Work Anniversaries

How To Celebrate A 5 Year Work Anniversary

August 11, 2022
min read

Current research shows the average job tenure is 1.8 years, so having an employee reach the 5 year milestone is an achievement that deserves recognition. So, what do you do to celebrate the momentous occasion that is a 5 year work anniversary?

Firstly, give yourself some credit for retaining your employee for so long! 

Secondly, mark the occasion with a unique event or gift for your loyal team member. Reflect on what they have achieved over the last few years and where they want to go in the future. This may give you some ideas of what to reward them with if you don’t already have a formal recognition structure in place. 

Five years is a considerable milestone, so you want this celebration to make the person feel valued and appreciated. We’ve put together some ideas below to help you do exactly that. These will put a smile on your employees’ faces and help them make some wonderful memories with your company.

18 Ways To Celebrate A 5 Year Work Anniversary

1. Organize A Staff Party

A staff party is a classic anniversary celebration. It balances acknowledgment, recognition, and fun perfectly.

The party can have a theme where everyone has to dress up, and you organize decorations and activities. Or, it can be as simple as getting everyone together in the meeting room to enjoy refreshments and a cake with the word congratulations inscribed in frosting. 

The important bit here is to gather the whole team and formally acknowledge the person in question. Thank them for their loyalty and hard work over the years, and express how excited you are to continue working together in the future. 

2. Give Them A Thoughtful Present

Perhaps your employee is a coffee enthusiast or a big fan of a certain baseball team. Or, maybe they have an unusual collection or idolize someone in particular, be it a movie star, singer, or famous personality.  

Whatever their interests are, a present that recognizes their distinct personality is an excellent way to make the person feel special on their 5 year work anniversary. 

A few items in their area of interest, along with a message signed by the team, create a thoughtful gift that indicates you've been paying attention and value them as an individual.

3. Organize Creative Workshops

Celebrate an employee's years of achievement by gifting them a pass to a creative workshop. This is a great chance for them to learn new abilities and nurture their creative spark in areas and outlets that interest them.  Plus, the novelty of learning something new always brings delight and fulfillment.

Of course, there is the added bonus that this gift may open up new avenues of creative thought that bring innovation into your company. This can lead to breakthroughs, increased productivity, and overall stakeholder, employee, and customer satisfaction.

4. Make A Donation In The Person’s Name

If your employee is passionate about a specific cause or organization, consider donating in their name. It’s a corporate anniversary gift that shows you’ve paid attention to that employee’s interests as you support a cause that is meaningful to them. 

In addition, it is a way to engage with the person that reflects positively on your company culture and image. You can also feel good knowing you’ve made a charitable contribution to a cause that matters.

5. A Virtual Visa Card to Buy of Their Choice 

Gift a virtual visa card, and you give employees an amount to spend on something that they will actually enjoy and use. In addition, a preloaded card ensures that you set out a reward that fits the budget every time. 

Employees love this because they have an abundance of options to spend the money. Plus, they will choose something that’s meaningful to them, be it an experience, online class, clothing, electronics, or holiday. 

6. Company Merchandise

You'd be shocked by how many employees love branded company gear. It’s a way for them to show off where they work and make them feel like they are genuinely a part of the team. 

With this in mind, branded shirts, phone cases, coffee mugs, stationery, or stainless steel flasks are the types of gifts that anyone celebrating their 5 year work anniversary will love.  

If you can personalize the merch you give, all the better! Having their name on something with company branding can boost their morale and loyalty.

7. A Meal With A Mentor

Arranging for your employee to have a meal with a mentor is a unique way to commemorate the big occasion. It’s an opportunity for the person to learn from and get to know their mentor better. In addition, it’s the perfect way to check that your organization is on track with supporting the person’s career goals.

As far as professional development goes, this is precisely the type of opportunity that many people look for when considering career progress. 

8. Give The Gift Of Self-Care

Many businesses preach the value of self-care to their employees, but not all truly make an effort to assist them in reaching this goal. 

One way to ensure that you follow through in this respect is to present your employee with a spa voucher of their choice. It could also be a pass to a yoga studio, wellness center, or similar. The idea is to provide a space where the person can take up some personal time to de-stress and find a bit of balance in life. 

9. Award Them With A Trophy

Trophies are timeless global emblems of achievement. Everyone from Academy Award winners to Super Bowl victors to spelling bee champs relishes the opportunity to hold a trophy up high and place it on their mantlepiece. 

It’s no different for the high achievers who celebrate their 5 year work anniversary with your business. Awarding a trophy can do wonders to elevate the person’s spirits, give them a sense of accomplishment, and provide a keepsake for them to reflect on. 

To make the trophy extra special, find a skilled artisan to engrave the person’s name, date, and achievement on it.

Related: Feeling Funny? 5 Funny Work Anniversary Gifts Employees Can’t Get Enough Of

10. Plan A Night Out

Most people can appreciate a gift of a night out. An idea for your honored employee is to plan and send them on an evening that includes some of their favorite things to do. It could be to dine at their favorite restaurant, see a movie, or go to the theatre. 

Keep in mind that it’s best to double up on this gift so that the person can enjoy it with a loved one. Also, give them the freedom to choose a suitable date so they can clear their schedule and make the necessary arrangements at home.   

11. A Photo Frame Of Office Memories

A big frame with photos that show memories of the employee’s last five years is a wonderfully nostalgic gift for them to reflect on. Contact the person’s coworkers and find out if they have any images to share that you can print and place into the frame. You might have snaps from previous company events to include too. 

Make an occasion of presenting the frame to the person. You can put it up in their office while they are out and invite everyone to attend the ‘unveiling.’ 

12. Reward Them With A Memorable Experience

No matter your budget, gifting an experience always makes for a memorable reward. Whether you spend $10 or $100, you’re bound to find something that the person will love. 

It could be a virtual experience or an in-person experience doing something they like. If you’re unsure of what to give, speak to the person’s team to find out where their interests lie.

13. LinkedIn Shout-Out

Giving public recognition is a sure-fire way to boost employee morale. For a 5 year work anniversary, consider taking the message beyond your internal communication channels and publish a shoutout on LinkedIn. It holds clout as a professional network, which, in turn, helps to elevate your employee’s sense of pride, belonging, and status within the company. 

14. Feature The Person On Your Company’s Internal Network

Make your employees feel like celebrities by featuring them in your company newsletter on their anniversary. 

It could be as simple as spotlighting their name, picture, and a random fun fact along with your message of congratulations. Or, you could ask them to complete a Q&A with a bit more detail to help the rest of the team get to know the person better.  

15. Hand Out Custom Design T-Shirts

Custom t-shirts always grab the attention they deserve. When your employee hits their 5 year work anniversary, you can commemorate that moment with a shirt. It could be a custom design to celebrate the person as an individual or one that marks the milestone. 

Whatever the case, this adds camaraderie and a deeper sense of team solidarity to anniversary festivities. 

16. Stock Options

At the five-year mark, you can bet that a person is pretty invested in their role at your business. By giving them stock options in the company, you can cement their loyalty and encourage them to continue giving their work their all. 

Holding stocks means that the person has a staked interest in the business they work so hard for. It also motivates them to keep up the great work and get more rewards out as fruits of their labor. 

17. Record A Personalized Video 

Consider making a personalized anniversary message video to surprise your employee on their 5 year work anniversary. 

A personalized video will elicit more emotion than any greeting card or a beautifully written remark. Just think, it can function as a mini time capsule. The person can watch it at any time in the future and recall how great they felt on that day.

You don't need any fancy cameras or equipment to record the video either. A modern mobile device will do the trick. 

To begin, create a list of amusing questions to ask a group of 5-10 people who work with the person in question. Ask each team member your questions, and film their responses with your phone or video camera. Make sure to conduct the interviews independently so that previous answers do not impact people's replies.  

Once you have everyone’s input, edit the responses to make it into a catchy video. Then, show the film at a team meeting or simply email it to your employee and their department.

To get you started, here are four sample questions:

  1. What is [name] most known for around the office?
  2. If [name] didn’t work here, where would she/he work?
  3. What was your funniest/most memorable interaction with [name]?
  4. What do you like most about working with [name]?

18. Support Their Hobbies

Last but not least, you can celebrate the person’s anniversary by supporting their hobbies. This will help them achieve that all-important work-life balance and give them the extra means they need to do more of what they love. 

For example, if the person is an avid tennis player, give them a voucher to buy a racket or kit they need. If they are into martial arts, rally up some of the team to watch a fight night they are participating in.  

The person will be overjoyed to learn that the business and team are taking a personal interest in what they do outside of work. Being human goes a long way in improving employee loyalty and satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

Placing value on and giving your employees the recognition they deserve can help with motivation, satisfaction, productivity, and the overall company culture. So, make a point of celebrating your workforce’s important dates within the business. 

Whether you do something big or small, the person is bound to appreciate the special gesture for their 5 year work anniversary.

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