Lapel Pins in an Age of “What’s a Lapel?”

by Andrea Gappmayer

Picture of lapel pin on a brown suitRecognize This! – When thinking of employee rewards, at the forefront of your mind should be “What is rewarding to the employee?,” not “What have we always done?”

I had coffee with a group of friends last Sunday morning. One friend is a 25-year-old who works at one of the well-known Silicon Valley high tech companies.

We were all talking about our lives—kids, jobs, dogs—and I brought up the fact that I had been in Las Vegas recently for business. I told them that a colleague and I had been there working with a company on their Service Awards program. Prior to our meeting, we walked through the facility asking workers how they felt about the company’s service anniversary awards program and what rewards they had received recently.

We approached the gentleman who had valeted our car. He told us that he is 22. I asked him how long he had been working at the company. Almost a year. I asked him what he would be receiving for his one-year anniversary. He said, “I don’t know. Do they give us something?” I told him, “Yes. They’ll give you a lapel pin.” To which he replied, “What’s a lapel pin?”

Everyone at the table laughed. Then our 25-year-old, Silicon Valley friend said, “What’s a lapel?” Fair question for a young, high-tech nerd who wears flip-flops to work.

When it comes to service awards, you might want to start thinking more strategically. Think hard about your employee population. Who are they? What motivates them? Is your service awards program encouraging them to stick around? It might just be time to revisit your Service Awards program. Here’s your first step.

What would be a meaningful service anniversary experience for you?

Andrea Gappmayer

About Andrea Gappmayer

Andrea Gappmayer is a dynamic and energetic speaker, trainer, and strategist. She is in high demand by company and human resources leaders needing guidance on setting a strategy for social recognition. A senior recognition strategist and consultant for Globoforce, Andrea blends her brand of wit and wisdom with rich content and solid data reinforcing the benefits of social recognition to any organization. Andrea holds a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.

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