Work Anniversaries

Work Anniversary Ideas To Celebrate A Dedicated Employee

June 2, 2022
min read

If you’re looking for the ultimate list of work anniversary ideas, you’ve come to the right place!

At PerkUp, we know how important it is to recognize your people. With this in mind, we put together a comprehensive list of inspiration to help you start celebrating work anniversaries properly.

Why Celebrate Your Employees’ Work Anniversaries

Celebrating a work anniversary is an important way for a business to recognize an individual’s contributions to the company. 

On the other hand, employees often will use the occasion to reflect positively on their time with your organization. This can strengthen their relationships with your organization, which in turn increases productivity, loyalty, and commitment.

Now, there are many ways to mark this special occasion. You might want to consider offering your employees:

On that note, let’s explore.

Fifteen Best Work Anniversary Ideas To Celebrate An Employee’s Dedication

Keep in mind that the ideas you come up with to recognize your team don’t have to be overly complicated. If you’re a small company with a smaller budget, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple.

1. Host An Office Party

There’s a reason why throwing an office party to celebrate an employee is considered a classic way to commemorate a significant milestone or achievement. Not only is it a fantastic way to say “Thank you” to an employee for their continued dedication, but it also works to incentivize their colleagues.

Office parties are fun for the whole team and remind everyone that they have something to look forward to. 

Parties are a great idea for larger milestones like ten, twenty, or thirty-year work anniversaries. Note, though, that office parties should be thrown in moderation, especially if you have a relatively small working team. If there is a party every other week, the value of this particular celebration may be diminished. 

Related: How To Create The Perfect Work Anniversary Invitation

2. Brighten Up Their Desk

If you want a personal way to thank an employee for their hard work and dedication, why not decorate their desk? It could be a pleasant surprise for a person to have their desk decorated with balloons and personalized, hand-written notes from you and the team. 

It’s also always a good idea to include a small gift such as a plant or framed photograph for their desk. This fun idea also works for any milestone, whether it’s an employee’s first work anniversary or their twenty-fifth!

3. Deck Them Out With Company Merchandise 

It’s not always easy knowing what to get a person for their first or second milestone. One of the best work anniversary ideas for these situations is to gift them with customized company merchandise

Give your employee a T-shirt or sweatshirt with your company’s logo on it, or a snazzy pen that advertises your business.

Whatever the gift is, a nice touch is to go the extra mile and customize it for the person.

For example, engraving their name on a company pen or having their name embroidered onto the sweatshirt rather than giving them generic merchandise can create a more personal gift. It’s also a nice and thoughtful way to link an employee to the company and develop a sense of unity between the two. 

4. Offer Choice

If you want to reward your employee with money, an excellent way to do so would be to give them a virtual visa card. This can also be a physical card that can be used in-store or at a restaurant. 

The best part about rewarding your team with virtual Visa cards through PerkUp is that you don’t have to worry about finding something you know they’ll like. They get to make that choice for you! This is a great option for those who are especially particular when it comes to their likes and dislikes.

Gift cards are excellent work anniversary ideas for any milestone, regardless of how many years they have been at the company. If this idea interests you, we can help!

Related: Say It Right With Personalized Work Anniversary Gifts

5. Take Them Out For A Celebratory Lunch

Who doesn’t love a free lunch? A meal in your employee’s honor can be a good way to get to know them on a more personal level in a casual setting. Certainly, a paid lunch is a gesture that almost anyone can appreciate. 

If your budget permits, it can also be fun to include your employee’s team and make it a team lunch event. This will help incentivize other employees and encourage them to reach their milestones. 

Best practice here is to let your employee choose the restaurant. Whether it’s their favorite or one from a list you provide, at least you know it will be appreciated.

6. Create A Commemorative Video

Fun work anniversary ideas can be as simple as creating a digital keepsake for your employee. Recording a video that sings their praises and congratulates them on the milestone is a great way to give voice to your appreciation. 

Plus, their co-workers can get in on the action and say something nice or share a personal story or anecdote on camera. 

You can be as creative and goofy as you want with this idea. Find a way to incorporate the video into a team meeting. Or make an event of screening the video for everyone to enjoy. Either way, your employee will feel recognized and can keep the clip to look back on for years to come. 

This is an especially good idea for senior employees who have spent years cultivating strong working relationships with their colleagues. It gives them a chance to receive a gift that lets them know that the company cares. 

7. Pay A Bonus

Bonuses are great as far as work anniversary ideas go. They provide your employee with a tangible incentive and are perfect for showing your gratitude. Employees work hard to earn their money, so it makes sense to give them a bonus when they reach a big milestone. 

Note, though, that despite what you may think, time and time again, money has proven not to be the most significant employee motivator. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not appreciated. 

If you’re not sure how much of a bonus you should reward, a great rule of thumb is to equate the bonus with a month’s pay. 

If you’re about to make issuing bonuses a standard practice in your business, be sure to set the amount according to employee level for fairness across the board. 

8. Offer An Opportunity To Own Shares

Similar to the idea of rewarding your employees with a bonus, why not reward them with a certain number of shares in the business?

Not only is this a great work anniversary idea, but it is also a good way to make your employee feel like part of the company, rather than just another employee. 

This idea can also work for almost any work anniversary, particularly those who are approaching their five-year milestone. The average work tenure is currently 4.1 years, so incentivizing employees with share options before then can potentially extend this.

In short, there is potential with this long-term reward to extend and strengthen long-term loyalty to your business. 

9. Lay Out A Promotion

Sticking with the same train of thought as above, rewarding a deserving employee with a promotion is one of the top work anniversary ideas to acknowledge their hard work. 

Employees often have ambitions beyond grafting for a bonus or more money. Indeed, many aim to expand their skill set, grow professionally, and tackle new challenges. As a result, a work anniversary is just another opportunity for you to promote your deserving and dedicated team player. 

By giving promotions based on merit, performance, and years of service, you can increase your employees’ loyalty and dedication to the company. Plus, it means you are promoting from within, which is always a winning formula for success. 

Related: How To Celebrate A 5 Year Work Anniversary

10. Allow For Some R&R

Little is more rewarding than being given some time off for well-earned rest and relaxation. This is an excellent work anniversary idea to gift your employee for their hard work and dedication. 

The person can use it as a day off to spend with their friends or family, or to catch up on some much-needed beauty sleep. As the employer, it’s a good way to show that you and the company acknowledge and value the importance of personal time. 

As a bonus, a well-rested and relaxed employee can be even more productive when they return to the office. They may even work a little harder knowing that they’re working towards another day off to spend however they like. 

11. Gift The Experience Of A Lifetime

Many organizations seem to forget that their employees have hobbies, interests, wants, and desires outside of work. If you wish to distinguish yourself as an employer that cares for their team, you may want to consider rewarding senior employees with an experience they’ve only ever dreamed of. 

In order to get this work anniversary idea right, you need some personal knowledge of your employees. You should be able to answer questions like “What have they always wanted to do or experience?”.

These experiences can be as simple as sending them to an exclusive fine dining restaurant or on a relaxing wine tasting experience. It can also be as wild as paying for them to go skydiving or zip-lining. 

By gifting employees with a personalized experience, you are showing them that the company has a personal interest in their interests outside of work. Of course, this helps to bolster loyalty and satisfaction for the company. 

12. Send Them On A Vacation

Who hasn’t sat at their desk and thought, “I’d much rather be on a beach right now.” We know we have, and so one of our top work anniversary ideas for senior employees is a company-sponsored trip. If you have an employee celebrating an anniversary of ten years or more, it can be a generous gesture to reward them with a vacation. 

This is a meaningful and memorable way to celebrate your employees and shows them that their loyalty, dedication, and sacrifice for the company are acknowledged and valued. 

A company-sponsored trip doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank or blowing a bigger budget. If you’re a smaller company with a smaller workforce, you could consider adjusting the budget to send the employee-of-honor on a cruise or for a weekend stay at a local spa or resort.

13. Say A Short Speech

Although this may seem simple, giving a public and meaningful speech that celebrates your employee’s achievements can be a good way to show your gratitude and appreciation for their continued service. 

Aim to mention specific achievements and accomplishments that have helped enhance your business. Also, discuss what traits and characteristics your employee has that makes them such a valued member of the company. 

Make sure to keep your speech light and casual, and don’t be afraid to be funny. By injecting some humor into your speech, you can make your employee feel appreciated on a more personal level. 

14. Open Opportunities For Growth 

As an employer, you can sometimes lose sight of an employee’s individuality. To counteract this and ensure that your employee knows that you value them as an individual, you could gift them a learning opportunity. 

Employees want to grow and develop both inside and outside their work environment. So why not afford them the opportunity to do that? By sending your employee to a workshop or seminar that you know they’ll enjoy, you’re allowing them to build on their skills. 

If you are sending your employee to a personal growth workshop, make sure that it is something they are interested in or have wanted to try for some time. 

By investing in an employee’s growth, you are ultimately fostering an ideal employee-company relationship.

15. Donate To A Charity Of Their Choice

Some employees may want a chance to use their achievements as an opportunity to give back. Or, maybe they want to bring awareness to a cause that they’re passionate about but may not always have the means to do so.

As an employer, you could reward your employee by donating to a charity of their choice. Whether you donate money or gather the entire team to volunteer their time, you can bet that it will make a difference and impact your employee on a personal level. 

This will show that you have a vested interest in them as an individual as you show solidarity with their chosen cause. This can help cultivate a stronger bond between your employees and the company as a whole. 

Final Thoughts

In addition to creating a bond with your employee, celebrating their work anniversary also helps to keep the person engaged. It gets them excited for the future of the company and their role in driving it towards success.

Reaching work anniversary milestones is a fantastic accomplishment for your employee and also your business. By showing enthusiasm in the matter, you can help your employees stay motivated until the next milestone rolls around. 

Be sure not to overstretch yourself, though. Whatever your budget, it’s always possible to make a difference by rewarding something from the list of work anniversary ideas. Even the smallest gesture can help to keep your employees’ positive, engaged, and focused.

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