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ELEMENTS OF TRADITIONAL RECOGNITION PROGRAMS

Despite reams of research suggesting a strong correlation between employee commitment and customer satisfaction, many organizations tend to overlook this equation in their strategic planning. For, even though both research and common sense strongly suggest that happy, committed employees work more productively and provide better service, corporations have difficulty relating this to profits. So far, the financial analysts have found it easier to calculate the cost savings of layoffs. It is appropriate for organizations to recognize and reward employees for tenure, if that's an integral part of the corporate culture. Traditional recognition programs allocate a set sum for each year of an employee's tenure which is used to buy them increasingly more valuable awards for each service milestone. Award options typically include pins and jewelry, clocks and watches, and gift items, such as statuettes, vases, bowls, and even dinnerware. Traditionally, these programs emphasized continuity, so that all employees who reached a certain milestone received roughly the same item.

There is little point in conducting service-awards programs unless you sincerely value service. That's why a genuine expression of gratitude by management is at least as important as the awards themselves. Companies that are serious about recognition mark major milestones at company meetings or at special powwows with top executives. Almost all publicize the milestones in the corporate newsletter.
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