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How long to we REALLY want folks to stay with one organization? Combine this with how effective 'lunch with the boss' is as a way to keep people and you must wonder. Would it not be wiser to recognize how much they have measurably grown in terms of critical skill and competency than merely how long they have stayed around?

If we are able to 'praise' people for staying around a long time should we perhaps not direct some of that 'praise' to those who not only stayed around but also stayed relevant? Perhaps it is in how we define a 'service program'. Maybe at the 'service awards banquet' we have two lines . . one where folks have contributed many years of growing in value and the other for folks that just 'hung around' a long time. Something to think about me thinks.

years of service awards are rapidly becoming a hypocritical practice, given most employers tendency to reduce headcount as a default reaction to financial stress. Tenure really doesn't matter when determining who is on the 'list' for a RIF. In fact, some companies are targeting long term employees as layoff candidates, thinking that replacing them with younger, less expensive employees improves the 'bench' strength for future promotions.

Employers would be wise to consider practices that recognize values once important to organizations but no longer meaningful.

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