17 Thoughtful Work Anniversary Gifts For All Employee Milestones

If you need some inspiration, we’ve made a list of 17 work anniversary gift options.

 min. read
January 6, 2022
Work anniversary gift next to a flower pot

Work anniversary gifts are a big part of what makes celebrating an employee’s notable milestones so special. 

A thoughtful gift goes a long way in making the person feel appreciated for all they contribute through their hard work. It can also boost their morale for the years to come. 

Figuring out the perfect gift for your employees can be tricky. After all, it needs to be personal and appropriate for the amount of time they have worked at your company. 

If you need some inspiration, we’ve made a list of 17 work anniversary gift options for every milestone. These are bound to make your team feel special and celebrated!

Work Anniversary Gifts That Your Valued Employees Will Love

1- and 2-Year Work Anniversary Gifts

1. A Handwritten Note

A personalized handwritten note is an easy and low-cost way to acknowledge an individual’s first or second work anniversaries. 

It’s meaningful and shows you took time out of your schedule to acknowledge their contributions to your team.

2. Company Merchandise

Merch is always a fun gift for employees. It gives them an opportunity to show the outside world that they work for an awesome company. 

You can put together a hamper of clothing, stationery, mugs, and whatever else is available so that they have a bit of everything. Not only will your employee enjoy receiving all these goodies, but it will strengthen their sense of loyalty and pride towards the business. 

3. A Virtual Visa Card

Gift a virtual Visa card and you put the power of choice in your employees’ hands. It’s a regular favorite for companies as it’s quick and simple to organize. Plus, the person receiving it is bound to appreciate it as they can treat themselves to a gift of their choosing. 

Because you can set the gift amount, it’s also a reward that you can match to the exact figure set out in the budget. 

4. Care Package 

A care package is a box of several small gifts that you can customize to your employee’s specific tastes and personality. 

You can add in goodies like confectionery treats, small electronics, stationery, a journal, a mug, a bottle of wine or champagne, and so on. 

It shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all deal though. Curate a package that incorporates specific items you know the person enjoys. For example, a tea drinker might enjoy luxury tea leaves with a teacup and teapot included in their package. On the other hand, a coffee aficionado would appreciate quality coffee beans with a fancy mug. 

Carefully choosing the items you include will make your employee feel that you are in tune with their interests, rather than just their professional side. 

One of the best parts about this gift is that it is ideal for companies that operate remotely or on a hybrid basis. You can easily have the care package delivered to someone’s home as a nice surprise on their work anniversary. 

5. Time-Off

Many employees would appreciate a free day off more than most other gift options, as it allows them to relax and spend time with their friends and family. 

If you can grant your employee an extra PTO day (or even two) to take either on their work anniversary or a day of their choosing, it’s usually incredibly valuable to them. 

5-Year Work Anniversary Gift Ideas

6. Help Them Learn Something New

A great idea for 5-year work anniversary gifts is to purchase an online course or a class for your employee from a platform like Udemy or SkillShare. This gift gives the person an opportunity to further their professional development or learn something new that they are interested in. 

There is no need for the class to be work-related either. This gift is perfect to encourage the person to pursue something they enjoy, which is essential for a healthy work-life balance. 

7. Make A Donation In The Employee’s Name

Another great gift idea is to make a donation in your employee’s name to a charity, organization, or movement close to their heart. 

A donation is a humanitarian gift that is perfect for a five- or ten-year work anniversary gift, as it is a gesture of appreciation that also does social good. Ask the person if there are any charities they work with or donate to regularly? Otherwise, check in to see if there is a social cause they feel strongly about and would like you to contribute to on their behalf.

8. Self-Care 

Each member of your team needs to find a work-life balance to give their job their all. As the employer, you can support this by giving a pamper experience that gives the person some recharge time.  

Ideas here could be to gift a spa voucher or a voucher for a yoga or meditation session. Or, if the budget allows for it, you can even make an entire ‘care’ day of it.  

To round off the gift, you could also give the person a day off to enjoy their reward. This way, they don’t have to do it on their personal time.  

9. An Exciting Experience 

An experience-based gift is something your team members are unlikely to forget. The list of opportunities for this are endless too. You could organize skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, a theatre show, a sightseeing tour, a food or wine tasting, or even a ticket to a sporting event.

Think of something that you know they will enjoy, or if you aren’t sure, simply ask them. 

Depending on the experience, it could be a good idea to double up and gift at least two tickets. This way, they can take along a spouse, child, friend, or family member to join in the fun.  

10-Year Work Anniversary Gift Ideas

10. Personalized Stationery

Fancy stationery is a great reward to make your employee feel accomplished and important within their position. Personalizing it by getting it engraved with their name is even better! 

You can opt for a hamper of various stationery such as journals, notebooks, pens, and pencils with the person’s name on each item. Alternatively, buy a high-end item, such as a Montblanc pen with custom detail. Of course, this depends on the budget available and what you think the employee will value more. 

11. Group Outing 

A group outing is a perfect way to celebrate a work anniversary in style. Pick something you know the person will enjoy, such as a wine tasting, spa day, or escape room. Then invite their immediate team along for a fun day out. 

All-in-all, this will be an enjoyable experience in the employee’s honor. Plus it motivates other team members to work toward their own anniversaries where they will do something equally enjoyable. 

12. Stock Options

Giving your employee stock options is a great way to ensure they feel like an integral part of the company they work so hard for. 

Not only will this improve employee loyalty, but it also provides the benefit of long-term financial gain, which is always helpful no matter who you are talking to. Employees who have been at your company for ten years will also truly understand the value of the gift, especially if they have long-term financial obligations. 

20-, 30- and 40-Year Work Anniversary Gifts

13. Throw A Party

A party is a popular work anniversary gift for good reason - everyone enjoys it. Just think how popular your office Christmas parties are; they’re a chance for everyone to socialize and get to know their coworkers on a personal level.

In short, having a big celebration for a veteran employee honors them while bringing the team together for a fun bonding event. 

You can host it in the office or at a restaurant or venue, depending on the size and nature of the party. Just make sure you tailor the event to suit your employee’s personality. Line up music that they listen to. Serve food that they enjoy, and invite people they get along with. You can also invite a key member of their friend and family group to join the special occasion. 

Add personal touches to make the occasion memorable. It could be photos to commemorate achievements over the years. Or a cake of their favorite flavor that’s decorated to pay homage to them. 

14. Trophy or Award

A trophy or award is a great work anniversary gift, as it is permanent and something the person can keep forever. 

It also has a sense of grandiose, which elevates the occasion of the anniversary. You can have your employee’s name and the occasion etched into the trophy base to make it personalized. 

To make the occasion unforgettable, organize a gathering or ceremony of sorts. During the event, present the trophy to the person in a formal forum that includes their colleagues and senior management. You can also add in other gifts on the list to make it extra special. 

15. Coffee Maker

Getting through a workday without coffee is near impossible for some! And once a person is well into their career, you can bet they appreciate a really good cup of coffee. So, if your long-term employee appreciates a great cuppa joe, a high-end coffee machine is a personal and valuable gift they’ll love. 

Opt for a good coffee pod or filter coffee machine from a reputable brand, and pair it with compatible coffee to use with it. Your employee can either use it at home or have it in their office. 

50-Year Work Anniversary Gifts

16. Laptop 

A fiftieth work anniversary gift needs to be unique and memorable. And what better way to fulfill this than a high-end electronic gadget? 

A personal laptop manufactured  by a reputable brand is always a valuable reward, especially because it can be a considerable purchase price-wise. This gift also lasts a long time, so it will be a keepsake that will stay with your employee for many years. 

17. A Monetary Bonus

A financial offering often tops the wish list of employee work anniversary gifts. Paying out a bonus to acknowledge your employee’s contribution gives them a considerable sum to put toward a cause of their choice. They can use the cash to assist with financial obligations, add to their savings, or fund a vacation.

The amount you provision naturally depends on the budget you have available. That said, a good amount to work on is the equivalent of a second paycheque. In any case, they money will always be appreciated. 

Top Tips For Giving The Right Work Anniversary Gifts

  • Look into your employee’s hobbies and interests outside of work
  • Set a budget for each anniversary category (according to years)
  • Pick something uncommon and memorable that your employee will love
  • Start scouting out gift options at least one month ahead of time. This way, if it’s something you need to book or organize in advance, you won’t miss your opportunity. 
  • For anniversaries above 20 years, try to include your employee’s close friends and family in the celebration. After all, they play a big part in work success.
  • No matter the gift you choose, add in a card with a personal, sincere message signed by everyone on the team. 

Final Thoughts

The perfect work anniversary gift depends on the individual receiving it and how long they have worked at your company. 

It is also important to stick to a budget and ensure that everyone enjoys the same level of appreciation. To simplify this, set budgets according to the years at the company and the role within that. 

Regardless of your spend and type of gift you provide, an employee will always appreciate the effort you take to celebrate their valuable contribution to the company.