According to a 2013 employer survey conducted by Accelir, a human resource strategy advisory firm, 91 percent of companies include a service rewards program as part of their employee benefits package. In addition to traditional milestone awards for five, 10 and 20 years of employment, many of these companies are beginning to recognize employees after as little as one year of service.
It’s a smart trend considering the generational transition occurring in today’s workforce. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average tenure at U.S. jobs is currently less than five years. And the Millennial generation—born between 1981 and 1997—often stay with one employer for a maximum of three years.
While regular service rewards can boost employee engagement—and, therefore, productivity and profits—many companies put little thought into what their workers might actually want. They award customized pens, coffee mugs, and impersonal gift certificates—failing to maximize the potential benefits of their program as a result. Fortunately, there are other options. Consider these suggestions to get the most from your service rewards program.
- Make it personal – If you’re going to take the time to recognize an employee for his or her years of service, put some real effort into it. Boilerplate letters, cards or emails addressed to “valued employee” aren’t going to cut it. Whether you do it yourself or have your assistant tackle the task, purchase a unique card that suits your employee’s personality. Make sure you include a personalized note that proves you are aware of his or her individual contributions to the company.
- Give something they actually want – Sure, there are businesses out there that will provide you with a catalog of customizable service awards—from the aforementioned pens to wall plaques—and using them might make running your program a little easier. But you’re not going to get the results you want. Instead, find out what your employees really desire—then provide it. Take generational differences into account and stock up on a range of options.
- Offer more than service awards – If you’re only thanking your employees for their hard work every five years, your business is likely suffering the consequences of disengagement. Even annual recognition—while certainly something to look forward to—may not be enough. Instead, look for reasons for frequent celebrations. Everything from birthdays, weddings and new babies to the achievement of quarterly business goals can merit a party.
When you make employee recognition and appreciation a part of your company culture, your business will naturally benefit. For additional tips on enhancing your service rewards program or any of your other employee benefits, contact us today.