10 Best Ways to Celebrate Work Anniversary

Your employees are the precious assets of your organization, and celebrating their work anniversaries is just another step towards a beautiful employer-employee relationship. Read on to learn about the 10 best ways to celebrate work anniversary.

Employees are a significant part of any organization and celebrating their work anniversary is a significant milestone. It is very important to celebrate them the right way. However, celebrating an employee’s work anniversary is the most easily overlooked event in any organization. However long their tenure may be, it will always seem forever to employees when they do not feel appreciated at all by their managers or colleagues. After all, every new year with a great team member isn’t just another tally in their records — it’s an achievement that should be celebrated with purpose. They’ve built relationships, accomplished goals, and made an impact on your company, all things that should be celebrated. This blog gives you an idea of the 10 best ways to celebrate work anniversary.

There are many different and unique ways you can show the individuals in your team just how precious they are and how valuable they are to you and the individuals around them. You can start with creating innovative employee rewards, showcasing the impact that they’ve had in the organization, few resourceful gestures, and a party- anything that serves the purpose as long as your intention remains to applaud your employees for their valuable contribution to the company. Work anniversaries carry a lot of emotion for professionals who started working for a company and gained several experiences. It reminds them of their struggles and the good times spent with the team members. As such, celebrating work anniversaries has become an inevitable part of today’s company culture. Further, such celebrations in the workplace positively affect employee engagement and motivate employees to stay connected with their jobs.

Therefore, to help all employers in planning a subtle yet great work anniversary, here are the 10 best ways to celebrate work anniversary at your organization:

Handwritten notes of appreciation

In this technologically-driven age, it’s rare that people sit down to thoughtfully pen their thoughts and sentiments. That’s why an old-fashioned, handwritten note can be so meaningful to your employees. The occasion of a work anniversary is the perfect opportunity to gather the team together and express their gratitude in writing.

For remote workers, a letter in their mailboxes is just an additional bundle of joy for them. This is something that is tangible about writing handwritten letters. They can put these letters up in their workplaces, as a constant reminder for their contribution and to cheer them up on a bad day.

“In a world where so much communication is merely utilitarian, these simple acts of investment, remembrance, gratitude, and appreciation can show the people who matter to your life and business that they are important to you.”

John Coleman, HBR

Public/Social Media announcements

This just takes up the personal notes on a higher notch. Since work anniversaries are such an important moment, this is a great time to truly broadcast someone’s accomplishments in a year. Public recognition can easily be done through email or even as a special shout-out during an all-hands meeting. In addition to honoring a well-deserving employee on their anniversary, making recognition a frequent practice at your organization can increase employee engagement levels by nearly 60%.

Gift Vouchers

A great way to celebrate employees’ anniversaries and also thanking them for their hard work is by getting them an educational (and enjoyable) voucher. Many businesses have vouchers and deals that will take employees out of their comfort zone. Examples of unusual team activities include skiing, rock climbing, surfing lessons, or even a beginner’s lesson in ballroom dancing. This allows a day off from work and a new, exciting experience that your employee can rave about when they are back from work.

Grant decision-making power for awhile

This one idea is especially for the employees who have spent more than 5 or 6 years in the organization. They are highly experienced and are very familiar with the company culture. As an honor for their services, you can make these employees feel like a boss and give them the power to make decisions in the workplace for a day. On their day of a work anniversary, you can introduce your employees’ to the new recruits. And then make the employees take up the orientation sessions and inspire them for their journey ahead.

Allow time-off

Time is valuable to everyone. Hence, a day off at work serves as a great reward for those who’ve been devoting most of their time of the day to the organization. It could either be as minute as a paid day off to a company-sponsored trip. It gives an employee an unexpected break from their day-to-day, which is sometimes all someone needs to come back refreshed and ready to do great work. For employees who’ve served 10 years or more, traveling can be a whole lot therapeutic. So, sponsoring a trip can be both a memorable and meaningful token of appreciation. Employees who stay loyal to the organization for the long term, always deserve the best. And nothing could get better than a company-sponsored trip for this purpose.

Paid sabbatical

Of the organizations listed, Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2012, 25% offer paid sabbaticals. Paid sabbaticals are great for attracting talented employees, but they’re also a great benefit for retaining those employees. Reserve this special perk for employees that have been at your company for five years or longer, since sabbaticals are an opportunity for them to take a step away and come back refreshed. Sabbaticals or extended leaves also impact the company as a whole. Researchers found that when well-seasoned team members take time off, the circumstance gives aspiring leaders a chance to grow and results in better collaboration once the sabbatical is over.

Support the less fortunate

Instead of a financial reward to the employee, who can often quickly forget they received something, why not spend that money on helping those less fortunate? You could make a donation to a local, not for profit group in the employee’s name, and print out the donation receipt or create a nice certificate to give to them. This way, you are not only recognizing the person and celebrating employees’ anniversaries but also supporting the good work of charities in your city.

Sneak Peek into memories

Whether it’s an employee’s first work anniversary or 10th, chances are they — and the company — have changed a lot! Look back at your old chat logs, emails, and files to create a collection of old memories. This can spark some quality team bonding, sentimental conversation, and blackmail opportunities. Remembering the long journey in an organization can be both fun and emotional for an employee. On the day of an employees’ work anniversary, a video or series of photographs can be played. Doing this on the sidelines while appreciating the employee will make the event even more special for them. You can plan this by getting the videos and photos from the employees’ co-workers. And then further compiling and playing it during the appreciation event. Especially for employees serving for the long term, depicting their journey as a timeline of their professional life will make it both inspiring and memorable for everyone.

Create personalized gifts

Instead of looking back, create something new to truly distinguish a long-tenured employee! Fun t-shirts, pins, and patches are all great mementos and a visual indicator to other team members that they should be giving their congratulations. Sending out pre-formatted emails wishing the employees on completing a year of service may not be fruitful. Your employees will love it when you get down to them on a personal level. As personalized gifts, you can consider gifting them accessories such as a coffee mug or a shirt with their name on it. Also, you can gift them books based on their preference which is always a great idea. This way you also get to know your employees on a personal level and pave the way for a great employee-employer relation.

Enjoy a special treat

Everyone appreciates a free treat- be it a free lunch, a happy hour, or their favorite dessert. You can either let them choose their special treat or surprise them. Whether it’s donuts, a sundae bar, or even a bucket of chicken fingers (you always have that one team member…), it’s a thoughtful gesture that shows the company cares. Plus, it’s a moment when everybody gets to take a break, celebrate their fellow team member, and enjoy. Employees feel appreciated when they know that they are being treated to the good things in life. This is very helpful in fostering positive feelings towards their work and superiors.

The bottom line is…

Employees who dedicate a number of years at work deserve all the applause. It is their hard work as well as their loyalty that makes companies thrive. Celebrating employee work anniversaries and acknowledging their accomplishments is one of those few ways where you can try out anything that would make them happy. You can start off by trying any of the above 10 best ways to celebrate a work anniversary, but remember real appreciation always comes from within, and don’t forget to say out loud “HAPPY WORK ANNIVERSARY”.

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