employeeengagementLong service award schemes are alive and well as an important tool for recognizing loyalty but employers don’t believe they play a role in employee retention according to new research published today by Edenred.

The report, “The New Face of Long Service Awards”, found that the vast majority of organisations (83%) still give reward for long service and 58% of employers say they value them as part of the recognition mix but only 9% see long service awards as a driver of employee retention.

The research also found that reward for long service starts at five years for around half of employees (53%) and only 17% of employees have to wait longer than ten years for recognition of their loyalty.

Despite a commitment to investing in recognition for long service, the research found employers falling short when it comes to communicating and celebrating the reward.

Around a third of employers (35%) said their employees didn’t know when they were eligible for rewards while 68% said the awards weren’t celebrated within the business. Nearly four in ten (39%) of employers said they did not give a personal thank you with their long service reward and barely half involve a manager in the recognition process (51%).

Employers are still relying on physical gifts for their reward (49%) with 21% of organisations saying they use cash and 37% saying the use gift cards.

Despite the changing working patterns and demographics in the workplace with a wider age range between younger and older employees, over half of organisations (54%) said they hadn’t reviewed their strategy for long service awards in the past five years.

Colin Hodgson, sales director for reward and recognition at Edenred said:

“Our research shows that although the idea of recognising employee contribution through long service is alive and well, there is an opportunity for many organisations to look at how their investment can have a bigger impact for employer and employee.

Focusing on improving the three key areas of personalisation, communication and public recognition can have a major positive impact on effectiveness and impact of long service schemes.

We think there’s an opportunity for every employer to look again at their strategy around long service awards to make sure it meets the changing expectations of employees and the needs of their organisation.”