8 Tips to Organize a Memorable Years of Service Ceremony

February 13, 2018

In Management & Organizational Performance


A years of service ceremony can be very beneficial for your company’s corporate culture.

It confirms the importance you attribute to anniversaries, formalizes your years of service program, and contributes to loyalizing your employees. To ensure your ceremony’s success, multiple elements are at stake. Here are a few tips to plan a memorable and highly anticipated years of service ceremony!

1. Highlight anniversaries before the ceremony

It’s important to recognize your employee’s years of service the day of their anniversary. You wouldn’t want your employees to think you forgot about them! Communicate your expectations clearly to your management team with regards to giving recognition.  It is wise to put in place a system that will send automatic reminders to managers to notify them of upcoming anniversaries.

2. Personalize your recognition

When recognizing an employee’s years of service, make sure to personalize your message. For example, indicate two qualities unique to the employee on a symbolic object, in a card, or during a speech. During the ceremony, think about including a short text that describes the employee. Personalization of recognition is more time-consuming, but it yields an exponentially greater feeling of pride amongst your employees.

3. Offer your employees a gift they really want

By offering a gift that truly delights, you will create a feeling of belongingness that will have a positive effect on your employee’s motivation. Thus, each time he uses the gift that you offered, he will think of his employer positively. If your company employs too many people to be able to know each person’s taste, think about implementing an online recognition gifting shop.

4. Share memories

During your years of service ceremony, consider sharing memories about each employee. Via a video or photo montage, present milestone events, successful stories, or even not-so-successful stories… to lighten the mood!

5. Involve upper management

By inviting upper management and immediate supervisors, you show how important the ceremony is for your organization. Ask upper management to prepare a speech on the topic of loyalty and to thank all employees for their engagement.

6. Choose a proper venue

Venue choice is essential to guarantee the success of your event. The room should be cozy and the public should be close to the area from which you will be presenting. Too much distance runs the risk of creating silos between employees and members of the management team.

7. Choose animation that reflects your image

To put people at ease throughout the evening, animation is key. Choose a style that reflects the image of your company’s culture. Make sure that the center of attention remains on the employees being celebrated and not on the person animating.

8. Survey your employees

After the event, send a confidential survey to ask about the various aspects of the ceremony, which may include animation, music, food, ambiance, gifts and symbolic pieces, etc. You will show employees that their opinion matters and that the ceremony is organized for them. More so, you will then be able to adapt your ceremony based on the comments you receive, and adjust over time!


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