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Employee Recognition Make Employee Work Anniversaries Special blog

5 Small Ways to Make Employee Work Anniversaries Special


By Hallmark Business Connections | November 18, 2015 | Blog Posts | Engage Employees

A work anniversary can be a special time for employees to reflect on the previous work year: their successes, accomplishments, and career growth. It’s also an important milestone for employers to recognize because it shows they value having an employee on board.

Effective employee recognition starts with keeping an organized record of staff member start dates so no anniversary goes unnoticed. Next is finding a recognition method that works with company goals and budget. Even a simple celebration of an employee’s accomplishments will boost morale and improve employee engagement throughout the organization.

Take a look at our list of simple work anniversary celebration ideas that show appreciation for a year of hard work:

Public Reward

Publicly recognizing employees for reaching an anniversary, whether it’s the first or the fifth, is a great low-effort way to thank employees for their dedication to a company. It can be as simple as sending out a company-wide email, according to Exec|Comm.

“Send out emails announcing anniversaries and the value the employees bring to the company. Call out a specific project they worked on and how it positively impacted the company. Invite everyone on the email to stop by their desk to say congratulations.”

Another more creative way to publicly commemorate this milestone is a funny, lighthearted company gift. At Groupon, work anniversaries are recognized with the public gift of a bright green, personalized track jacket. Similarly, Influence & Co. publicly rewards its honored employees with a wrestling-style championship belt for creative contributions to the company.

Personal Gift

If bright green track jackets aren’t exactly the celebrated employee’s style, try celebrating the work anniversary with a personalized gift. “A personal gift can make employees feel special and give them a reason to look forward to their work anniversary. Purchase a new briefcase, fresh fruit basket or gourmet treats to leave on their desk,” says Exec|Comm.

Employee Recognition award from Hallmark Business Connections

Or, give the gift of choice: a gift card for employee recognition. Redeemable at several major retailers, restaurants, and more, Hallmark Business Connections’ recognition awards give employees the opportunity to spend where they need or want to. A handwritten message commemorating the anniversary will add a personal touch.

Sincere Note

A simple anniversary greeting card with a handwritten greeting from the company CEO, upper management, or mentors can brighten up a work anniversary.

“Make it personal with a card, letter, phone call, personal visit, or some other gesture. Don’t worry about making it formal. It just needs to be a genuine expression of appreciation,” notes Integrity HR. “A few sincere words from management will be noticed and appreciated by an employee and greatly improve their morale. Oftentimes, just a few sincere words of appreciation are worth more to the employee than an expensive gift!”

Work Party

To have a little fun, look at work anniversaries as a chance to celebrate with the whole company outside of the office. A few work anniversary party ideas from Chron include a company outing to a restaurant or sporting event, if the budget allows.

A few other ideas are more budget-sensitive. “Plan a company-wide 5K in [an employee’s] honor, if she enjoys running, or head to the local softball diamond for fun. Other options include a traditional potluck, a game day where employees bring in fun toys like Slinkys and Frisbees or a themed party such as a luau.”

Time Off

What’s a more fitting reward for another year of hard work than a day off? Some businesses use a floating holiday for employees to redeem around their birthday, but the same idea can be used for work anniversaries. Allow employees to take a day off on or around a work anniversary if they want.

“The best way to celebrate is to give the employee time off,” says Inc. Employees will appreciate a flexible vacation policy, especially if it allows them to celebrate personal milestones however they want to, whether it’s relaxing with a good book, spending time with their family, or going outdoors.

Final Thoughts

Employee anniversaries are an important milestone for both the individual employee and the company. With these simple celebration ideas, show your employees you value what they bring to the company.

Commemorating another successful year of employment, including specific successes and accomplishments, demonstrates employee appreciation. Effective displays of appreciation and recognition will result in even more loyal and engaged employees in the future.

How do you celebrate employee work anniversaries at your company?

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