I have had the opportunity several times lately to deal with seniority, and I came to a conclusion that may surprise some. While seniority traditionally means “most time spent in or on something,” I now think of it as “with the most ability, willingness, best attitude, etc.” One of the times this came up is with teachers in my kids’ school system. I’ve found that some of the best teachers my kids have are not those who have been at it the longest but rather the ones who love what they do the most. They are the ones engaging my kids, inspiring and challenging them. Translate that to the general workforce and I only had to ask myself, “Who are my ‘go to’ people?” They are the ones with “value seniority.”
Think about it for your workplace. Make sure you reward those who get the job done and they’ll continue to do so. Reward time in service without regard to value and you may end up with lots of long-term employees who aren’t serving your clients best.