Yes, observing work anniversaries can be time-consuming and costly, but initially, what you lose in time and money, will quickly be recouped many times over.
Saying to your staff that they are valued, isn’t just right for them, you will reap huge rewards as well. Employees who feel appreciated in meaningful ways are apt to engage more with work. Whether they are on-site staff or remote workers, they will feel overall more motivated to contribute and invest in their work. Engaged workers are more positive, more productive, and remain loyal longer to the source of appreciation.
1 Year Work Anniversary
That first year with a company is exciting – lots of learning and growing. So why not show your 1st-year employees some love.
A Customized Gift
Personalized mugs or water bottles are a great early gift. You don’t have to worry that it won’t get used, and it will be a daily reminder of your appreciation. Put their name on it, or even a nickname – but only if it’s flattering and they’ve embraced it. Drinkware with word clouds displaying all the words their co-workers use to describe them, can also be fun.
Personalized Business Card Holders are a classy way to say, ‘we’re glad you’re here.’ With their name embossed on the front, this useful gift will leave an impression.
No matter the gift you choose to give, finish it off with a handwritten note that lets them know that you recognize their presence, their work and that you look forward to more years of their contribution to the company.
A Career Planning Session
Many young or new employees often leave companies after a year of service. It’s not because they dislike the company—many of them simply get restless or bored in their roles and want to try something new.
Most companies support the horizontal movement, but it can be a challenge for young professionals and new employees to start the conversation about changing things up. They might be unsure how you will respond or worry about putting their current position in jeopardy.
That’s why hosting a career planning session for an employee’s first work anniversary can be an exceptional gift. It can energize and excite new employees and give the company a chance to show that they acknowledge and value each individual’s personality, skills, and work ethic.
2 Year Work Anniversary
Two years is a milestone, as this is when many younger employees get an itch to leave and try something new. If they’re valuable and have a future with the company, then make sure they know it.
An Experience Gift
This is a great time to go the extra mile and provide an enjoyable experience for your employees. If you don’t want to plan this yourself, some companies take the work out of it. You engage the company in a quick process, and they offer your employee a choice of extraordinary experiences from spa days to guitar lessons to virtual life coaching to ziplining! Surely never to be forgotten.
The experience gift can be leveled up for any year work anniversary so that the offerings to your employee become more elaborate.
Now that you know how your employee works, consider offering them some flexibility in their work-week. Offer a remote day once per week, if they’re usually on-site. This is a gift that won’t cost you, but will be much appreciated by them.
Give the Gift of Flexibility
Here’s something many companies don’t think about: your team wants flexibility and could probably use more of it. That’s why gifting vacation time or remote work days is an excellent option.
Employee burnout affects the company as much as the individual. Flexible work hours is one of the most important perks that employees look for—whether you want to retain current employees or hire new talent, offering flexibility is the way to go.
The second work anniversary is the perfect time to give your employees something that doesn’t cost much but will definitely sit well with them. You don’t have to go overboard with the flexible time either—even offering a single remote day each month can help keep them happy and productive.
3 Year Work Anniversary
Let your employees know that they aren’t invisible after three years, and neither is their contribution to the company.
A Seat and A Voice
After three years, many employees know and understand your company’s culture enough to contribute more meaningfully. How about considering which meetings this employee may be allowed to attend and have the freedom to express their opinions. This can have the look and feel of a promotion, even if there are no higher positions currently available.
For a remote worker, consider a year-long snack subscription. These monthly treats will be a regular reminder that though they are out of sight, they aren’t out of mind. Select a healthy, but yummy box and know that you have made their day a little brighter.
Make a Custom Video
Creating a custom video for your employee’s third work anniversary is a great way to give a personal and likable gift without spending too much. However, it does take some time and resources to put together.
Here’s how to do it:
- Create a list of questions to ask the person’s co-workers. The funnier, the better.
- Ask each person the questions and record their answers. You’ll want to speak to each person separately to avoid influencing each other’s answers.
- Edit the answers together. It doesn’t have to be super fancy—any free video editing software will do the trick.
- Show off the video on the employee’s anniversary. Bonus points if you debut it during a big department meeting and extend the celebration to the whole staff.
4 Year Work Anniversary
By this time, a certain level of loyalty has been established. The gift may reflect that by demonstrating more depth.
A Charitable Donation
Consider a charitable donation in the name of your employee. Think about what causes are near and dear to their hearts and what is in keeping with your company’s culture.
Or how about a funky hamper? These are decorated baskets or boxes that can be filled with anything from sweets to champagne. You may go with one of their arrangements or build your own.
Related: Home Office Gifts for Employees
Once your employees have made it this far, they’re likely invested for the long-term in their work, team, and your company’s future. It’s time to help them invest in their other passions. After all, more fulfillment outside of work can lead to better engagement and productivity in their roles with the company. It’s a win-win.
These experiences can be any number of things, and they don’t have to be extravagant or expensive; the most important aspect is to gift them something you know they have a passion for, no matter how big or small. It can be anything from French cuisine cooking classes to a backyard greenhouse, painting lessons, or anything in between. Other experiences you can offer your employees include a backyard makeover, a mini home vacation, or a shopping day at their favorite retailer.
5+ Year Work Anniversary
By the time your employee has been with the company for five years, they’re showing loyalty and investment. They deserve to be rewarded. The following gift ideas are suitable for employees celebrating a work anniversary with you from 5 years to 25 years and beyond.
Experience gifts are always deeply appreciated and highly motivating. They show your employees that you don’t just see them as office furniture, but you understand that they are individuals with interests in and out of the office. The level of gift can be increased and the experience offered will become more rich and long-lasting.
Don’t be afraid of giving branded gifts. The appreciation is from the company after all, so a little reminder of that isn’t bad. 1338Tryon has a selection of branded gifts for your employees, from drinkware to apparel, tote bags to backpacks and briefcases, and a lot in between. Let your imagination run wild as your loyal employee enjoys a quality piece of merch that sports your logo everywhere.
Though money seems like an impersonal gift, it might be just the ticket in times of economic challenges. Gift cards for lunches or dinner, groceries, or even cards that work for a wide variety of shops can be a thoughtful and appreciated gift. An Amazon card, or via Amazon, choose another card that provides your employee with something they will enjoy.
Related: 11 Best Corporate Products To Offer
The tried and true favs of a silver or gold watch are still in play, as well as other bits of jewelry, will leave your employees feeling valued. Pandora, Swarovski, and Olivia Burton are companies that provide luxury jewelry pieces for women. The smiles won’t stop coming when your employee opens a small box of appreciation that holds such great value.
If all of this is just more than you want to think about, pass responsibility onto another company. Snappy would love to show appreciation to your employees on your behalf. No more worrying about whether they’ll like the gift, your employee gets to choose from a variety of awesome gifts.
It’s good to let your employees know that their time with you hasn’t gone unnoticed. What you consider a small gesture can mean a great deal and might be the difference between losing good people and retaining a talented workforce.