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Are Your Long Service Rewards Ready for 2024?

09 January 2024
Are your long service rewards ready for 2024?

Elaine Keep

It’s a new year and time for new resolutions, from attending the gym or reading that novel. But the most profitable and important change could be when you update your long service awards.

If you only give long service awards when an employee hits 5 years, 10, or even longer, you’re missing out. Most employees leave before they even make 10 years and a UK study of over 1000 people revealed that 1 in 5 people haven’t stayed with a single employer for more than two years.

“Good! I’m saving loads on long service awards!” you may say. True, but you’re also losing the chance to retain employees, and this is a huge issue. In fact, CIPD stats show the average turnover for UK workers is 35% and this churn has hidden costs, from recruitment fees and time spent sourcing and training new employees. The average cost? Around one-third of each lost employees’ annual salary, according to the Work Institute.

Ready to stem churn and engage employees? Use these tips to reboot your long service for 2024.

Tip 1: Reward employee service sooner

Did you know almost 83% of employees feel recognition affects their motivation? Yet some businesses save thanks for Christmas and long service for 10 years. It’s no wonder great team members are unhappy and leave sooner than they should.

Happiness is a significant factor in tenure, and as we know, employees aren’t sticking around for long. Small and achievable long service awards keep motivation high and can be calendarised, ensuring every employee is recognised at least once a year, hopefully more.

We asked followers on social media to tell us about experiences and believe many companies are significantly under-recognising.

“In my first job, I saw it was my 12 month work anniversary and emailed my boss as I was quite excited! I’m not sure what I expected, maybe a well done or something about my work. He came to my desk and said ‘we don’t mark off the days and years here.’ I was so embarrassed. I never mentioned it again.”

“I did 4 years at a business and one day noticed I never got much thanks for anything. In fact, it seemed the longer I stayed, the worse I was treated. My family agreed I was being taken for granted, so I left, but the company was stunned.”

“In my sector head-hunting is common. I had been so loyal to a smaller family business for 5 years, but one day I realised there was no difference if I did 5 years or 50. I saw other companies doing huge trips and treats as well as smaller rewards. I was getting a salary and that was it. It did put me in a mindset that I should just look after myself and move on.”

Tip 2: Offer significant yet small treats

86% of HR professionals say a recognition programme makes their employees happier.

Happiness is a significant factor for today’s employees, and rightly so! When employees aren’t sticking around for long, small yet significant long service awards can make a huge difference.

You could reward them with a gift card of choice after training, finishing probation, at the end of a project or when they meet a 6 or 12-month anniversary.

Imagine a year where you get a treat for onboarding, you get a little gift card for a coffee after you pass probation, your 6 month service anniversary is marked, and your 12 months, and you can also recall the bonus points and treats you got for great work, a big project, a new innovative idea. We bet you’d be keen to stay for the next milestone moment. It’s a well rounded strategy for success.

Tip 3: Promote your awards as accessible and achievable

44% of employers admit that their staff are not fully aware of the benefits they offer.

Does your team know about your long service awards? Because they aren’t tied to specific achievements, just loyalty, long service awards are the ultimate inclusive award, so promote them during recruitment, onboarding and also shout out everyone celebrating a milestone. From your Slack to your newsletters, get a buzz about the place.

Tip 4: Personalise your rewards and show you care

Manager relationships account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. Show employees they are valued with award personalisation!

We all focus on the treat, but it’s often the personalised words of thanks, encouragement, recognition that mean the most. A quick dive into Reddit reveals much appreciation across the world for the personal touch.

  • “The best thing you could do would be to write sincere notes of appreciation.”

  • “As in life, it's generally the things without the price tag that are valued the most in the long run.”

  • “Say thanks. Sound like you mean it. Job done.”

Plus, if your reward is shared online (as a form of advocacy of your business) it’s been shown it can extend your organic reach by 200% and increase profitability by 23%! It’s well worth investing in the personal touch.

Ready to make a change?

Elevate your employee recognition with our personalised digital or physical rewards that excite and delight those making a difference in your business, offering plenty of desirable options for your entire workforce, irrespective of demographics, all with no minimum spend or fees, and complemented by free personalisation and design support, because isn't it time your long service awards had a revamp?