Blog·Employee Engagement

September 25, 2020

20 Employee Work Anniversary Celebration and Gift Ideas

Use these tried and tested ways to celebrate your employees work anniversary to create a positive working environment and motivate your people.

Celebrating a Work Anniversary Encourages Employee Engagement

Your employee's work anniversary is a reason to celebrate! How would you feel if your birthday came around and nobody wished you well? Unfortunately, the fast-paced nature of the business environment means that these special occasions are often forgotten, however it is important to celebrate these key milestones as they are a great opportunity to give an employee public recognition for their work. Celebrating work anniversaries falls under the broader umbrella of employee engagement, which is the cornerstone of a positive work environment and a strong company culture.

Globally 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work.

Meanwhile, organizations with high levels of engagement record 21% higher profits. Employee engagement is the ultimate win-win for employees and businesses, so celebrating an employee work anniversary is a no-brainer. Research has proven that emotions and performance are strongly linked, and emotions like happiness, gratitude and positivity drive performance.

When you recognize employees and show that they are appreciated, you will create an emotional connection between employees and their workplace which fosters high performing, engaged teams. In a nutshell, recognition and rewards incentivizes better performance and engagement.

Celebrating a work anniversary does not have to be over the top or expensive. In fact, small yet personal gestures can be the most effective way to show your appreciation for years of service. Employee rewards go hand in hand with employee recognition, so it is a good idea to celebrate the day and reward your employees with work anniversary gifts or perks. To help you on your way, this article will show you some brilliant and creative ways to celebrate the special day.

celebrating employee work anniversary quotation

Why is it important to celebrate an employee's work anniversary?

Accomplishments like anniversaries should be recognized throughout the organization because they empower individuals and improve employee experience. From an employees year anniversary to their 20 years celebration it is important to recognize good work. According to the Harvard Business Review, voluntary turnover peaks after just one year, so it is really important to show your employees that they are valued members of the organization at this vital time.

More important still, companies with high levels of employee engagement perform better. It is common knowledge that employees are far more motivated when their work ethic is recognized. Celebrating your employees' work anniversaries not only benefits the individual but the organization as a whole. Taking the opportunity to coordinate a happy work anniversary celebration will remind not only the person celebrating but also their team members of the value of their work.

celebrating employee work anniversary why celebrating is important

Improve employee experience

Celebrating work anniversaries will boost the employees morale, motivation and make them feel valued as a part of the organization.

Use this opportunity to thank your employees for their loyalty and compensate them with an amazing award. It will pay off, as organizations with the highest employee experience scores perform better and have higher revenue.

Drive employee engagement

Recognition and rewards are some of the biggest engines driving positive employee engagement. Employees want more recognition at work, and celebrating their key milestones is a great way to do so. In order to encourage a strong work ethic, you need to demonstrate a good reason for your employees to want to work.

Decrease employee turnover rate

Employee turnover rates are on the increase and are proven to damage revenue. Celebrating career milestones will make employees feel valued within the organization, and encourage them to stay on.

Encourage positive company culture

Celebrating employees will help a company build a strong company culture, with is essential for long-term success.

Your Employee Work Anniversary Should Be

celebrating employee work anniversary key advice

1. Authentic

Celebrating your work anniversaries should come from a genuine desire to celebrate employee achievements, not a corporate box-ticking exercise to boost company profits. Employees will be able to tell the difference.

2. Personal

Recognition loses legitimacy when it becomes generic. Try to take some time to understand the individual and the work that they do when you plan their anniversary.

3. Appropriate

It is important to follow company policy and procedure. There is a right time, place and method for celebrating someone's achievements, and this depends on the person in question and the workplace.

20 brilliant and original ways to celebrate your employees' work anniversary

1. Personal thank-you

First and foremost, ensure that you personally thank your employee and congratulate them on their achievement. Whether this is face to face, via call or email, make sure you reach out to say congratulations in a personal way. Take time to pull out some key examples of their successes and achievements and thank them personally for their hard work and contribution to the overall business success.

2. Handwritten note

With everyone working remotely, a card signed by the office may be a thing of the past. That does not mean to say that a handwritten note won't go a long way to show your appreciation. Many people find a handwritten note more meaningful than just another email, and it is something physical that they can keep that will make them feel special.

3. Lunch out

A private lunch between yourself and your employee is a great way to say thank you, as the saying goes, the way to a person's heart is through their stomach! More importantly, it will facilitate a one on one discussion in a relaxed environment where you can show how much you value their commitment to the company, and potentially discuss career progression.

4. Lunch at home

As we are living in a COVID world, a more realistic option might be organizing a takeaway meal service to deliver a meal to your employee on their anniversary. Rather than choose for them, a voucher for Deliveroo, UberEats or Just Eat is the answer.

5. Trophy

A personalized trophy might just do the trick to show how impressed you are. Get it engraved with the number of years the employee has worked for your organization to add a special touch. Alternatively, if your company culture has a humorous edge, a joke trophy could be a great way to put a smile on your employees' faces.

6. Certificate

A framable certificate is a personalized way to thank your employee for their commitment to the company. It would be a nice touch if both the CEO and team leader signed it too.

7. Team meeting shout out

Congratulate the employee publicly in the daily or weekly team meeting. Public recognition is a great way to thank the employee and celebrate their achievements. It would also be a nice moment to have a conversation outside the realm of work.

8. Company wide email

Flag up the important day by sending out a company wide email. You could ask the employee a couple of questions to share with the whole organization about their experience working for the company and shine the spotlight on them for a day.

9. Shout out on social media

Give the employee a shout out on your company social media accounts, highlighting their greatest achievements in the role. Similar to the company wide email, it would be nice to conduct a short interview with them about their role, which would make them feel special.

10. Cash

At the end of the day, everyone's in it for the money. Why not celebrate with a small bonus to commemorate the day, allowing the employee to spend the money as they please. The bonus doesn't have to be enourmous in order to make an impact, a small gesture here would go a long way.

11. Gift card or vouchers

If you don't want to give a cash bonus, gift cards are a great way to treat your employee and allow them to pick their own present. Many gift vouchers are redeemable in a wide variety of stores which gives your employee a bit of freedom as to where they spend their money.

12. Company merchandise

Who doesn't love a bit of merch? Anything from wearables (hat, cap, t-shirt) to stationery (pen, notepad, diary), a mug or personalized sweets!

13. House plant

If you want to try a different angle that a little more sustainable than yet another plastic pen, try gifting your employee a house plant. This is a present that (if cared for well) will last for years to come. There are many services that will deliver a house plant to the employee's home too.

14. Class or workshop

Give a meaningful gift that will mean something more to the receiver. Consider researching local creative classes such as painting, life drawing, pottery, cocktail making, yoga, mindfulness, personal training session - the sky's the limit! This is where it is really important to make it personal to the employee whose anniversary it is.

15. Charity donation

Show that your organization is ethically minded by offering to make a donation to the employee's chosen charity. This can be in the form of a one-off payment or monthly subscription.

16. Office drinks

Whilst such events may temporarily be on hold due to the pandemic, consider hosting an office drinks party to celebrate their work anniversary. It will also create a sense of community amongst the team.

17. Party

Why not celebrate the event together as a workplace? If the employee has hit a considerable milestone for the company and their career, it might deserve having the whole team get together and throwing a party.

18. Virtual drinks

We are now well versed in having drinks via video chat. But it is a nice way to show that you are making an effort to celebrate your employee's anniversary.

19. Funded training session

To show that you are thankful for your employee's progress and committed to their career development, it would be a nice idea to offer to send them on a training course that would boost their knowledge and skills.

20. Day off

One of the nicest ways you could thank your employee for their hard work and commitment is to offer them an extra day of annual leave on their work anniversary.

Celebrating a Work Anniversary Creates a Positive Company Culture

employee work anniversary rewards

Celebrating an employee work anniversary is just one part of creating a positive feedback culture, which should be a larger structural initiative within your organization. What's more, a positive feedback culture should form part of the wider company culture, making your organization a great place to work. Whilst this list is a good starting point, we also recommend that you test recognition ideas by surveying your employees to find out what they would actually appreciate.

At the end of the day, any organization that shows true appreciation for its employees, like in the form of a work anniversary celebration, will reap the rewards tenfold.

To find out more about employee engagement, read PeopleGoal's Essential Guide to Employee Engagement here.

Ready to see PeopleGoal in action?
Start your free trial today.


© 2024 PeopleGoal, Inc. All rights reserved.