Don't be this guy...
"Welcome everyone. Thank you for coming to the 1,000th annual awards banquet for surviving another year here at You-Are-Expendable, Inc. I just want to say how proud I am of each and every one of you for the....uh...stuff that you do in your jobs. You are really something. Now I'm going to call each of you up by name to receive your certificate of longevity here at Expendable. Forgive me if I can't pronounce any of your names correctly. Let's begin..."
Milestones Represent More Than A Date
One of the phrases that drives me crazy is when an employee is characterized negatively because "they've been here forever." Are you kidding me? The employees that have been with your company "forever" are the ones that have been through thick and thin. They've experienced so many changes you couldn't begin to count them. They've managed through changing leadership, staff that come and go, and technology that was only a dream when they first came on board. They are the company.
Be Sincere, Or Be Gone
The next time you are standing in front of a group of employees, whether it's 5 or 500, make sure they know how truly important it is to you that they have remained loyal for so long. By the way, it's not just the employees that have been loyal. Their spouses, kids, partners, and friends have all put up with last minute schedule changes, overtime, emergencies, and new projects that needed extra time. Make sure they know that you know about them too.
How About You
Do milestones matter? You bet your life they do. What are you going to do the next time someone criticizes someone for being a "lifer?" I'm hoping you get in their face and let them know that the "lifers" are the loyal ones that helped make your organization what it is today.
I'd love to hear from you.
pic courtesy of CT