The days of loyal employees sticking around for years appear to be a thing of the past. All evidence suggests that American workers are always looking for different or better job opportunities.
According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average annual turnover rate in 2021 was 47.2%. Additionally, the data showed that 31% of new employees left their jobs after six months. This is a huge problem for American employers because of the time and money it costs to recruit and hire new employees.
Solutions? Employers should offer service awards as an incentive to accumulate time. Does it work? Evidence suggests that employee extras beyond salary will move the retention arrow in the right direction.
To assist you in the decision-making process related to covering service awards, here are five potential benefits you and your company might derive from doing so.
1. Improve Retention
It can get quite expensive to recruit and train new employees. When employee retention starts slipping, two things need to happen. First, causation needs to be identified. Second, measures need to be put in place to stop bleeding.
One of the easiest changes to make is beefing up what is being offered to employees in terms of extras. Sometimes, a little recognition can go a long way to improve employee satisfaction. Nothing says “thank you” for sticking around more than awards for periods of service. If said awards are monetized, that will help improve retention even more.
2. Foster Appreciation Among Employees
Supervisors and managers will consistently note how little employees seem to appreciate having their jobs. Yes, this is a possible problem. However, the underlying issue often points to employees themselves feeling underappreciated.
Anything a company can do to show appreciation for employee efforts will add time to service. Awards for years of service are good places to start. Beyond this option, other employee offerings include bonuses, extra time off, participation in charitable activities, and company outings to promote relationship-building among employees and managers.
3. Create Motivation to Keep Driving Forward
Once employees get entrenched in their current jobs, motivating them to keep producing at a high level becomes increasingly difficult. Annual raises will only help if they are expected. The same thing could be said of bonus programs if the company has a history of paying bonuses.
The motivation to keep driving forward until promotions become available comes from little things the company can do to make employees feel valued. Service awards can help do that. If they are designed to improve incrementally over time, that alone could motivate employees to keep working toward the next level.
4. Improve Recruiting Efforts
There is a difference between recruiting employees who just want a job and those that are looking for a career. In the corporate world, employers should be trying to recruit people who fall in the latter category.
If a company wants employees to come aboard and stick around for the duration, they must present prospects with a bundle of benefits that screams, “We want you to make this your career.” As part of the recruitment package, there is nothing wrong with letting prospects know that the company is proud to recognize employees who work hard and remain loyal. The mention of awards for years of service should be included in the recruitment package.
5. Improve Productivity
Experienced employees are far more productive than employees who are being trained. That’s why it’s so important to focus on retention numbers. Employee awards can motivate good workers to stay the course, which will always translate to better productivity within the company.
Conclusion: As you are putting together programs of appreciation for employees, remember to create a way to recognize loyal employees. When employees are handed awards for years of service, you see on their faces how much of an impact such awards can make.