Work Anniversaries

Happy 1 Year Work Anniversary! How To Celebrate Your Employees’ First Milestones

June 3, 2022
min read

It’s no secret that your employees are integral to your company’s everyday operations. So, when your loyal team remains committed to the cause and reaches notable work milestones, it’s important to acknowledge their contributions and wish them a happy 1 year work anniversary.

How you choose to celebrate these milestones will ultimately depend on your budget and capacity. You can do anything from writing a card to hosting a party, so the first step is to decide how much to spend on the occasion.

Bear in mind that, depending on the size of the company, keeping track of everyone’s milestones can land up being a sizable task. Be sure to make note of the dates, and ensure employee gifts are consistent across the board.

Below, we round up some of the best ways to wish your employees a happy 1 year work anniversary. There are also some great gift ideas to help you choose the best option.

Six Ways To Wish Your Employees A Happy 1-Year Work Anniversary

1. Show Your Appreciation With A Thoughtful Message

A work anniversary celebration acknowledges all the hard work an employee has undertaken for the business over a certain period. Thoughtful messages are a great way to put into words that you have noticed their work and the impact they’ve had.

This not only expresses your sentiments in a personal message to make the employee feel appreciated, but it is also something that the employee can keep as a remembrance of the occasion. It shows the employee that you recognize their efforts in the workplace.

Here are a few short and sweet messages that you can use as templates to wish your employees a happy 1 year work anniversary.

  • Your hard work and valuable contribution has not gone unnoticed, and the team would not be the same without your motivational energy. Happy 1 year work anniversary! 
  • We have seen your commitment through your service to the company over the last year, and for that, we are truly grateful. Best wishes on your first anniversary with us!
  • We are so proud of how much you have achieved here in the past year, and you should be too! Best wishes from all of us on this special occasion. 
  • Your first year at this company has flown by, but we simply can’t remember a time without you! The work you’ve done has been invaluable, and we hope to celebrate many more work anniversaries with you. 
  • Your hard work, passion and loyalty is an inspiration to us all, and we can’t wait to see you soaring to even greater heights in the years to come. Best wishes on this incredible milestone!

2. Share A Powerful Quote To Recognize Your Employee's Hard Work

A quote can leave a lasting impact and makes an excellent addition to any speech, message, or card wishing an employee a happy 1 year work anniversary.

Add it to the beginning or the end of a speech made at an anniversary celebration. Or write it in the personal message or personalized card that you’ll give to the employee. Ensure it applies to the individual and is something that they will enjoy and appreciate.

Here is a list of work anniversary quotes that you can use to wish an employee a happy 1 year work anniversary:

  • “Happiness is the real sense of fulfillment that comes from hard work.” - Joseph Barbara
  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
  • “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” - Vince Lombardi
  • “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see further.” - Thomas Carlyle
  • “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” - Robert Collier

3. Host A Small Office Party

A celebration that gets the whole office involved is sure to be a success. So, how about ordering in the employee’s favorite food or dessert? It could be a specific cake, or boxes of takeaway pizza from their favorite outlet. Don’t forget to order enough for everyone in the office, or just the department if it is a large corporation. 

You can do a few festive decorations on the employee’s desk to mark the occasion, like a banner or a few balloons. Play some music during the party hours to encourage everyone to socialize and get involved. 

An employee who is celebrating a milestone will appreciate having a small party in the office, as they can share their occasion with the people who work beside them every day. For companies that work remotely, consider a virtual party with a fun activity, like a cocktail making class. It does not have to be a massive affair - keep it simple, but make it personalized.

4. Plan An Offsite Meal

Take the employee and their immediate team out to a casual, fun restaurant where you can wish the person a happy 1 year work anniversary. It can either be the employee’s favorite, or one that serves food they enjoy. 

Taking an employee and their team out for a meal is a great way to celebrate their achievements while giving everyone space to bond outside of the workplace. Offsite socializing builds more of a personal relationship between employees, which reflects well in the office. 

If you want to do this, but have budget constraints, consider paying for the employee whose anniversary it is. Then, you can give everyone in attendance a set amount to spend at the restaurant. Anything above that amount, they can fill in themselves. 

Related: How To Choose The Right Work Anniversary Cake

5. Plan An Offsite Activity

Like the previous option, taking an employee and their team offsite to celebrate their first year with the company is an enjoyable bonding experience. Instead of dining out at a restaurant, consider something more activity-based. 

This can be something sporty, like paintball, laser tag, or an escape room. You can also opt for something more laidback, like wine or beer tasting, an arts and crafts class, or a theatre show. 

Try to pick something that the employee will enjoy. A person who prefers indoor activities might not appreciate a paintball excursion, for example. Consider the budget and the number of people on the team, and then shop around for suitable options. 

Ask the employee for their input if you are having difficulty deciding on the best activity for the occasion. 

6. Give Them A Thoughtful Anniversary Gift 

It’s no secret that everyone loves a gift every now and then. Giving your employees a thoughtful gift, even if it’s just something small, shows that you recognize and appreciate them. 

Here are a few simple gift ideas that your employees are bound to love after a year of hard work and dedication to your company. 

A Care Package 

A care package is a personal hamper of gifts that the person who is celebrating their 1 year work anniversary will find useful. 

Be sure to personalize the package to suit the personality and needs of the specific employee. A care package can include several small goods like socks, earphones, liquor, snacks, body products, candles, tea, and so on. 

To make it even more unique, add a little note or card thanking the employee for all they have done over the last year. Encourage them to enjoy the contents of the package as a reward for their hard work. 

A Virtual Visa Card 

A preloaded Visa card is a versatile work anniversary gift that will never go to waste as it lets your employee purchase something that they will truly enjoy. 

From retailers to subscription services, your employee can choose something they want or need on your dime.

A preloaded Visa card is also a great option if you have a limited budget. You can give an amount according to what you can afford. Even a small amount can go a long way as it can provide your employee with a nice perk to brighten their day.

For more information on how PerkUp can help you gift awesome virtual Visa cards, check us out here.

Movie Or Theater Tickets 

Buying an employee movie or theatre tickets for a 1 year work anniversary enables them to have a fun outing to celebrate their time at the company. 

Consider this option if the person is a movie or theatre buff. You can buy tickets to a specific theatre show that an employee has been wanting to see. Or give them general movie vouchers that can be used at any time, for any movie. 

Gift the employee with at least two tickets so that they can take a spouse, family member, or friend along with them. 

A Pamper Session

A year of hard work and dedication to a company warrants a well-deserved break, and that makes a pamper session an ideal gift for an employee’s first year of work. 

You can gift the employee with a spa voucher for a massage, a facial, or any other treatments they might enjoy. Or, give them a voucher for a yoga or meditation session if that is more of their preference. A gift like this allows the employee to de-stress and rejuvenate and come back rested for another year of work and success. 

A Day Off

A paid day off is one of the best ways to wish an employee a happy 1 year work anniversary. It gives them some valuable time off to rest and relax. 

This extra day will be over and above the employee’s designated paid annual leave. You can either designate their actual anniversary date as a day off, or let them take it whenever they please. 

Having a free day off might be helpful for many reasons. Your employee might want to take a long weekend to enjoy a mini-vacation or a day to complete pressing errands. And if there is no specific activity planned, it is just a good opportunity for them to put their feet up and enjoy a well-deserved rest after a year of hard work and commitment! 

Final Thoughts

One year at a workplace might not feel like very long to many people, but the work and commitment that an employee shows in that time is incredibly valuable to the company. As a result, a 1 year work anniversary is a reason for celebration. 

Different companies have varying budgets for these milestones, so a massive celebration or expensive gift is not always necessary. An employee will appreciate any token, big or small, that celebrates their value within the company. 

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