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Longevity Rewards: Best Practices and Pitfalls to Avoid

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Corporate loyalty is not that common these days. The days of being able to guarantee someone a job for 20 years are over, and workers know they have many opportunities to move to other companies. So those who stay should be duly rewarded.

When looking for a job, people look for a company with an attractive culture, a good salary and close to home. However, in a competitive market, an attractive benefits package can be the deciding factor in someone choosing your company - and long service bonuses can play an important role in this.

Deciding which long-term benefits to offer will take time to pay off, but as part of a long-term strategy, it is an important part of employee satisfaction and retention.

Expectations have changed and gold watches are no longer so fashionable. So what else can you offer? And why should you do it at all?

Why should you reward long-term performance?

First of all, it's a nice thing to do. It is a way to thank employees for their dedication and loyalty that has helped your company survive and thrive to this day.

Some employees say they don't like it when people make such a fuss about them, but secretly everyone is happy to at least be recognized for their efforts.

It is an opportunity that boosts everyone's morale and gives everyone the opportunity to reflect on their long-term contribution. However, it is important to give the right gift.

What should you give as a reward for many years of cooperation?

There are various ideas for employee gifts, from the meaningful to the mundane - choose carefully.


Everyone loves money. In fact, some of us love it so much that we go to work every day to earn it.

However, rewarding money for long service isn't always a good idea, for one simple reason: taxes. It would be considered a bonus, meaning it would have to be taxed and reported to HMRC.

Gift vouchers

Gift cards are like money, but you can redeem them in fewer places.

They are a useful way to give a reward a monetary value without it being cash. This allows you to give big money in a visible way to those who truly deserve it, and they have some flexibility in how they spend it.

It is your responsibility to choose an appropriate reward for the employee and show them that you know more than the bare minimum about their preferences. A £500 voucher for Nando's might not go down well with the vegan in the office; a poorly chosen gift will offend rather than delight him.

You can get creative - think beyond Argos and perhaps opt for experiences. Travel vouchers, wellness days or experience gifts such as driving a Ferrari or whiskey tours are simply more fun.

Gadgets and gizmos

These are often a more fashionable way to show gratitude than an old-fashioned watch or cufflinks. Many people would be very happy to have an iPad or a fancy phone. But it's a little impersonal, and while it may be high quality, it can be seen as lacking in effort and not very thoughtful.

Company logos with trademarks

It's easy and fairly cheap to order a sweater or tie with your company logo. But will the employee really appreciate it? Even if it's something fancy like a set of golf clubs or a fountain pen, he probably won't be happy about it.

If I wrote for IceHrm for the next 20 years and Gary (the CEO) gave me a IceHrm pen and a t-shirt, I wouldn't be very happy. It would probably end up in a box in the attic, next to old cell phone chargers and worn socks. There's something better than corporate junk - sorry, merchandise.

Additional annual leave

We saved the best until last. As you know, we're big fans of taking vacations.

If you have been with the company for a long time, you usually get more vacation, but here too there is a limit - 5 days per year more than for new employees, for example. But a gift of a decent portion of free time is greatly appreciated by all but the most avid workaholics. You could give them away all at once or add them to your annual pocket money over the course of the year.

I don't want to get too maudlin, but free time spent with friends and family is something to be treasured. What could be better than relaxing with your favorite people? This could be the best gift of all.

A particularly generous company might even offer a sabbatical. An example of this is Dennis Publishing, which pursues a fairly progressive sabbatical policy. After 5 years of service, employees can either take 6 weeks of paid time off or receive 6 weeks of additional salary (or a combination of both). Sabbaticals are a great way to relax, reflect on your career and gain new experiences - we think they're a great idea.

Whether it's an extended vacation or a personal development opportunity, a break from work can be a life-enhancing gift for a long-time employee. Let them feel your gratitude - they deserve it.

As organizations strive to retain top talent, IceHrm offers comprehensive solutions to enhance employee satisfaction and retention. From customizable benefits packages to streamlined HR processes, IceHrm empowers businesses to reward loyalty and drive long-term success.

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