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Engagement & Performance

Choosing Long Service Rewards

Staff retention is a big issue at the moment, regardless of the current pressures like job uncertainty and redundancy, how do you ensure you reward long service in a way that makes employees feel really valued, and what's the right reward?

What works for long service awards?

The days of being handed a carriage clock after 20 or so years’ service are a thing of the past, particularly in our industry. Employees are just not engaged by these sorts of products anymore.

And there are three reasons why:

  • they only appeal to a very small percentage of people
  • they're predictable
  • and let's be honest, they're not particularly useful

So Which Rewards Should You Use?

You'll be pleased to know there's no fixed answer. But when you're deciding which awards to give employees at specific milestones during their time with your company, allowing them the freedom to choose is arguably the most appealing. Let's consider. You have a diverse workforce in age, sex and lifestyle, how would you find something that would suit everyone. The answer is, you can't. So don’t try!

We use AwardperQs at BI WORLDWIDE, our online reward solution we also offer to our clients. But anything that gives the freedom on choice will do. This way it's not the organisation deciding what their employees would like most, but the employee choosing something that suits them and what's happening at that time of their life. However, a word of warning. You musn't forget the personal thank you from the MD, which can arguably be worth more than any 48" TV. No, really it is.

There is little doubt that long service awards would help to retain employees.

How do these relate to when you award them (ie.after six months or 20 years)?

At BI WORLDWIDE, we use the same type of product to reward each landmark, but with each increment the value increases to signify that employee’s length of service and commitment to the company. For example, someone reaching five years could purchase a pair of tickets for a rugby match, whereas someone reaching 20 years of service could purchase a night for two in a five-star hotel anywhere in the world. 

The industry in which BI WORLDWIDE operates has a fairly high staff turnover compared to some others, and so we consider five years service a significant length of time and one that deserves recognition, from this point forward employees are rewarded for their service in five year increments, up to 30 years’ service.

Is there really any measurable value in giving out long service awards, and do they have any impact on performance or staff retention?

It is difficult to measure the value of long service rewards in staff retention, although there is little doubt that they play an integral part in engaging employees and recognising and rewarding over the time with the company. Indeed, feedback from employees at BI WORLDWIDE has indicated that long service awards are highly valued. In cases where the reward fits the audience, and is motivating and engaging to them, then there is little doubt that long service awards would help to retain employees, as they demonstrate that the organisation cares for and values its employees, and wants to reward their loyalty and commitment to the company.

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