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Transitioning Service Awards to Social Recognition

When asked the question “What’s the most common type of recognition program you see,” the answer is simple: service awards. Awards for milestone years of service have been the king of recognition for over 50 years. While traditional choice programs are still the most frequently included type of recognition, MTM is seeing a major shift in the marketplace and in the way our clients operate their traditional choice programs. Social Recognition, a comprehensive, cloud-based platform used to celebrate champions, is rapidly becoming the top-tier choice for customers. Why? The added value and flexibility. If you’re looking to switch your traditional choice program to a more modern & comprehensive recognition solution, here’s what to know before you get started. 

Even though you’re switching to a cloud-based platform, service awards can still be managed by the same choice-based program you’re used to. 

Upgrading your traditional service program to include a social recognition platform is a great way to update your offering. However, change doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Many of our clients choose to switch to a social recognition program for the added benefits – more detailed reporting capabilities, a social newsfeed where employees can congratulate one another, and an opportunity for growth that the platform presents. If you need a quick way to recognize your employees with a bonus for Christmas, your social recognition program can help with that! Want to have an e-card from the CEO sent out to each employee on their service anniversary? MTM’s social recognition platform can do that too! A switch to our SRP (Social Recognition Platform) means you can choose to maintain your current service award program while also having greater opportunities for reporting & growth.


If you prefer, your new social recognition program can replace your existing service award program. 

Although switching to a cloud-based platform doesn’t necessarily mean you would change your existing program, sometimes you may want to. We’re here to help either way. For those who would like to switch their traditional service awards to a social platform, there may be a few things to consider. For example, your milestone gifts will be delivered in the form of an online badge and points, which can then be spent on a product in the catalog. MTM will help with every aspect of the transition, including converting the dollar value of the awards at each level of your existing program to points.


If you choose to replace your traditional choice program with a points-based reward system, there may be tax ramifications. 

We are not a tax SME, and we always recommend speaking with a tax professional to consider the full ramifications of this switch based on your location. But depending on where you are headquartered, many of our clients do see that service award platforms are often tax-exempt while points-based service awards may be eligible for tax. 


Points-based service awards are stackable with other points-based rewards in the system and often have more options for gift selection.

MTM is always happy to create a custom catalog for one of our clients, but our base catalog for our social recognition program comes with thousands of products at an inclusive range of price points. When changing your traditional service award program to a points-reward system, those points earned from a milestone award will be added to an employee’s cumulative bucket. This means that points the employee has earned from other categories of recognition may be combined with their milestone gift to increase the value of recognition points earned. 


Adding or transitioning to a social recognition platform from a traditional choice program may require a small implementation time period. 

The time & bandwidth required to add a new social recognition program may vary depending on multiple factors. Which data is currently being shared with MTM, and how many ‘bells & whistles’ the initial rollout will include could change the timeline. For clients who use the simplest options, the implementation timeline may be as quick as a couple of weeks. For those who may want to add a peer-to-peer program, a newsfeed, and enable SSO (Single Sign-On), the implementation timeline may be closer to six weeks. 


There’s no right or wrong way to offer service milestone gifts for your employees. But thanks to the greater variety of gifts, more inclusive nature of the program, and detailed reporting capabilities, including a social recognition platform alongside your service awards is the absolute best bang for your buck. Contact us today to get started with transitioning your traditional choice program to a more modern cloud-based platform. Your employees will thank you! 


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