Long Service Awards and Why They Still Matter
Long-service awards are considered one of the most important forms of recognition because they reward staff for loyalty to the business.
- Awards may be offered after three, six or 12 months at organisations that recognise staff may not be in a role for long and have high staff turnover.
- Traditional gifts of clocks, pens and watches are still offered, but awards have evolved to include vouchers for travel and brand-name luxury goods.
- To motivate and engage staff while reinforcing the message of rewarding loyalty, employers must offer an award that is meaningful to the individual.
“Long-service awards still play an important role in motivating and engaging staff even if they seem like a thing of the past”, says Nick Hamilton, Managing Director at Inconnection.
Retaining top performing employees, especially in difficult economic conditions, becomes even more of a priority. Research shows that companies that develop a culture based on employee recognition and reward will be in a better position to thrive because employees remain more motivated and engaged. Rewarding loyalty and commitment to your business through long-service rewards is a vital recognition tool.
High Recruitment Cost
The costs of recruiting and retaining staff are as high as ever, so it makes sense to retain your best talent. Employees recognise the value of long-service awards as they see it as recognition of their continued commitment to your business and not only that, it shows them that your business values them and wants to retain them.
Long-service awards themselves have changed significantly in recent times. Previously it would have been usual for an employer to present a long-service award after 25, 30 or 40 years service. However, it is now common practice to recognise an employee for 3, 6 or 12 months’ service.
“The levels have certainly been reduced to keep the top performers and key people in the business, as opposed to expecting people to stay in the same position for 20 years”, says Nick Hamilton.
Whilst this short-term focus has developed, long-service awards are still given for 5, 10 and 15 years’ service. But during these struggling economic conditions, the award must be seen to have value to the employee in order to have the desired effect on motivation and engagement.
Employees will look for signs that they are valued when deciding whether to stay with the company. Long-service awards are an effective way of showing employees that they are both valued and valuable.
Rewards can take many forms, but it is the reason for giving them that is the most important factor in motivating employees. 67% of employees believe that a formal ‘thank you’ in front of colleagues is a worthy alternative if the current economic situation means an organisation cannot afford other incentive options.
Long-service awards act as a motivation lever for staff whilst strengthening the culture of your organisation and showing that you value the loyalty of your employees. By rewarding long-service it recognises an individual and their contribution to the business, and it demonstrates that your organisation is one that values people who are committed and add value to the business.