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ResourceMFG | Manufacturing Workforce Specialists
9 ways to reward long-time manufacturing employees

Want to retain your most loyal manufacturing employees? You'll need to spend a little time perfecting your approach — and making sure they feel rewarded for being long-time members of your team. This shows them — and newer hires — that you recognize and appreciate loyalty, which can be good news for your reputation and your bottom line. Here are a few ways to treat loyal workers like the valuable people they are.

1) Take a creative approach to benefits
Benefits aren't all about pay. They're also about adding value to your manufacturing employees' work experience — so think beyond healthcare and PTO. You could offer company perks, unique discounts, tickets to local events and more. The idea is to make workers feel like their hard work has earned them a unique reward, so you may want to increase these benefits over time.

2) Make work a family affair
Long-time manufacturing employees may be interested in bringing their children or grandchildren into the company eventually. Give them that opportunity by offering referral bonuses (and maybe letting them help train their family members, too).

3) Consider offering sabbatical leave
Sabbaticals aren't just for scholars. Chron explains that sabbatical leave can be like an extended vacation for long-time workers. For example, once a manufacturing employee has worked with you for 10 years, they earn a six-month paid sabbatical.

4) Reward education
Although employees may be perfectly happy at your manufacturing organization, that doesn't mean they're done growing personally and professionally. Reward their educational undertakings by offering to reimburse certain student loan amounts or offering scholarships after 10 years of service.

5) Make work more fun
An exciting, engaging manufacturing environment benefits long-term employees and newer hires, which can increase retention across the board. According to Inc., you can implement tasks or challenges that encourage workers to be competitive without undermining their team spirit — for example, by offering a reward to the employee who completes the most tasks in a single day.

6) Offer intangible rewards
Another recommendation from Inc. explains that experiences are often an engaging way to reward long-term employees. You could offer dinner with higher management or the CEO as a sign of respect or a cruise for your worker and their significant other.

7) Give them their own space
Does your manufacturing workspace have room for another office? If so, you may consider giving your most loyal employees their own space (or better space, if they already have an office).

8) Create tiered telecommuting options
Since flexibility is all the rage right now, it's smart to use it to your advantage. If allowed by their workload and the nature of their role, try offering long-time manufacturing employees the chance to work from home. A tiered system rewards loyalty with more days for telecommuting.

9) Don't forget actual gifts
Although some of the most effective rewards are experiences, it's nice to get an actual gift now and again. Reward your manufacturing employees with gift cards, tech equipment or a high-end item that will show your appreciation without necessarily breaking the bank.

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