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Length of Service No-No

October 14, 2008

Determining qualifications for length of service awards is generally a pretty straight forward process. If your awards are presented after two years then on their second anniversary with an organization an individual should be in line for that award. Certainly, the same holds true at the various intervals businesses recognize (1 year, 3 year, 5 year, 10 year, etc.). This simplicity is part of the appeal of this type program as it allows organizations an opportunity to systematically acknowledge team members that continue to contribute year in and year out.

Recently, we stumbled on an uncommon process that was taking place at a hospital in Louisiana. The medical center had numerous employees who had changed status from time to time, going from part time to full time and back (or vice versa). The HR department was thrust with determining when and if people had worked enough hours to qualify for the various year levels based on a full time schedule. What the HR group soon determined was that this time consuming process created confusion for the department and the employee base as they couldn’t determine when and if they were due to receive an award. With this in mind the leadership team simplified the process and based their criteria simply on the hire date math. What they quickly found out was that this created a sense of relief through the hospital and employees began to further embrace the program.

Terryberry helps thousands of companies with their length of service award programs on a daily basis and the most common approach to qualification is “hire date math” where employees reach milestones based on the same date of different years. We do see an increasing trend where companies are recognizing their employees early on in their career to engage them into their culture of recognition early and often. Often times the initial award will be given prior to one full year with the business.


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