Celebrations are always fun at the workplace – whatever the reason is. Who doesn’t want cake on a Tuesday afternoon?
We celebrate many different occasions at work, from birthdays and holidays to employee appreciation days and retirement parties. Work anniversaries, however, don’t always get the same level of recognition.
Celebrating a work anniversary should be a tradition at every workplace. Doing so can foster employee loyalty, increase morale, and keep the bond and interaction between colleagues strong.
When it comes to work anniversaries, there are many reasons to celebrate.
If you are a manager that cares about your employees, you have to show it. Employees are constantly reviewing their experience with their employers. If they feel unappreciated, this can lead to burnout, toxic work environments, and people quitting because they hate their jobs. They are human beings and not just a number. If you recognize them, they will feel appreciated and valued, and their performance will reflect this.
It’s also important to celebrate your own successes. After a while, the months and years can start to blur, so take some time to do something special each year and celebrate your accomplishments! If your workplace doesn’t do anything to acknowledge your work anniversary, mark the occasion on your own or with your coworkers.
Here are some fun activities and ideas you can do to celebrate a work anniversary.
1. A Day Off
A hectic work schedule is frequently to blame for upsetting an employee’s work-life balance. Taking a break or a day off to rejuvenate and spend time with loved ones is a great way to recharge.
Giving your staff a day off to celebrate their work anniversary is a terrific way to set the tone. It gives them the impression that you care about your employees and recognize the value of personal time.
Or you could use your paid time off to take the day for yourself. (I also do this for my birthday.)
2. Sleeping In
Are you tired? The chances are good that you are.
By giving your staff the morning off on their work anniversary to catch up on sleep, they’ll feel more recharged than ever. Giving your employee more sleep is simple but effective. Letting them sleep in can make them more productive when coming into the office.
3. Workplace Recognition
One of the best ways to celebrate employees’ work anniversaries is to spotlight them. Nothing beats being acknowledged for years of service in front of their peers.
By making this a tradition, no one will ever feel left out. Workers will have a sense of belonging in a place where they can thrive and are appreciated for their contributions.
When you encourage your workers to recognize each other’s accomplishments, you’ll create a better relationship with everyone. Having a strong connection and bond with your team will keep the company growing stronger.
4. Shoutout on Social Media
All companies should have at least one social media profile. By giving your employees a shoutout on social media, people will know how well you treat your staff. For example, you can write a fantastic description about your employee and share it on LinkedIn. This is a creative way to display the company culture to the world.
5. Commemorative Video
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth ten thousand. Thanks to technology, it doesn’t take that long to put together a fantastic video.
You can get all your workers to participate to surprise that one particular worker. Everyone can share their experience in the workplace by recording themselves speaking. Better yet, they can talk about anything memorable.
Once you get everyone’s clips, you can make them into one long video and send it to your workers on their work anniversary. They’ll be so happy!
6. A Plaque or Certificate
Employee recognition can really go a long way. Mark milestone work anniversaries like 10 and 20 years with an engraved plaque or nice certificate.
Why not give your employee a memorable gift such as a scrapbook? Who wouldn’t be delighted to receive something that’s personalized and meaningful? This is the perfect idea for someone who has been with your team for many years which shows how much you value their time and contributions.
Ask others to contribute to the scrapbook since finding photos and putting them together takes time.
8. Workplace Explosion
How would you feel if you arrived at work and found your desk decked with thank you cards, beautiful flowers, balloons, and other goodies? You would probably feel important and touched that everyone remembers you and your contributions to the team. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful day to start your day?
Everyone deserves to feel special. If it is not your work anniversary, you should congratulate others if it is their day. By conveying your wishes to your coworkers by giving them cards or flowers, they will feel appreciated.
9. An Office Makeover
Your employees have worked hard all year long and may deserve an office makeover. Whether they work at home or in the office, you want them always to be comfortable when working.
People tend to be disconnected due to their space. People working from home due to the pandemic can get to the point where it starts to affect their health and well-being.
Giving them a chance to have an office makeover can increase productivity and help their health. An office makeover is one of the best ways to celebrate their work anniversary. It doesn’t have to be a lot but a meaningful budget to upgrade their office space and make it where they will feel pleased. Even a fresh coat of paint or a new office chair can go a long way!
10. Pay for Education or New Skill
You want your employees to be the best at what they do. To ensure they are constantly learning and growing, you want to invest in their education and training.
To help the company grow, your employees need to succeed. Your staff is the ones that ensure your company wins at every turn.
It is never too late to learn something new. What could be better than assisting an employee’s desire to learn? It’s a fun and exciting way to celebrate a work anniversary. For example, you could take your company on a trip to a fantastic convention or seminar. It will allow your employees to explore new areas and bring out the best in themselves.
11. Fun Activities
Celebrating your work anniversary with activities and prizes will be an extraordinary experience. You can host competitions where your employees can win prizes.
Competition is a great way to interact and share fun memories with everyone. You can do many activities like a scavenger hunt, video games, singing, puzzle, etc.
The best part is bonding and having a better relationship with your peers. This interaction is an irreplaceable thing.
12. Lunch with the Boss
The boss can seem like an unapproachable person at times. If your employee has an opportunity to have a free one-on-one lunch with them, they will surely feel special. It will allow your employees to show their talents and skills to the boss. The boss will also benefit by learning more about each employee and what’s happening on the front line.
13. Executive Dining
Who doesn’t love a free and delicious lunch or dinner? People don’t usually say no to food.
One of the nicest perks you can give your workers on their work anniversary is executive dining. If you have a large team, you could host a big lunch for them once a month. Employees will feel valued when they are recognized for their accomplishments and appreciate the chance to socialize outside of the office.
14. Company Swag
An easy way to celebrate another year with the company is to give your hard-working staff some swag or merchandise. This could be a sweater or hoodie with the company’s name or logo, a stationery set, a travel mug, tech accessories, or outdoor apparel.
As a bonus, your company gets a bit of free marketing every time your staff uses these products.
15. Office Party
Nothing beats a party at the office. When you throw a surprise party for a work anniversary, you are not celebrating only one employee, but all of your workers too.
So get the champagne, cake, music, and food ready because it’ll be a long, fun day. Throwing an office party shouldn’t happen too often, though. It’s more fun and memorable if you throw one big one every 5 or 10 years. If you do it frequently, the value will be more meaningless.
16. Game Night
A fantastic way to bring the whole team together is by having a game night (or afternoon). It doesn’t matter if it’s a card or board game; it’ll be exciting if everyone participates.
Instead of having a big party, this is an alternative way to give everyone in the office something to look forward to.
17. Gym Membership
Health is an important aspect of your life. Your employees might be working around the clock with their busy schedules to the point where they sometimes give up their health needs. If they are burnout, checking up on them and seeing how they are doing is your job if you are their manager.
If it is their work anniversary, consider giving them a gym membership to encourage a better and healthier lifestyle. Giving your employees a company-sponsored gym membership on their work anniversary will undoubtedly help them get started on their fitness journey.
18. Self-Care Gifts
Your employees’ health and well-being should always be the top priority. Giving them self-care gifts such as a massage gift card, spa day, gift baskets, etc., will rejuvenate your employees’ energy. It is one of the best ways to celebrate your work anniversary.
Many people neglect self-care, so you want to ensure your employees are doing well. By considering their health needs, they will feel important.
19. Gift Cards
You probably have a diverse group of people that work with you. You can never go wrong with gift cards. For instance, you might have a coffee lover that would appreciate a Starbucks gift card or a beauty addict who shops at Sephora. Giving them a gift card to their favorite places will show how much you know your employees.
20. A Basket of Gratitude
You could never go wrong with a basket of goodies. If you want an easy and simple gift, a gift basket is your best bet. You can purchase a fruit basket or a goodie basket to express your gratitude. This present can enhance your employee’s work environment for the entire week. Adding a “thank you” card can make it more meaningful.
If you want, you can go smaller by giving them indoor plants to help their wellness and to remind them of the company’s gratitude. Plants are shown to make people feel happy since they enable you to think positively.
Whether your employees are new or have worked there a long time, they deserve recognition.
Companies grow as a result of your employees. If you show them gratitude, they will show their dedication and hard work.
By showing them appreciation and celebrating their work anniversary, they will help your business thrive in return.
Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.