Skip to content

The Importance and History of Service Milestone Awards

In the early 1940s, one of the most famous behavioral psychologists, B.F. Skinner, initiated his lifelong study of operant conditioning. His experiments were straightforward and the results were simple: A behavior that is rewarded will be repeated, while a behavior that is not rewarded will fade away. This may have been a new and controversial thought at the time, but it seems common knowledge in today’s world. It is understood that the best way to increase a behavior is to reward it. As the science of operant conditioning spread, one of the areas affected by its ideology was that of recognition within the workplace.

The first true form of an official recognition program was celebrating employees’ tenure. Service awards remain the most popular form of employee recognition, with a long history, dating back over 50 years. But as society advances, organizations look far different today than they did 50 years ago. Check out our infographic below to see how service awards started, and where they’ve gone.


The service award programs today play a vital role in your employee recognition and engagement suite, which is why maintaining an updated and modern offering is so important to retaining employees.

Here are three benefits of giving your service awards program a little love:

  1. Your employees will feel valued for their contributions! Keeping an updated and modern program will give your employees the most the world has to offer, and makes sure they select a gift that will help them feel valued.
  2. Your employees will value their anniversaries all the more. An excellent updated service award program will make your employees look forward to that next milestone, and keep it in mind for years to come.
  3. They can combine rewards from multiple recognition opportunities, like through a points platform such as Carousel! Adding those service points to other awards, such as peer-to-peer or wellness, can offer the opportunity for an even bigger reward!

If you’re interested in updating your service award program, reach out and we’d love to discuss how to start your program or improve upon an existing program.

Contact Us

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top