It is often the little things done behind the scenes that can make the biggest difference in terms of employee morale and therefore their motivation to deliver great service onboard, at airports, or on the phone; in some cases going above and beyond what is required. The Milestone Anniversaries Program is returning at United Airlines. Though truly a small gesture, it shows respect and support for employees and becomes a badge of courage in the case of flight attendants.
Milestone Anniversaries Program Returns At United Airlines
The Milestone Anniversaries Program at United Airlines is a way to recognize the longevity of employees working for United. Most visibly, you’d see diamond pins on the lapel wings of a flight attendant to recognize years of service. But when the pandemic began, United cut this program, citing its cost.
Now the program is returning. In a memo to employees reviewed by Live and Let’s Fly, United will resume the program and now clear the backlog of employees who celebrated milestone anniversaries over the last 20 months.
Active employees who celebrated their 5th, 10th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 40th, and 50th anniversary between June 2020 through November 2021 will receive a sterling silver pin to commemorate their service. Flight attendants will receive wing-shaped pins with stones that are commensurate with their years of service. Keep an eye out for this token of appreciation; distribution begins at the end of November.
Why This Matters
Do employees really care about a pin? From all the feedback I have received, the answer is YES. The diamonds in the pin, like the flight attendant wings pictured above, are nice enough. I’m not even sure they are real. But it becomes a way to express gratitude and appreciation and again shows that United is on the right track in terms of its upward ascent. It also represents a badge of courage, recognizing trials like the pandemic, 9/11, and bankruptcy employees have been through in a very cyclical industry. Those who have been with United for more than 20 years have truly seen a lot.
Certainly, even an announcement like this will not compensate for poor treatment. But that is not the case here. While employees at other airlines fume about scheduling, crew hotels, and other perceived deficiencies, there are no big grievances right now dividing any United employee group versus management (unless you could the return of pre-departure beverages).
United is restoring it Milestone Anniversaries Program. Though a small gesture, it is meaningful one in recognizing that employees who have spent their career with United.