Work Anniversaries

20 Year Work Anniversary Gifts To Show Your Appreciation

June 3, 2022
min read

When an employee has been working with you for two decades, it’s an achievement that certainly deserves to be recognized and celebrated. However, it can be challenging to find a 20 year work anniversary gift to match the occasion.

If you’re looking for the perfect reward to show a long-term employee how much you appreciate them, look no further! In this article we break down some fantastic ideas you can take inspiration from. 

Best 20 Year Work Anniversary Gifts For Employees

1. A 20-Year Work Anniversary Lunch

Never underestimate the power of food! Preparing a meal or taking an employee out is a great way to communicate that you value them and recognize their contributions to your organization. 

So, consider throwing a 20 year work anniversary lunch. Take the recognized individual’s team along to join them for lunch. After all, celebrations are better shared!

Another idea could be to do 20 days of meals, drinks, or desserts. You know, one day for each year they spent with your organization. It puts a fun spin on the occasion and doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Keep it in the office and organize it for the days leading up to the actual anniversary date. Get the whole team involved by designating a few people to order the food on a specific day.

You can have some fun with themes and make it a celebration that encourages bonding. 

End the final day with a personalized cake that has anniversary wishes piped in with icing. 

2. Anniversary Book

A personalized anniversary book outlining all of the employee’s accomplishments over the years is a wonderful way to commemorate this occasion. Think of a scrapbook that displays a few of their notable personal and professional milestones over the decades. It is a personal gift that an employee will love as a keepsake. 

3. Handmade Collage Or Video

A photo collage commemorating an employee’s years of service is a fantastic, personal gift. For a collage, you can include photographs of various work events, milestones, and activities.

Alternatively, you could put your filmmaking abilities to the test by creating a festive video that includes other employees’ words of appreciation for the recognized individual. Film each of your coworkers saying a few words about the honoree and the impact they’ve had on their colleagues and the company. 

As an idea, make an event out of viewing the video you put together. Invite the entire team to sit in and watch the clip with the honoree. If it feels right, you can also invite the person’s relatives and friends to the watch party.

To emphasize the importance of this special occasion, provide drinks and snacks that match a night at the movies.

4. A House Plant

If you know your employee has a green thumb and want to give something a little more ecologically-focused, give them a nice houseplant. 

House plants are a fun and beautiful gift. Employees can use them to brighten up their homes or workstations and serve as a great reminder of their achievement and your gratitude. Not to mention, the plant will look great wherever it is. 

Potted plants will continue to develop as long as they are given the proper care and attention. The same may be said for your staff. A house plant is a terrific way to commemorate work anniversaries and assure your employees that you will continue to provide them with all they need to grow and succeed in their role.

As far as 20 year work anniversary gifts go, a plant is out of the ordinary and can last for years if properly cared for. However, make sure you give your employee a few other things to complement the gift.

5. 20 Days of Appreciation

Run a 20-year work anniversary promotion where the recognized employee is the center of attention for the duration of the campaign. Enlist the assistance of their coworkers and ask each person to plan a day for the individual that includes work anniversary wishes. 

Below are a few suggestions:

  • Lunch with the boss
  • Happy hour at the end of the day
  • Special care package
  • Customized coffee mug
  • Karaoke during lunch

6. Paid Spa Treatment

Everyone needs to take a break and truly relax every now and then. So, what better gift is there than a spa day for someone who has worked so hard for your company for so long. 

Give them either a day pass or an overnight stay at a luxury spa. It could be just a treat for them or you could include their partner as well. The retreat could include a full body massage and a facial, as well as foot care and aromatherapy.

7. Host A Formal Event In Their Honor

Devoting 20 years of one's life to a single organization is an impressive display of dedication and loyalty. Celebrating those 20 years publicly and with gusto is the finest way to express your gratitude. Make the employee the guest of honor at a formal occasion, such as a dinner party or award ceremony. 

Ask a few of the honoree’s colleagues to assist in planning the event. Your employee will feel highly valued as a result of the meaningful speeches and entertainment.

Related: How To Create The Perfect Work Anniversary Invitation

8. Accessories For The Wardrobe

Personalize some cufflinks, a leather laptop bag, or a designer watch to spruce up your employee’s working attire. For example, you could have your employee’s initials engraved on a pair of cufflinks. Or, engrave a brief congratulatory message from the company on the back of a watch. 

Your employee will appreciate the personal touch and will look great!

9. Work-From-Home Care Package

What about those remote employees who may be difficult to reach? How can you make them feel valued, acknowledged, and recognized even when they are not in the office? 

A work-from-home care gift can improve their day. Consider including items that provide comfort at home while also providing your employee with a sense of belonging, even when they are physically absent from the office. 

Food, house presents, and wellness goods are all excellent items that provide both comfort and pleasure.

10. Give A Speech

One of the best 20 year work anniversary gift ideas is to get someone high up like the COO or CEO to give a brief, informal speech to thank the employee for their contributions and loyalty.

You can also ask a few members of your employee’s team or department to take the podium and share anecdotes about the person. Likewise, you can do the same with managers who have input for the occasion. 

Encourage everyone who speaks to highlight the employee's successes and impactful moments over the years.  

Also, mention the employee's distinguishing characteristics and attributes that make him or her a pleasure to work with. Again, this isn't the time to be overly serious, so infuse some personality. The speech should be cheerful and emphasize the employee's value to the company. 

11. An Office Party

An office party is a simple and yet proven way to celebrate an employee’s work anniversary. When you organize an office party to commemorate a work anniversary, you not only treat the person you're recognizing but all of their coworkers as well.

So pour some champagne, order a cake, turn on some music, and urge your employees to let their hair down!

12. Some Expensive Alcohol

This, of course, applies only to employees who appreciate quality alcohol. 

A quality bottle of wine or whiskey is a terrific 20 year work anniversary gift. The star employee can open it for a celebratory happy hour or take it home to enjoy with their family and friends.

13. A Virtual Visa Card

Most employees love and appreciate some form of monetary reward that they can choose to spend however they want. 

Give them a preloaded virtual Visa card that they can use to buy something they will actually enjoy from a retailer of their choice. This is a great option as it is suitable for budgets of all sizes!

14. Something Personal  

A 20 year work anniversary gift should be thoughtful and cater to your employee’s individuality. There’s nothing wrong with buying similar gifts for each employee. But personalizing them shows that you know your employees and value their different personalities and interests. Just make sure the gifts are around the same value.

The gift itself could be anything from a purse they've been eyeing out for months to a meal at a five-star restaurant. What’s important is that you take the time to figure out what kind of gift they will truly appreciate. After all, it is the thought that counts.

15. Offer Recognition

One of the most important things a company can do to commemorate employee work anniversaries is employee recognition. Depending on the company’s size, public recognition may vary, but it is worthwhile for small enterprises to ensure that employees receive acknowledgment in front of everyone. 

In larger organizations, a meeting with just the employee’s team or department may be more feasible. You can post this acknowledgment via email, on the company website, or the company communication channel. Whatever method of acknowledgment you choose, it is a crucial component of a meaningful anniversary celebration.

16. Give Them More Paid Vacation Days

Who doesn’t love time off? Some extra vacation days are an excellent option for a 20 year work anniversary gift. 

Depending on how many paid vacation days your company offers its employees, you could then add an extra 3 - 5 days of paid vacation for them to unwind just a little longer. 

This will give them time to reflect and really get some much-needed rest that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy.

Final Thoughts

The big takeaway is that someone who has been with your company for 20 years deserves a fantastic 20 year work anniversary gift.

The gift needs to be thoughtful and provide some value to the individual receiving it. It can even be a mix of various items from this list. For example, you could give an appreciation speech in front of the employee’s colleagues along with a handwritten letter, virtual Visa card, and an office party afterward.

How many people can honestly say they have been dedicated to anything for 20 years? If you have an employee like this, be sure not to overlook their contributions or promote others ahead of them. Do so, and you risk losing a valuable asset on your team.

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