career celebrations: connecting the dots with millennials

By in Appreciation, Celebrate Careers, and Recognition Strategies
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By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the U.S. Workforce. With this changing dynamic, it’s more important now than ever to recognize how trends have shifted when it comes to employee tenure. Millennials live in a competitive work environment where we are ready to jump to the next big opportunity that will improve our current status.

Because of this, the average tenure for Millennials is 4.5 years. That’s much shorter than our parents, who have stuck with one to two jobs for the majority of their 30+ year careers. As a result, 1, 3, and 5 year anniversaries are more vital than ever in recognizing the contributions of the younger population. Now is the time you need to invest in your younger workforce through consistent and authentic recognition highlighted with service award anniversaries that reinforce contributions over time. I’m here to tell you, it works.

My 1-year anniversary presentation and Yearbook wasn’t just about celebrating an anniversary – it was about connecting the dots of an entire year of my contributions and becoming a part of the culture of O.C. Tanner.

I had a mix of excitement and nerves when I started at O.C. Tanner—feelings that I carried into my first year with the company. I was challenged to grow and to learn where I fit in. I constantly reflected on who I wanted to become and what mark I wanted to make within my team and the company. As a 20-something post-college hire, I wanted to prove that I was capable and deserved to be here.

What I noticed almost immediately was that none of my achievements went unnoticed—something that was lacking in my previous job. My coworkers recognized me for accomplishing tight deadlines, providing great work, and even simply having a good attitude. My manager made sure that I was appreciated for my contributions, especially for the projects that took a bit longer or were harder to accomplish.

When I received my Yearbook during my one-year service anniversary, I instantly felt special. This wasn’t just a brochure filled with awards for me to choose from, it was a personalized message just for me, highlighting my first year of experiences and accomplishments. My Yearbook was a tangible reminder of the recognition that had been reinforced all year by my manager and coworkers.

It included photos and heartfelt messages from my manager and coworkers. Some of the comments from my team included:

“You care about everyone on the team. You care about what you do and doing a good job. It’s just who you are, and it always shows. You make everyone feel good around you.”

“Your enthusiasm, kindness, and bright spirit draw people to you. You over-deliver on commitments and have earned the trust and respect of everyone you’ve worked with this past year. You are amazing.”

It is a great feeling to read comments like these from the people you work with and hold in such a high regard. Their comments made me feel like my contributions matter and that I absolutely belong – from the job that I do daily, to the team I work with, to making a difference for the company.

Next to some of the team photos, is a quote from our founder, Obert C. Tanner:

“May you never find another place that treats you with more dignity.”

I can genuinely say because of my service award celebration I feel respected and honored by my manager and coworkers, which reflects on the company as a whole. As a result, I feel a long term commitment to my team and O.C. Tanner. Even though the Millennial statistics are against me, I see myself investing years with this company as an opportunity to work somewhere that wants me to succeed and grow.

My 1-year Yearbook now sits on my desk as a representation of how big an impact consistent and authentic recognition can have one person’s tenure.

By nicole maddy
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Comments (1)
Callie Apt

These are great insights into the Millennial generation and what career achievement means to them! Well done, Nicole! I cannot wait to see what you accomplish in years to come at O.C. Tanner.

March 4, 2015   |   Reply
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