Understanding the Wants & Needs of Long-Term Service Employees

Understanding the Wants & Needs of Long-Term Service Employees

Long-term service employees have needs and preferences that are in many cases different from those of Millennial or Gen X employees. To ensure the needs of all employees are being met, it’s important to evaluate compensation programs against the wants and needs of all generations. Here, we’ll look at the key characteristics and preferences of Veterans and Baby Boomers.


Born between 1909 and 1945, this group is known for their strong senses of self and accomplishment. The pride in knowing what they can accomplish is one of their key motivators, and they exhibit a strong ability to take charge, delegate, and make decisions.


Members of this generation were born between 1945 and 1965, and typically possess a strong sense of hope. They believe that giving back to the community is the right thing to do, and their values include loyalty, tradition, and teamwork. Many seek volunteer time, and while some women stayed home to raise families, this generation saw a large population of women entering the workforce.

SHRM Findings on HR Attitudes Towards Older Workers

According to a SHRM survey on HR’s attitudes towards older workers, long-term employees are valued for the following qualities:

  • Greater willingness to work different schedules
  • Ability to serve as mentors
  • Invaluable experience
  • Stronger work ethic
  • Greater reliability
  • Added diversity of thought
  • Greater loyalty
  • Ability to take work more seriously
  • Established networks

However, the survey also points out some disadvantages: 53% of respondents reported that long-term employees don’t keep up with technology, while 36% said they can cause expenses to rise.

Long-Term Employees’ Most Desired Elements

Astron Solutions has conducted and analyzed research to identify the most desired total rewards elements among long-term employee populations. Their findings indicate that there are four key areas this group would like to be rewarded in:


Despite having PTO, long-term employees can’t always use it as they’d like to. Some companies offer options such as two-week sabbaticals to this group to give them long, uninterrupted periods of time off.


One of the reasons so many generations are now in the workforce is because we’ve all become healthier and are living longer. To that end, wellness is a priority for all age groups, but especially older workers.

Benefits Costs

If pay is frozen, long-term employees are still expected to pay increases in premiums. Thus, they look to their employers to aid in keeping benefits costs down so they don’t feel the effect of frozen salaries as significantly.

Other Longevity Recognition Options

Putting a stripe or star on employee ID badges, offering valet parking, and similar cost-effective incentives have been well-received among many long-term employees, and can make a measurable impact in showing recognition.

While these findings may bear similarities to what long-term employees in your organization are seeking, the simplest way to know for sure is to ask. Oftentimes, employers assume their long-term teams are satisfied. Yet, upon forming focus groups or holding “town hall” meetings, eye-opening discoveries are often made.

HRsoft is the trusted global leader in compensation management software whose COMPview solution is proven to control and simplify the full process and allocation of merit, bonus and equity awards to drive manager and employee engagement.


Learn More