How Long Service Awards can Reduce Employee Turnover

Danni Rush, COO of Virgin Incentives, the B2B arm of Virgin Experience Days, the UK’s leading provider of gift experiences


People appreciate it when their hard work has been recognised, whether that’s with a formal reward or a shout out thank you in a company-wide meeting. With talent retention an ongoing challenge for some businesses, for employees, it’s often the personal things and the culture that can really make a difference.

Thinking about how to reward and motivate your employees is a key priority for many businesses and HR leaders. It can help to reduce employee turnover and keep your best talent.  This can help to reduce costs long term, whilst also creating a more productive workplace where people feel valued and motivated. Increasingly these feelings of employee loyalty and value are fostered through environments that acknowledge and support employees’ lives outside of work – crucial elements for the financial services industry to also consider for their employee engagement strategies.

Retaining talent

Having a revolving door of employees simply impacts a business’s bottom line. Not only does it cost around £3000 to hire a new person when recruitment fees, advertising and temps are all accounted for, it could also make it harder for HR managers to recruit good employees in the future.

A great way to avoid this is to listen to your employees and their needs. People that feel valued and heard at work will also feel happier. Happier employees are  13 per cent more productive and more loyal. As such, business leaders need to consider what factors contribute to their employees’ happiness at work and what will make them want to stay longer.

Holding on to your top people

Many of the contributing factors to employee resignations are preventable. Adopting a bottom up listening approach is a great way for employers to hear what people want from work. They can then find ways to incorporate these into the company’s wider culture and strategy.

There are many practices that can be put in place to reduce employee turnover. By offering progression opportunities, regular check-ins and a range of rewards, employees will feel that their work and efforts are recognised by senior management and become more determined to succeed in the same company.

An open and transparent company culture is also key. It’s important to make sure employees feel comfortable at work and can express any concerns they may have. A positive company culture that encourages everyone to share their thoughts with managers and make constructive suggestions, will bode well for everyone.

Workplace benefits should also be offered to ensure that teams are getting the most out of their job and demonstrates that companies are committed to supporting and rewarding their people, even outside of work.

The value of long service rewards

With more employees only staying in their role for shorter periods of time, business leaders should invest in rewarding employees with long service awards and celebrate key milestones within the wider company.

When done right, rewarding people for staying at the same company for a number of years can lead to increased employee happiness, a better company culture, and help retain talent. Key work anniversaries are a cause for celebration and indicate to both new recruits and clients that you support your employees during their careers and are genuinely invested in their individual development.

To be effective, long service rewards should be tailored to reflect employee contributions. For instance, a person who’s been at the firm for five years should receive a different reward to someone who’s been there for 20 years. More importantly, employers should be considering – their employees’ personality, and their interest/ hobbies to choose a gift that will make a long lasting impact. Long service rewards are an opportunity for employers to show just how well they know their most loyal employees and offer them a unique gift that’s perfectly matched to their interests, such as a weekend away, dining experience or even flying lessons.

Appreciating your employees’ loyalty is a must-have for all sized businesses, as who doesn’t want to feel appreciated for their hard work? Employers should take this into consideration and focus on ways they can create a culture where employees are rewarded for their contributions and loyalty. Long service awards can lead to increased employee happiness, a more motivated workforce and better financial performance for the business overall.


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