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Do Long Service Awards still have value?


The employment market has changed drastically over the last decade. Gone are the days when employees stay with one company for their entire career and that is especially true for millennials. As the largest generation in the workforce today, millennials have embodied the term ‘job hopper’. The general tenure for a millennial employee is two years, compared to seven years for a baby boomer.

So with all these changes in the labour market, the idea of recognising an employee’s length of service might seem rather redundant. We are extremely proud to have celebrated numerous 5 year, 10 year and 15 year Long Service Awards this year, with more to come in 2016. We have found that Long Service Awards are still considered one of the most important recognition tools for our people. So what are the benefits of Long Service Awards?

Motivating and Engaging staff

Long service awards can go a long way in motivating and engaging staff. In Mindpearl offices outside Australia where Long Service Leave is not legislated one of the Long Service benefits we offer our employees is an increase in their annual leave with every year of service. This is a benefit that we have found genuinely motivates our people, as it adds value to their lives. When a benefit adds value to an employee’s life, the reward is appreciated so much more. People want to work for a company that cares about their wellbeing.

Rewarding Loyalty and Commitment to the business

Long Service Awards might seem like a thing of the past, but I feel they still have an important role to play in rewarding loyalty and commitment to the business. We have found that symbolic value is as important as the actual value of the award itself. A personalised award, presented and received in front of senior management and peers carries a great deal of weight. It shows the company has taken the time to recognise the value the individual has added and continues to add to the business.

Retention

Previously it was common for employers to reward individuals with a Long Service Award after 25, 30 or 40 years, however such tenures are now rare. The milestones for Long Service recognition have been reduced in most industries, to adapt to the millennials. Some industries have even started rewarding from year one. This short term approach can bring with it several benefits, including retention. With the cost of recruitment and retention increasing annually, it only makes sense to invest in retaining your best talent.

Strengthens the Culture of an Organisation

Recognition of Long Service also strengthens the culture of the organisation and shows that the employer values loyalty. When employees are recognised for their years of loyal service and the value they bring to the organisation, it sends a clear message not only to the individual being celebrated, but to all staff. We have found internal brand adoption easier, as our people are more motivated to live out the values of the company when they feel a sense of pride and community within their own workplace.

While the milestones for qualification have shifted to adapt to the changes in the labour market, I firmly believe the value of Long Service Awards have increased for the individual, but also for the business as a whole. This has been affirmed through so many Long Service Award recipients within our own organisation during the past year, including myself.

 

Author: Karin Dale | 25 November 2015
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