Ten Ways to Improve Your Long Service Award Programme

Posted in Celebrations, Awards and Events, Employee Engagement, Incentive and Recognition

by Iain Thomson on Jan 25, 2017 12:00:00 AM

Workers move on from jobs more than ever, so reward those who stick around

We may no longer have a ‘job for life’ but that doesn’t mean that the Long Service Award is dead. Long Service Awards are alive and kicking in most organisations, as they can be an effective way to reward and retain staff.

Despite Long Service Awards being aroundmany programmes are in need of a refresh to make more of the occasion, as well as make them more personal and, therefore, more effective. If your Long Service Awards need a refresh, then here are ten ways to revamp a tired programme:

1. Use it to achieve business goals

In many organisations, Long Service Awards are just something that is offered as a tick box exercise. But the important thing that many miss out on is aligning it to the values and goals of the organisation. Review your award scheme with these values and goals in mind, for example, if your organisation is suffering from high staff turnover then rewarding people as early as their first work anniversary can help address the problem.

2. Don’t celebrate the numbers

Behind every Long Service Award is a person and a personal story. While the work anniversary is important keep the recognition personal by sharing the recipient’s career highlights, friendships and personal achievements with their colleagues.

3. Give your Long Service Awards earlier

Too many organisations wait too long before awarding Long Service Awards to their employees. Depending on your industry you may get a better return on investment if you give your employees a Long Service Reward after three or five years rather than 10 or 20 years. We can benchmark your Long Service Awards against your industry.

4. Personalise it

All to often once the presentation has been made the anniversary is forgotten about. Give employees a permanent reminder of their years of service with a personalised letter and certificate. You can even ask colleagues, friends and mentors to write personal notes in a presentation book to give to your recipient.

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5. Communicate it

Recognition and rewards mean more when they are publicly communicated. So unless your employee is rather shy, share the work anniversary and the presentation with the whole of the organisation through emails, newsletters or a wall of fame.

6. Choose the right rewards

The days of the carriage clock have long gone. These days rewards need to be flexible to cope with a diverse workforce, that’s why gift vouchers, gift cards and Voucher Cheques are so popular. They offer something for everyone, and employees can choose a gift that that they and their family will enjoy and that will serve as a permanent reminder of the achievement.

7. Use it as a celebration

Involve recipients’ colleagues, friends, mentors and managers in the presentation to create a meaningful celebration of their commitment and achievement. By turning a Long Service Award presentation into an event people look forward to you’ll improve the morale of the whole organisation.

8. Don’t celebrate each work anniversary the same

Generally, as the number of years an employee has been with an organisation increases then so does the value of the reward. Treat those that have been with the organisation for ten years differently to those who are receiving a three-year anniversary reward.

9. Keep the administration simple

Keeping track of employees’ principal work anniversaries and organising rewards and presentations can be time-consuming. Keep the management simple to avoid overburdening your HR team, or outsource the administration to a dedicated team who can help your business

10. Create a Long Service Award Strategy

Building a Long Service Award programme isn’t just a one-off activity – it needs to be regularly reviewed to take account of changing business challenges, workforce demographics and innovation in the reward and recognition market. Create a strategy by regularly reviewing your programme so that it continues to meet the expectations and needs of your employees and your business.

 Square Pegs and Round Holes

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