Many companies don’t have an effective long service awards programme. If they even have one at all.
A lot of long service schemes focus on years of service that don’t even feel achievable for new staff. 10, 20 years of service.
And the rewards for long tenure are often underwhelming for employees that do last decades with the same company.
At the same time, employees still expect to see recognition, and earlier than you think.
Most employees anticipate some recognition for long service after just one year of service.
Knowing you need to recognise staff for long service is one thing. Knowing what works as long service award is something else though.
Employees are individuals. They have broad interests and varied personalities. Employers often find themselves at a loss when it comes to finding loyal service awards that actually work.
Instead of trying to find a single catch-all item which you can deploy for any employee, focus on variety and flexibility. Give your staff the chance to choose.
10 GIFT IDEAS FOR LONG SERVICE AWARDS
Experiences are a thrilling way to celebrate long serving employees. This could include VIP sporting events, supercar experiences, spa days, skydiving or animal encounters.
Merchandise is a big tent. It could include your own products, bicycles, tech, hampers, wine, or watches.
The tricky part of choosing to reward with merchandise is getting the item exactly right.
For an effective long service award, you’ll need to have an intimate knowledge of what an employee is interested in. And know what items in that niche would be valuable to them.
3. Letter of thanks
A letter of appreciation from senior management makes it clear to an employee that their service is noted, welcome, and valued.
While verbal recognition of their longevity in service is important, a physical token can be cherished. It serves as a continual reminder of the employee’s value.
4. Gift vouchers
Paper vouchers remain a massively popular item for our business clients for almost any reward and gift. Easy to buy, easy to give, easy for your staff to understand.
However, their effectiveness as business rewards can dwindle in some situations. When you’re measuring loyalty in decades, there are better options.
5. Gift cards
Gift cards have the advantage of functioning like vouchers without worrying about keeping a massive physical stock of paper.
They offer greater flexibility over vouchers in presentation, and in the amounts you want to reward.
6. Digital reward codes
Digital reward codes are simple and flexible.
While you’re trading off a small amount of the tangibility of vouchers and cards, the choice available is unmatched by other options.
Codes make it simple to issue long service awards to remote workers, or international workers. And you always have the option to back it up with a letter, verbal recognition or a certificate.
It’s natural for staff to ask for cash, and it makes gifts easy, but be wary.
Cash is taxed, and doesn’t feel as prized or special as compared to non-cash gifts. Cash is subject to all the same anxieties and stresses as monthly pay, unlike a special one-off gift.
We always recommend staying with non-cash long service awards.
8. Certificates or plaques
A certificate or award is a good physical token of the value of an employee’s longevity.
Whether they stay in the office or go on the mantelpiece, they’re a constant reminder of the company’s positive attitude towards the employee.
Travel is a great way to reward your valuable and loyal employees for long service.
Send your employee off for a weekend city break or a tranquil country retreat they’ve been thinking about for years.
10. Time off
A sabbatical is a great way to reward your longest-serving employees.
It gives them a chance to take a step back, recharge, and even work on some personal projects.
Alternatively, you could offer your tenured employee the chance to work on an deploying an internal project. Something that would be useful and effective but you struggle to find the time to develop.
Over to you
If your head is swimming, it kind of should be. Maintaining a huge catalogue of long service awards is no fun.
Instead of trying yourself, outsource it. Either let someone else manage a reward catalogue, or buy multi-retailer products so your staff can choose for themselves.