How long service awards can be the key to retaining employees

Thursday, 21 July 2011 02:35

How long service awards can be the key to retaining employees

How long service awards can be the key to retaining employees

In years gone by, the gold watch on retirement was something most workers aspired to, but that was in an era when it was not uncommon for people to spend their whole career with the same employer.

Things are very different now and in the 40 years or so between finishing education and retiring, an individual could easily have ten or more employers.

The availability of other jobs and the ability to move companies for what may be a greater salary or the perception of better long-term prospects is great for employees – but not so good for business owners.

Having a high turnover of staff can cause real problems for companies, as recruitment and training are both expensive and having key positions filled by inexperienced workers can lead to a drop in the service levels provided to customers.

One cost-effective way of persuading good staff members to stay loyal to your company is to set up reward schemes that see them presented with gifts at regular intervals.

You do not have to wait until they are approaching retirement to show your staff how much their efforts are appreciated. It is possible to arrange incentive schemes that reward workers for every five or ten years of service.

There are a range of options available for gifts, including electrical goods, vouchers, prepaid cards that can be used at specific retailers or personalised mementos. The rewards do not always need to be particularly expensive, as the gesture of showing staff members they are valued can help to strengthen employee-employer relationships.

Some workers will be motivated to stay in their job for a prolonged period by the gifts themselves, but that is not the only benefit of schemes that reward long service.

In addition to building loyalty among the workforce and improving staff retention levels, they help to make employees feel more satisfied in their job, which can lead to increased productivity levels and a feeling of pride in the company which will come through in their dealings with clients.

Setting up a long service awards scheme is simple to do. There are companies that specialise in supplying the gifts for employee rewards programmes and their staff will be able to provide you with some advice.

The one thing you will need to research is whether your scheme complies with HM Revenue and Customs guidelines for long service awards.



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