Guide to Celebrating a Work Anniversary
Celebrating a work anniversary is a longstanding tradition for many companies — and for good reason! It’s super important to show a little extra recognition to all the hardworking, dedicated employees, and work anniversaries are the perfect opportunity to do so!
Typically, companies will celebrate work anniversaries for employees who have been with the company for a substantial amount of time. But whether it’s a one year anniversary or a remarkable 5, 10, or even 20 year anniversary — having a celebration (big or small!) is always a good idea!
In this guide, we’ll go over the importance of acknowledging a work anniversary, different ways to celebrate work anniversaries, corporate gifting dos and donts, plus fun employee gift ideas for a work anniversary.
Why It’s Important to Celebrate a Work Anniversary
For employees, a work anniversary is a significant milestone both personally and professionally. We spend so much of our lives at work, and that hard work and dedication deserves to be celebrated. And celebrating these special occasions can make a big difference in a workplace!
Boost Employee Morale
It's all about showing recognition! When you recognize an employee's work anniversary, it shows them how much you appreciate their commitment and dedication. And a little recognition goes a looooong way! Celebrating work anniversaries can boost employee morale and give them a deeper emotional connection to the company.
Enhance Company Culture
Celebrating a work anniversary is a moment of pride and validation for employees as their work is publicly acknowledged — which is a great way to enhance your overall company culture. That positive energy is infectious around the office, and your employees will be sure to see it - and feel it!
Increase Employee Retention
Celebrating these milestones can actually lead to improved employee engagement and loyalty. When people feel valued and appreciated, they're more likely to give it their all and stick with the company for the long haul. That means less turnover and a more dedicated team – win-win!
Ways to Celebrate a Work Anniversary
There are tons of ways to celebrate a work anniversary — the options are truly endless! But here are some of the most popular ways to celebrate with your team and recognize your employees for their contributions:
Host an Event
Break out the confetti cannons and pop the champagne! Hosting a special event or party is a fantastic way to to honor those dedicated employees who've been rocking it with the company for ages! Whether it's a fun bash at the office, a fancy dinner at a local hotspot, or a full-blown company retreat, it's all about celebrating those special folks who have been with the company for years. Make it extra special with some surprise speeches — you know there won’t be a dry eye in the house!
Write a Personal Note
It’s not always about grand gestures — sometimes, it’s all about a personal touch. And a thoughtful note is a great way to express appreciation to an employee for their continued hard work and dedication. Bonus points if it’s handwritten! It will go a long way in creating a meaningful connection and making your employee feel extra special.
Offer a Special Bonus
Nothing says "You're amazing!" like some extra perks! Offering special bonuses, promotions, or even extra time off can make a work anniversary feel like a real milestone. Who doesn't love a little extra something for being an all-star team member?
Give a Thoughtful Gift
Surprising an employee with a thoughtful gift, like branded headphones or a custom sweatshirt, for their work anniversary is always a good idea! It serves as a tangible reminder of hitting this huge milestone — so make sure it’s something your employee can use and keep forever. Think: custom engraved champagne flutes or rocks glasses; an embossed luxury pen or other chic desk accessories; or something specifically related to their hobbies. Remember, it’s not about the grandeur, but the thought that goes into it that counts!
Work Anniversary Gift Ideas
Stylish Celebration Gift
A work anniversary celebration calls for a special toast! Which is why The Toast gift box is first on our list. Stylish, luxurious, but still within reach — this gift says “cheers to you!” without feeling too over the top. It’s one of our most popular gifts for a reason!
Luxury Cocktail Gift Box
Celebrate a work anniversary in style with a luxurious cocktail-inspired gift box. As part of the Luxe Collection in our Corporate Catalog, The Speakeasy is a gift that oozes with class. For a personal touch, include custom engraved rocks glasses, or surprise your recipient with the spirit of their choice — you could even add a custom label for the occasion!
Work Anniversary Gift Box
We have the PERFECT gift for celebrating a work anniversary — in fact, we even named it The Work Anniversary! This gift is like a perfect balance between The Toast and The Speakeasy: it has celebratory sparklers, a Moscow Mule cocktail kit, plus a little cheeky plant kit that says “Dang, You’re on Fire!” This fun, unexpected gift is the perfect gesture for your star employee!
Experiential Gift for Employees
Give the gift of lasting memories when you surprise your employee with a special work anniversary gift, plus a weekend getaway! Available in the Luxe Collection of our Corporate Gifting Catalog, The Weekender gift box is a great gift to really wow your VIP employee — top it off with an AirBnB gift card (or something of the sort!) so they can celebrate this huge milestone with their nearest & dearest on a lovely weekend getaway trip. To make the experience even cozier, consider adding a custom sweatshirt and a custom logo blanket.
Best Practices for Celebrating a Work Anniversary
Choose the Right Gift or Reward
When it comes to celebrating a work anniversary with a gift or reward, you want to make sure you get it right! It’s all about making it personal and meaningful for the employee. Think about what they love and what best suits their personality. You also should consider how long they’ve been part of the team to make sure the gift or reward adequately reflects their tenure and contribution to the company. The goal is to make your employee feel recognized and valued!
Be Inclusive and Mindful
Planning a special work anniversary celebration? Great! But, be sure to keep things inclusive and respectful. It’s important to take into account everyone's preferences and cultural sensitivities — like having a menu that accommodates dietary restrictions and respects religious observances. This way, everyone feels included and appreciated!
Incorporate Company Values
Work anniversaries are an opportunity to reinforce your company values and traditions! Any celebration, gift, or reward should reflect the company culture and mission. Whether it’s a speech highlighting how the employee demonstrates the companies core values, or giving a special gift that incorporates your company shtick — it will help create a sense of belonging for everyone involved!
Written by Lisa Cox. Updated Aug. 2023.