Why Loyal Service Awards don’t have to be long
It’s often cited that Long Service Awards no longer have a place in today’s world of work. The traditional carriage clock or pen, given in recognition of a long employment service of maybe 10, 15 or 20 years, is no longer appropriate with changing jobs every few years now commonplace.
However, the principle of an award, where it was not the monetary value of the item itself that was prized, but rather recognition of commitment and loyalty to the company, is still relevant. The clock or pen represented a public statement that the employee was valued.
“Job-hopping” – the new norm?
Today, more people are looking to change jobs every few years for different opportunities, challenges or simply more money. While job-hopping can mean a steady wage increase and better career prospects, for an employer, it can result in higher employee turnover, costs of recruitment and possibly unrest amongst those who choose to stay. Keeping your employees loyal has become the new challenge.
With this concept of ‘job for life’ no longer expected – or even sought after, does this make the long service award redundant?
It’s not just about turning up for work
It’s clear that the concept of long service needs to be re-imagined. In industry sectors where high employee turnover is a real problem, such as retail or hospitality, many employers are awarding long service awards after just a couple of years to help with employee motivation and retention. Some organisations are even introducing first year congratulations.
In these instances, recognition for years of turning up for work regularly is no longer relevant, what we are really talking about is rewarding loyalty aligned to the specific needs of individual businesses.
A job well done
Maybe we should take this a step further – recognising your employees for their commitment and performance, rather than simply attendance.
There’s no doubt that recognising employees for a job well done (whether from a peer or a manager) with an email, in a newsletter or even on the traditional canteen notice board, has been proven to boost morale, engagement and even improve productivity and customer service.
Something for everyone
Which brings me back to the carriage clock – it’s important to make your recognition tangible with a reward, to give it value and desirability. Of course, these days a carriage clock would not pass muster as a reward. The key is to give something that is valued by your employees and since everyone is different, with unique circumstances, this means providing a choice. To be successful, a reward programme needs to ensure that there really is something for everyone.
Make the tech do the hard work
The challenge for any company that wishes to reward service or performance, and one that often delays introducing a programme, is how to administer it. Especially if it means asking your already busy HR team to take on additional tasks to manage and track employee anniversary dates, performance and collate feedback.
This is where technology can help. An automated system, once updated with your employee data, can highlight anniversaries and help to administer rewards. It can provide a platform with a bulletin board or “social wall” to share achievements of your star performers and a place where they can select the reward that best fits their own personal circumstances and aspirations.
There’s no doubt that recognising loyal service has certainly come a long way from the humble carriage clock.
For more information about our “ereward” reward & recognition platform, or for further help engaging your employees, drop us an email at [email protected] or call us on: 01865 876696. It would be great to hear from you!