever you can to assign someone else to photograph and video-record the presentation. Have a sign-in book or cards for people to write their congratulations and thoughts. Or create a video book where people leave messages.
7. Request the right person present. Whether it is their immediate manager or a senior leader figure out who the best person is to present their award. It must be someone the recipient has a positive relationship with and who they personally respect and admire.
8. Recognize their achievements. You have the opportunity to acknowledge all the employee has done up to their anniversary date. Let them know how their contributions and work have impacted others and made a difference to the organization.
9. Treat them like a star. Consider the Oscar awards and treat your career milestone employees as a celebrity, because on their anniversary day, they really are. Strive to turn every service award day into a celebration and not just a presentation.
10. Connect the employee's achievements. Make the career milestone recipient's feel fulfilled by showing them and others how they have lived by the organizational values. Let them know the organization could not be where they are today without their contributions.
Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is the author of Giving the Real Recognition Way. The Vistance Institute chief learning officer at Rideau Inc, Saunderson provides consulting, learning and thought-leadership services focused on helping leaders and managers give real recognition the right way. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter and at his AuthenticRecognition.com blog.