Your employees are valued members of your team, so when an important work anniversary rolls around, it only makes sense to celebrate that accomplishment with a little something special.
But you can do better than a Starbucks gift card inside a dollar store greeting card. It’s time to get creative with your employee anniversary recognition! Here, we’ve compiled some of our favorite work anniversary celebration ideas to help spark some inspiration. Whether you’re working in-office, at home or a mix of both, there’s bound to be some work anniversary ideas on this list that will suit your needs.
15 Creative and Fun Employee Anniversary Ideas
Everyone wants to feel appreciated by their boss and coworkers, and a work anniversary provides the perfect opportunity to show employees that they’re valued. That said, you don’t have to go overboard — a simple but thoughtful employee anniversary gift or celebration will do the trick!
Your ideas for work anniversary acknowledgment might vary depending on your office situation (Are your employees sharing a physical workplace, or are you all working from home?) or the milestone itself (A one-year anniversary will be celebrated much differently than a 25-year anniversary!) but the central concept remains the same. Choose a work anniversary gift idea that speaks to your company culture as well as the employee in question, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful corporate anniversary celebration.
Make a Slideshow
No matter your work environment, a slideshow is an easy, zero-cost way to show some work anniversary recognition to a valued employee. Fill the slideshow with fun images from the employee’s time at your company, highlights of their best work or awards, or even videos of coworkers sharing their favorite memories of the employee.
This is a great work anniversary “gift” because it is easily shared with the employee, allowing them to bring it home to show their loved ones and keep the good vibes flowing!
Send Them Lunch
In today’s work-from-home culture, there’s no greater treat than an ordered-in lunch, so why not give your employee the gift of delivery? Platforms like GrubHub and DoorDash make it easy to gift employees a virtual gift card, so they can order from the restaurant of their choice. Lunch “on the company” is a rare occurrence these days, which makes this gesture all the more special on a work anniversary.
Decorate Their Workspace
As far as celebrating a work anniversary goes, this one is a classic for a reason. Decorating an employee’s cubicle, desk or other workspace is a fun way to show your appreciation and boost their spirits all day long. Get the whole team in on the action as you tape up streamers, balloons and more — your employees will feel good knowing they contributed to their coworker’s big day, without obligating them to kick in any cash.
Gift Them Time Off
If you asked most workers how they’d most like to spend their work anniversary, chances are they’d answer, “Not at work!” The gift of paid time off is one of the most impactful ways to celebrate an employee work anniversary — it’s their day, after all; why not give it to them? If you’re in a position to make a free PTO day happen for your employee, rest assured it’s one employee anniversary gift that won’t be forgotten!
Schedule an On-The-Clock “Party Hour”
Everybody to the break room: It’s party time! Celebrate a work anniversary by scheduling a paid “party hour” for your employees. Whether you’re in-office or totally virtual, your employees can gather for an hour of casual chatting, laughs, and a sweet treat or two. It’s especially fun to kick off the hour by asking each employee to share a funny story about the guest of honor, just to get the party started. Without the pressure of having to make up that hour elsewhere in their work day or week, your employees can actually relax — and that’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Make a Donation in Their Name
If your employee is passionate about a certain cause or organization, consider making a donation in their name. It’s a corporate anniversary gift that shows you’ve paid attention to that employee’s interests, and that you’re engaging with them beyond a surface level. Plus, you can feel good knowing you’ve made a charitable contribution to a cause that matters!
Gift Them Something Thoughtful
Maybe your employee is a coffee fiend, or loves the Minnesota Wild. Perhaps they collect something interesting, or are obsessed with a certain TV show. Whatever their interests, a gift that acknowledges their unique personality is a fantastic way to make an employee feel special on their work anniversary. An item or two in their area of interest and a card signed by the team makes for a lovely, thoughtful gift that shows you’ve been listening.
Personalized Identity Mug
Ask your team to describe the employee of honor in a word or two, then take their responses and create a personalized word cloud mug. Your employee will delight in seeing how their coworkers described them, and they can use the mug every day as a reminder of the value they bring to the team.
Make a Care Package
Who doesn’t love a good care package? This is an easy-to-put-together gift that can be packed with anything and everything the employee would enjoy, from chocolates and new pens to gift cards and handwritten notes. This anniversary gift is extremely versatile, so let your imagination run wild as you brainstorm items to include in your care package. You could even invite each member of the team to contribute an item with a note to make things especially personal.
You might be surprised at how many employees covet the branded company swag they see their corporate higher-ups sporting! A piece of swag, like a branded shirt, pullover or phone case, is an especially effective gift for an employee celebrating a one- or two-year anniversary with the company. It makes them feel that they are truly a part of the team! If you have a wide variety of company swag to choose from, it’s a nice gesture to allow the employee to select their own free swag, rather than choosing for them.
Fruit, cookies, doughnuts, even beef jerky or peanut butter cups: The list of food bouquet options goes on and on! An edible bouquet adds some whimsy (and flavor) to a work anniversary. Choose a bouquet that reflects their food preferences (no jerky bouquets for your vegan employee, and be sure to check about allergies!) and arrange for it to be delivered to their desk on their special day.
An employee anniversary is a fantastic excuse to get the whole team out of the office and into some fun! Plan a group outing on or near the day of the employee’s anniversary and take the office to play some laser tag, taste some fine wine, or throw some axes — whatever everyone would enjoy! Consider allowing the guest of honor to choose the activity from a short list of corporate-approved options. It will make the outing feel more personal than your average company happy hour!
In the week leading up to your employee’s work anniversary, put out a festively decorated comment box in the office and encourage the team to write the employee a note of appreciation. They could share their favorite memories with that employee, give them a compliment, or simply share their congratulations. On the day of the anniversary, present your employee with the comment box filled with their notes of appreciation. They’ll love opening and reading each note, and the entire gift easily becomes a lovely keepsake. This idea works best if every employee can be counted on to write a heartfelt note. You can also adapt this for work-from-home by using virtual tools like Google Forms.
Give the Gift of Self-Care
Many companies preach the importance of self-care to their employees, but few actually make an effort to support their employees in that endeavor. Set your company apart from the rest by gifting your employee a gift certificate to a spa for a relaxing massage or facial of their choice. You might also consider gift certificates to a yoga studio, wellness center or similar — just steer clear of gym memberships and the like, as that can send the wrong message.
Plan Their Evening Out
If you can’t give the gift of a bonus PTO day, the next best thing is to give the gift of a night out. Present your employee of honor with a gift certificate or voucher to a nice restaurant and a gift card to the local movie theater, concert venue or live theater venue. If you’d rather keep things socially-distanced, a gift card to a food delivery service (or a nice restaurant that offers delivery) and a small gift bag full of microwave popcorn and movie candy would also do the trick!
Corporate Milestones: Work Anniversary Gifts By Year
Every work anniversary is important, as it marks another year of hard work and dedication to the company, but milestone anniversaries should stand out as extra-special. Rest assured that employees will notice if you don’t acknowledge their milestones in some way, so why not think outside the box and go above and beyond with your work anniversary gifts for years of service? Here are some employee years of service gift ideas to get you going:
How To Celebrate 1 Year Work Anniversary
According to the Harvard Business Review, a study of more than one million respondents found that voluntary turnover peaked one year after their start dates. Celebrating that one-year work anniversary can be an invaluable retention strategy that reinvigorates your employees’ passion for the company and reminds them that they are valued.
1 Year Work Anniversary Gift
Branded Laptop Backpack: A sleek backpack branded with your company logo and large enough comfortably fit a work laptop makes for an exciting, useful one-year work anniversary gift. Backpacks of this type can run between $20-$120 depending on the style, materials and level of customization. If you have an employee celebrating a one year anniversary at work, this is the perfect gift in both price range and practicality.
How To Celebrate a 5 Year Work Anniversary
In the era of “gig-worker” Millennial employees, the average job tenure in the U.S. for workers of all ages is just 4.4 years. Clearly, keeping someone around five years is an accomplishment that ought to be celebrated right! The five-year mark is a great place to start stepping up your game in terms of years of service gifts. An experiential gift that helps your employee make memories or bond with your team is the ideal way to recognize this milestone work anniversary.
5 Year Work Anniversary Gift
Gift Them an Awesome Experience: Platforms like Airbnb easily connect individuals with exciting, enriching adventures and experiences they might not otherwise have thought possible. If your company can afford to send your employee away for the weekend, by all means do so — but you’re also likely to find experiences close to home, or even online, as some experiences are on pause due to COVID-19. Experiences range from less than $10/person to well beyond depending on the length and complexity of the activities, but online experiences are typically less costly.
How To Celebrate a 10 Year Work Anniversary
After 10 years on the job, your employee has earned a great deal of respect and recognition from your company and your team. Your work anniversary gift ideas for employees with this kind of tenure should reflect the impressive nature of their time with you. Acknowledge their accomplishments with a gift that’s worthy of their years of dedication, and from this point forward, scrimping is absolutely not allowed!
10 Year Work Anniversary Gift
Paid Sabbatical: Again, time is a priceless gift, and after 10 years on your team, your employee certainly deserves a month to themselves. A one-month paid sabbatical allows them to indulge in family time, work on their passion project, or take a trip they’ve been longing to embark on, all without the pressures or stress of work.
How To Celebrate a 15 Year Work Anniversary
At 15 years, your company’s relationship with your employee has outlasted most marriages! Reward your veteran employees with a major gift and company-wide recognition: It’s not every day you get an employee truly in it for the long haul.
15 Year Work Anniversary Gift
$2,500 Gift of Their Choice: At the 15-year mark, your employee has proven their loyalty to the company, and that should be rewarded in a big way! Offer your employee in-office recognition, like a team-wide cake party, in addition to a gift of their choice valued at about $2,500. This could manifest as a vacation, PTO, tech gifts or anything under the sun! Chicago-based company Codifyd offers a year-based gift reward to their employees; one employee chose a company-sponsored vacation with his significant other for his 15-year anniversary gift.
How To Celebrate a 20 Year Work Anniversary
iHire’s 2019 Talent Retention Report found that 75% of employees in the U.S. don’t plan to stay at their current job for more than five years, so after 20 years in your workplace, your employee has gone above and beyond all expectations. A combination of any of the previous gifts would suffice, but there are ways to take this years of service gift to the next level.
20 Year Work Anniversary Gift
A Company-Paid Vacation (1 Week or More): There’s nothing more thrilling than being told you’re going on a vacation, and it’s been paid in full. Send your employee and their significant other, if applicable, on a week-long (or more!) vacation with airfare and hotel accommodations paid by the company. Work with your employee to find the right time for the vacation to ensure it does not interfere with any other plans or work events on their calendar. This is a show of support and appreciation that your employee won’t soon forget — and will remind them that the past 20 years have been well worth it.
How To Celebrate 25 Year Work Anniversary
A quarter of a century has passed since your employee’s first day of work, and they’re still on board. That is a hugely impressive milestone, so it’s time to go all-out and throw a corporate anniversary celebration fit for royalty!
25 Year Work Anniversary Gift
A Formal Event in Their Honor: Dedicating 25 years of one’s life to a single company is a huge show of loyalty and passion. Celebrating those 25 years publicly and with aplomb is the best way to show that employee your appreciation. Throw a formal event such as a dinner party or award ceremony and make the employee the guest of honor. Recruit the teammates who have helped your veteran employee build their career and their organization to help plan the event. Between the heartfelt speeches, engaging entertainment, and the thrill of being in a position of honor for the evening, your employee will walk away feeling deeply valued.
How To Celebrate a 30 Year Work Anniversary
In the past 30 years, your employee may have risen high on the corporate ladder, got married, raised a family and more — all the while remaining a veteran employee of the company. 30 years is an extraordinarily long time to stick with one company, so your 30-year work anniversary gift should be likewise extraordinary.
30 Year Work Anniversary Gift
Send Them On an Extended Overseas Trip: Two weeks in Paris? How about a cruise of the Mediterranean? Or backpacking in China? The 30-year anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to help your employee check something major off their bucket list, like that overseas trip they’ve been longing to take with their significant other, adult child or best friend. Book the tickets and the room and send them across the pond — they’ve more than earned a taste of real adventure.
Celebrating Employee Anniversaries at the Heritage Center of Brooklyn Center
When you’re ready to throw a work anniversary celebration for an employee of honor, Heritage Center will be ready to help you plan an extraordinary event with style and safety in every detail. Contact us today to learn more about our versatile spaces and expert planners. We can’t wait to bring your work anniversary celebration ideas to life!