by Alex Palmer | September 26, 2014
The work anniversary reward is getting a social media upgrade. On Sept. 29, employee recognition firm Globoforce will launch a new service that uses social recognition technology to crowdsource work anniversary celebrations.

Called Service Timelines, the program aims to elevate the typical work anniversary announcement made in the office lunchroom or boardroom, in which a manager might make a brief speech and give the worker a pin for five years at the company. The new Globoforce offering expands this to allow colleagues, executives, and even the CEO to record and post videos, photos, or audio congratulating the worker or sharing a memory of his or her time with the organization. (A video demo of the program can be viewed here.)

These messages are posted to a recognition wall where other employees can view them and add their own comments or memories.

The new program was rolled out in conjunction with Globoforce's semi-annual "Workforce Mood Tracker" report, which analyzes the impact of work relationships on employee loyalty. Drawing on the responses of 716 respondents, the report found that years-of-service awards make a greater impact when a wider pool of colleagues are included and they build in social recognition.

 According to the findings, 63 percent of respondents said they felt appreciated at work when their work anniversaries were celebrated only with the company. A full 87 percent said they felt appreciated when their coworkers were also part of the celebration. When a worker was asked if he or she loved the company, felt highly engaged, and more valued, the same pattern occurred with employees expressing a stronger connection to their organizations when peers took part in recognizing them for their work anniversary.

Respondents expressed disengagement with traditional anniversary recognition, with 59 percent saying a basic acknowledgement from the company leadership of their time with the organization "changed nothing at all." When asked what type of anniversary celebration they prefer, the greatest number of respondents (45 percent) pointed to "shared memories and congratulations from co-workers and managers." This was followed by "being mentioned at an event or meeting" (20 percent), and "private congratulations from a manger alone" (17 percent).

The complete "Mood Tracker Fall 2014" Report can be found here.