(Updated for 2019) What does your business offer when it comes to long service rewards? Whilst we all know and read about the benefits of the per
(Updated for 2019)
What does your business offer when it comes to long service rewards? Whilst we all know and read about the benefits of the perks and benefits associated with day to day working life – it’s hard to know what the very best employers are doing when it comes to long service. If you need ideas for a long service award, this is the post for you.
Research undertaken by XpertHR suggests that under two-thirds (63%) of companies offer long-service awards, and none of the policies went up to 64 years of service. With millennials moving jobs every few years, reaching the requisite time of 20 years for a long service award may seem a huge target!
So – what ideas are possible for long service? If your parents or grandparents got given a clock, you might think long service is a bit ‘dusty’. However, saying thank you is never unappreciated, the only thing that needs to change is the reward. Here are some ideas.
A bonus payment
A bonus payment can be tricky for employers to get a handle on. Some people like to earmark certain values – for example, £5000 for 50 years service – and others have suggested a bonus of 150% of the employee’s monthly salary – but this does have dangers if it doesn’t represent a prize on par with their salary, position and standing. Don’t forget to take into account that HM Revenue and Customs will be taking tax and a report on this, unless the reward is less than £50 for each year of service – eg £1350 for 40 years service.
Gift Cards and Vouchers
Again, for gift vouchers, it’s well worth going above the £500 mark, but it depends on their current remuneration. For many employers, gift cards represent a great purchase in that they have that ‘high ticket’ value, but also represent choice. They can also be personalised – perhaps to a designer store, a luxury outlet or even something that can benefit the day to day, like a supermarket gift card.
Many employees approaching retirement are obviously keen to keep up their working hours until their final salaries kick in, but much needed rest can be a great treat. What about an approved sabbatical? You could even tie this in with events hosted by your business if you have global locations. Many people would love the chance to be sent across the world to see another area of the business in action and you would get something from it too! You might also tie in annual leave with travel, perhaps a Travel Gift Card – or an experience! From a chocolate tasting in Hamburg to some extra time off each day, there’s plenty to consider.
• An approved sabbatical
• A trip locally – see experiences or choose a mini break
• A trip abroad – What about a trip on the Eurostar?
• A trip to a business villa or property in a different city
• Gift vouchers towards things to do on extra annual leave
• Travel gift vouchers can be used to present the extra time off
• You could also wrap up a novel, a book and some sunglasses/ sun cream as a quirky nod to the extra time off!
• Perhaps they want to get away but struggle? Maybe a rail card or a fuel card could help?
• You could also consider Micro Annual leave – every day bonuses such as arriving 15 minutes later in the mornings or having an extended lunch.
If can be a wonderful gift if someone is a real wine aficionado to recieve a custom vintage wine, although picking can be the thing most people tend to find complicated and confusing. Perhaps the idea of a bottle of wine could be tied in with an experience of wine tasting? Vintage ports can also be a great idea and are readily available. Why not deliver with a gift hamper of cheese and biscuits?
• A bottle of port with cheese and crackers
• A vintage wine or champagne
• A personalised fine dining experience complete with alcohol
• A personalised bottle
• A vintage from their start date of employ/ present date to be enjoyed later
• An alcoholic hamper
• A range of spirits and a cocktail making kit/ book
• A paid for night out as a team
• A ‘make your own gin’ day
• A whiskey/ wine tasting experience
An event or an experience
An event or an experience is a great way to commemorate years of hard work. For example at Sodexo people who have been with the business for 20 years are treated to a cruise on the Bayeaux London on the Thames, as well as a trip on the London Eye.
You might choose to treat colleagues to a reward they can enjoy with a chief executive or their team, or something they can enjoy with a loved one. An event really is unforgettable and this can be a lot of fun to choose! What about diving with sharks, or scuba, segway – even a bungee? Makes sure you know the person really well (and keep an eye out for potential medical issues) and an event could be something everyone enjoys.
• High tea
• Champagne dinner
• Make your own gin
• Cinema tickets
• Subscription services
• Whiskey tasting
• A cruise or boat trip
• Day trip/ weekend break – UK or Europe
• Sporting or ‘bucket list’ activity
• A long lunch
• Hosted buffet
Pens and watches used to be the ‘gold standard’ in long service and the branding of a stunning Parker pen, a moleskin notebook or a beautiful timepiece would be well worth working towards. In today’s digital world it may seem like something a bit past it’s prime, but the key is personalisation. If your employee really would love a stunning watch, or prides themselves on attending each meeting with a beautiful jotter, then anything personalised is the gift that will really deliver. Use someone accredited by the BPMA – they uphold a strict code of conduct that members must adhere to so you can be sure they are to a good standard.
• A moleskin notebook or a book that’s important to them
• A Parker pen
• A branded watch – eg designer with an inscription
• Branded leather goods
• A leather suitcase or briefcase
• Sunglasses case
• Travel card holder
• Branded cufflinks or a broach
• A silk scarf with initials
Gadgets and Games
If you worry that a pen wouldn’t hit the mark, what about a gadget? From speakers or a TV to a laptop or a tablet, a gadget could be one to consider. However, consider the longevity of a piece. We all have a drawer full of tech that is long past it’s sell by date that was once our pride and joy!
• A fitness watch or a bike
• A special watch – eg suitable for diving
• Gadgets particular to a hobby – eg an indoor golf screen, a projector for the home
• A subscription – eg Netflix, Spotify, a magazine, National Trust / local sight seeing spots
Whatever you choose, consider the HM Revenue and Customs’ advice that a long service award means that they have worked for you for at least 20 years and that you have not given them a long-service award in the past 10 years. After that, there will be tax implications!
If the list has you even more confused – remember that the bottom line is that choice is now king. By having a fair, understood banding for the value of each landmark, each long service a reward can even be chosen by the recipient themselves. This might require a system that alerts, organises or enables this to happen, or you might do it yourself. If you do decide to do it yourself, you can be assured that after a minimum of 20 years, there will be plenty of happy anecdotes and moments you can draw on for inspiration.
Also – don’t forget to document the experience! Whether it is the ceremony of a bottle and a certificate through to a video link of waving off an employee on a sabbatical trip to Tokyo – everyone loves to celebrate success and this can be incredibly motivating to the next generation at work.
Of all the employee gifts to purchase, long service awards are the most fun –so enjoy it!