BusinessEntrepreneurGuest Post

How to Celebrate Employee Work Anniversaries


Whether it’s an employee retirement or a loyalty party, you should always celebrate employee work anniversaries as a business. If you’re wondering how you can celebrate your employees, how long they’ve been with the company and what successes they can bring in the future, here are some great ideas!


Employee Happiness = Better Performance

Employees who are happy perform better. While it might seem like common sense, some research indicates that corporations and businesses don’t prioritize employee happiness. This, in turn, leads to low employee retention rates and high turnover. Employees come and go constantly, and companies are left consistently training new hires and processing resignations. For some, this has been the norm for years, but some companies desire to change that. When employees stay with a company for a majority of their working years, it signals a couple of things to potential new hires: The company takes care of its employees and the employees like working for the company. At first, investors might balk at the front-end costs to provide gifts and experiences for employee milestones, but after they see the increased bottom-line benefits employee recognition brings, their support will pour in.


Employees that reach milestones within the company deserve recognition. After all, they’ve reached this milestone because of their dedication to remaining with the company and working hard in their position. Show them you are thankful for their continued loyalty by gifting them different items based on how long they’ve been with the company! Make sure you look specifically for unique personalized gifts for employees. You want your employees to know that you’ve paid attention to them as a person and not just their work!


Start Small, Then Go Big!

Choose what year increments you want to provide milestone gifts to your employees. Whether it’s five, 10 or 20, pick an increment and stick to it. Consistency is a valuable trait to employees, and if they see you being consistent with employee recognition, then they’ll be consistent in their work. Check out some ideas for different milestones below!

  • One Year: An employee’s first year with a company is a big deal! Show your appreciation by getting them a card and something small, such as a personalized journal or notebook. Even something as simple as a balloon and a cupcake will go a long way to show your newest employees that you’re thankful for their hard work and their dedication to the company for a year.


  • Five Years: At an employee’s fifth year, they might be contemplating looking for promotions within the company–or, maybe they’ve recently been promoted. Either way, five years with a company signals an employee’s commitment to the company, its values and the people who work for it. Recognize their milestone by gifting them a voucher to a local spa or an experience, such as parasailing. They’ll love the opportunity to try something new. Plus, the experiences provide something extra for PR to include on the company site!



  • 10 Years: Once an employee reaches 10 years, they typically are there for the duration of their career. Celebrate this important milestone by featuring your employee on your company website for the duration of their milestone year, giving them a monetary bonus on the day of their anniversary or having them speak at a company function! Putting the spotlight on them will show your employees who have dedicated a decade of their career working for you that you value their commitment and the quality of their work.


  • 15 Years: Make this one noticeable to everyone in the office. Have flowers, balloons, candy and other gifts delivered to your employee who’s been there for 15 years. Make sure you confidentially get their favorites from other employees beforehand. You don’t want to get them candy they’re allergic to or flowers they don’t like! Make the day special by giving them time to enjoy their gifts, such as an extended lunch break. Don’t forget to encourage other employees around the office to recognize them throughout the day!


  • 20 Years or More: If you thought special delivery of flowers and other gifts was grandiose, you haven’t even begun to realize just how special you’ll need to make recognition of an employee who’s been working for you for 20 years or more. Rent out a space at a local restaurant or bar, have the office dress up for cocktails and make the night all about them! If the employee is retiring, don’t forget to include an array of personalized retirement gifts to stack on the gift table during the event! Look for timeless gifts, such as personalized decanters or photo frames. Don’t forget to include a playlist of their favorite music to play during the milestone party, as well as a slideshow of them at work through the years! Ask employees, family, and friends to submit photos, and don’t forget a journal filled with positive notes from coworkers.


  • Retirement: The year an employee retires, go full-force into recognition. As a special thank you for all the years of commitment, have the current CEO take the retiring employee out to lunch! This is a great way for employees to have the chance to share their experiences throughout the years while working for the company with the person who makes all the decisions–and it’s a great retention incentive for current employees and new hires! Shut down the office on the day of the employee’s retirement and have everyone get together for lunch or one last team event, such as an escape room.






Give a Gift No Matter the Milestone

Sometimes, employees need recognition even if their milestone isn’t as large as others. No matter their time with the company, you should still strive to send out personalized emails each year to recognize employees for their continued dedication to the company. On-off years, a simple yet personalized gift, such as a monogrammed planter, is a great option to provide your employees with to show that no matter the milestone, you value their loyalty.