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Old 09-16-2010, 05:21 PM   #21
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Other than the military, all the places I've ever worked felt that having your paycheck show up every two weeks was recognition enough.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:36 PM   #22
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I work for a government agency and employees are recognized with certificates at quarterly staff meetings for every 5 year increment worked. Which is fine, as the most important thing to me is that it is a very congenial place to work. We have great benefits and a pretty flexible, non-competitive environment. If I was working like a dog and sacrificing a lot in my personal life, though, I would expect a more substantial recognition, especially if my employer was a business raking in big bucks.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:21 PM   #23
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Some great Dilbert material here
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:34 PM   #24
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At 25 years, we get a diploma type certificate and thank-you letter from the CEO. It is generally presented to you by your manager on the official date of your anniversary. Some managers are more formal about this than others. You are then given a catalog where you can select your anniversary gift. I am guessing the price is around $500+-.

But then the best part comes. Anyone reaching 25 years that year is invited to attend a 3-day celebration where our home office is located. You can bring a guest - all expenses paid. Flight, hotel (first class), all meals included. Day 1 is travel, hotel check-in, and then an open bar reception in the evening. On Day 2, you choose from one of 4-5 different guided "tours" or "excursions" around the city. That evening is a cocktail hour, formal dinner, and then dancing and open bar afterwards. The CEO attends and gives a short, but nice "thank you everyone for your service" speech. A music video is then played that shows everyone's name and/or picture along with scenes from news events 25 years ago. Day 3 is breakfast and travel home. Basically a 3-day all expenses paid vacation for two. People traveling across the country will often turn it into a longer vacation, only having to pay the extra hotel nights. The best part is you get to go again when you retire - so they can thank you again.

The week you return, the company headlines the internal website with the new employees who have reached the 25 year mark.

Yeah - I have no complaints.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:54 PM   #25
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Other than the military, all the places I've ever worked felt that having your paycheck show up every two weeks was recognition enough.
Yup...

My former megaconglomocorp used to have a company newspaper, that highlighted service anniversaries, among other things. In our department, there were "badge" parties and such.

All of that went the way of the dinosaur, right along with pensions, health insurance, different colored badges signifying length of service, special parking for 20+ yrs. service, as well as many of the jobs.

Guess they figure no one will stay there long enough to retire anyway...
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:16 PM   #26
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Well, to give them a little credit, 4 years after my 20th anniversary, they did give me a very nice gold watch...cost more than my son's new Honda Fit. Buuuttttt, it was 4 years late. Retention has become a big buzzword at our megacorp over the past few months. Problem is just that...it is a buzzword, a "program", flavor of the day type of thing.

From more than 10 years back, I decided that loyalty and retention should be more a part of the fiber of our business. With as many employees under my responsibility as I have, I obviously cannot do something personally for all of them, but as I travel around my region, I do take a few minutes to talk to the long term loyal employees that we have, thank them for their service, shake their hands, etc. Sometimes if my visit falls on the anniversary date, we'll have a big "to-do" right in the office, or a dinner for a more senior employee. In my case, I recognize that at times my boss (the CEO) may not even have a clue how long I've been around....since I have had 5 of them in the last 8 years (hard to talk about retention when ya can't hold on to your CEO), and since I am employed by our US entity, assigned to Japan, and reporting to a boss in Europe. I am going to let my boss know, however, that if he really wants to focus on retention, that the heartfelt thanks of each manager should be dispensed with a handshake, a meeting, a phone call...whatever, before the "trinket company" sends you an automated email congratulating you on your longevity.

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This is good Dilbert material, but if you work for the CEO, you are the pointy hair boss.

For many people I think the symbolic gesture matters, although there are plenty of folks who say just give me the money. I vaguely remember hearing about a similar problem when the trinket company started sending emails to employees. The fix was to have the automated 5, 10 etc anniversary notices sent to both HR and the employees boss (that way if either were doing their job the employee got recognition.)

On the positive side, I remember being awfully impressed as a peon that #3 guy at Intel sent me a congratulations note after I finished my nighttime MBA.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:59 PM   #27
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Many years ago, I was laid off from a company after 9.98 years with the company. Fine, I'm gone. 2 months later I get a letter from HR, and a lovely 10-year service pin. It seems that my earned vacation counted towards length of service. 9.98 years plus a few weeks of vacation in the bank put me over the top for a 10 year service pin. Woohoo!
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:29 AM   #28
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Megacorp used to have a big bash at the 25yr mark. The party was held every 5 yrs and I never knew anything about it until I got invited. It was very similar to what KM desribed, but they did it over the weekend. It really made me feel appreciated and I personnaly thanked the CEO and PR director. The PR director advised it was the LAST 25yr celebration they would be having and it took special approval by the board just to have one more bash. That was right before the economy tanked and as we rebound it seems obvious longevity on the job is no longer an attribute. The "new" culture is that the company does not want people hanging around long enough to get attached to the place and they don't want to feel obligated to employees just becuase they have "x" yrs of service. Going forward the more mobile workforce will simply pack up thier 401ks and move on to the next foster employer.

I appreciate Rambler's sentiment as a member of senior management recognizing the value of showing appreciation to employees.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:29 AM   #29
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Well, yesterday they cancelled the annual holiday party. Not that I was all that enthralled, but it was a chance to connect with people I hadn't seen for months. Oh well.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:37 AM   #30
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Well, yesterday they cancelled the annual holiday party.
Let me guess: they will reinstate the event "once morale improves".
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:06 AM   #31
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I used to work for a pretty good company in Florida many years ago. They had good instincts but sometimes stuff happens.

We had a small department of about 40 people who worked pretty well together. The department had a practice of the boss personally handing out (for example) a 5-year pin. They recognized that 5 years was a small milestone in the engineering business. The company bestowed little personal items like a company tie that were actually pretty nice (remember ties?). They were all conveyed personally by the boss with a little talk. He was a very gregarious, upbeat guy.

One day, on schedule, he called in a colleague and gave him the 5-year pin along with an upbeat talk. My colleague said he enjoyed the personal touch.

The very next day, the boss called him in again, gave him another 5-year pin and the same talk.

My colleague was speechless. He simply returned the pin to the boss's secretary on the way out.
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:34 AM   #32
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In 2004 SquareD outsourced the North American IT department (140 peeps) to Keane. We were told to sit at our desks at 5 pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It had leaked out that Keane was keeping 80 peeps, the rest would get ($4k x yrs of service). The e-mail came from Keane, not SquareD, telling us the outcome. I got the severance. Not one communication from SquareD by a boss, hr, or anyone until the last day to sign papers.

The other 80 were let go by Keane in groups of 6-10 over the next 9 months with no severance. This was my first gig as an employee after being a contractor for 16 years. I am back to contracting, much less drama.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:14 AM   #33
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I recall getting a signed letter from our CEO for my 10th anniversary with my current Megacorp as well as some item picked out of a catalog. Yes, it was a form letter that he just quickly signed and was done with, but at least it wasn't an automated e-mail.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:57 PM   #34
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Many years ago, I was laid off from a company after 9.98 years with the company. Fine, I'm gone. 2 months later I get a letter from HR, and a lovely 10-year service pin. It seems that my earned vacation counted towards length of service. 9.98 years plus a few weeks of vacation in the bank put me over the top for a 10 year service pin. Woohoo!
Assuming your severance pay was based on years of service, did it make the difference between 9 years of service and 10 years? That would have made taking the pin worth it.

With 11.97 years of service I was given severance based on 11 years of service. The HR lady had a puzzled look on her face as I asked if this could be rounded up to 12 years. She made a phone call to her boss, and then told me that I had completed 11 years of service and 11.97 is 11.

That said, it was still a pretty nice place to work.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:02 AM   #35
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I worked for a company for 20 years and a few years before I hit my year 20 the company was taken over via a proxy fight. The way it played out was that all managers left the company within a few years. A few of them had heart attacks on the job and were carried out by the medics.

I was one of the last ones to go which just happened to be on my 20th year.
They were already working on firing the people that they hired to replace the original managers the year before I left.

Looking back at it a dozen years later it was probably one of the best things that happened to me. I am now semi retired and work for a small company 4 mornings a week doing computer systems work.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:21 PM   #36
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Assuming your severance pay was based on years of service, did it make the difference between 9 years of service and 10 years? That would have made taking the pin worth it.
Truth is, I don't remember. As it turns out, I was re-hired by the same company six months later, and was able to keep my length of service with respect to benefits, etc. Got to keep the severance package. It was a pretty good deal all around.
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:45 PM   #37
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Another one for the archives:

I knew I was up for promotion and the decisions were made almost two weeks ago. Getting the promote would mean a raise and another week of vacation and is a major influence on whether I stay put or go elsewhere. So I have tried to be patient waiting to find out. Today I found out I got the promotion. How? I happened to login to the payroll system to look at a paystub and there is was.

Must remember to act surprised when boss finally tells me...
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:50 PM   #38
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Another one for the archives:

I knew I was up for promotion and the decisions were made almost two weeks ago. Getting the promote would mean a raise and another week of vacation and is a major influence on whether I stay put or go elsewhere. So I have tried to be patient waiting to find out. Today I found out I got the promotion. How? I happened to login to the payroll system to look at a paystub and there is was.

Must remember to act surprised when boss finally tells me...
Congratulations brewer! You'll be at the top of the heap in no time...

Reminds me of the time I saw my current position listed in the Help Wanted section of the WSJ. Turns out I wasn't getting fired as I first feared, they were looking for my replacement in preparation for promoting me.
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:18 PM   #39
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On the flip side, 30 years ago I knew a guy that found out he was going to be laid off when his application for a car loan at the company credit union was rejected.
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