Mementos and Milestones

Last week I did not write my blog but had a good reason.  My other company, Carter Consultants Ltd., an executive search and research, firm celebrated 20 years in business on September 3rd.  I had some preparations for this milestone including writing the email blast and an article for my website.  Many things have changed in the last 20 years and it was interesting putting a list of them together and the reactions I received from others.


In addition, Hurricane Irene caused more damage in my home than I originally thought.  I discovered only this past Sunday that a big plastic bin had tipped over and a foot of water was in it.  Each of my three children has a memory box and this one was my daughter’s that held mementos of her life from birth through fifth grade.  Being an adoptive child, she is very protective of any accomplishments, memories, etc. and that box held a lot of those for her.


This past weekend also was the memorial for 9/11, an event that we all wish never occurred.  I happened to turn my radio on at 9:03 am on Sunday which was the time when one of the planes had hit.  I had lost a friend in that tragedy and thought of her parents at that moment because she was their only child.


With all of this, I realize just how important it is to acknowledge these milestone moments.  We are all so busy going from one place/task/event to another that many of us barely think about these important times and how they have shaped us to be the people we are today.  If only we could celebrate like our parents did for us when we had birthday parties when we were young.  We would plan those parties for weeks including coming up with a theme, guest list, cake flavor, games, etc.  I still remember fondly those times and the parties I did for my own children.


Most companies today do not recognize milestones of their employees either.  Even being with a company for as little as five years is a major accomplishment with all the turmoil that is surrounding us.  If these organizations spent more time acknowledging these moments there may be less turnover and better company morale.  For the little time, effort and possibly money a company would spend, the return on investment in employee satisfaction could be major.


So why don’t companies do this?  I would like to hear your thoughts and if your company is one of the rare ones that does celebrate these milestones, please share.