Dedicated employees are the most important assets in any company. A team member celebrating a 10th work anniversary, for instance, is a relative expert in their field who adds undeniable value to the organization.
The tricky part is doing what it takes to inspire that kind of loyalty. Employee retention is not simple or easy, but it is crucial to the long-term success of any business.
Every year that an employee stays with an organization is a significant milestone, and the employees who reach those milestones deserve to be celebrated. Here are twelve unique work anniversary ideas to make any team member feel respected and appreciated by their organization.
1. Office Parties
There’s nothing quite as exciting as decorating the office and taking time out of the busy workday to let loose and celebrate. Whether it’s cake and ice cream, alcoholic beverages or a themed shindig, have some fun with it. Office parties are a great way to make a work anniversary feel not only special but memorable.
They also double as an opportunity for quality team building. Parties allow people to be themselves and build personal connections with other employees, which isn’t always possible in a formal work setting.
2. Cash Bonuses
Some people love a gift with a personal touch. Some enjoy something intricate and from the heart, while others are cool with an envelope full of cash. After all, a little extra money can go a long way.
Cash bonuses are an excellent way to reward team members for their loyalty. The only potential downside to this idea is that it may feel impersonal, so companies should only use this gift idea for employees who are sure to like it.
3. Event Tickets
Concerts, sporting events and festivals are great big-ticket items that employees will love. Studies show that experiential gifts are proven to foster more significant and meaningful relationships.
The reason? Experiences create positive, lasting and emotional memories that are intrinsically linked to the gift giver. To make an employee feel appreciated on their work anniversary, give them an experience they’ll cherish for years.
4. Charitable Donations
Giving is much more rewarding than receiving, and that’s especially true for the large percentage of modern employees who are socially conscious and aware.
Donating to a charity of a team member’s choice can be incredibly touching. It’s also a great way to take a stance on issues that employees deeply care about. Many people (especially millennials and Gen Z) love working for organizations that share their values.
5. Extra Vacation Days
Who wouldn’t love a little more time off to spend with their friends and families? Vacation time has been proven to reduce stress, enhance productivity and improve mental health.
Even the happiest and most loyal employees want, need and deserve time off. That’s why adding a few extra vacation days onto their yearly allowance is a great way to celebrate a work anniversary.
6. Order Their Favorite Food
People love food. People especially love food that they don’t have to buy or prepare themselves. So, it stands to reason that rewarding an employee with their favorite meal for free is an excellent way to show appreciation.
Whether it’s ordering take-out or bringing them to their favorite restaurant, treating team members to a tasty meal is a great way to celebrate a work anniversary.
7. Game Night, Anyone?
Regardless of the activity, location or theme, game nights are a great way to celebrate work anniversaries. It also has the added benefits of being cost-effective (depending on the game night in question) and doubling as a team-building event.
Cooperative experiences, like escape rooms or similar mind-teasers, are a great way to get everyone working together and having fun. Of course, it may be better to just split everyone into teams and unleash their competitive sides. No matter the type of game night, supervisors should remain diligent in ensuring the celebrated employee feels special.
8. Personalized Gifts
Gifts and gift-giving are a common theme with work anniversaries. A personalized gift is a perfect way to express appreciation for an employee who’s worked tirelessly for an organization.
Some supervisors may opt for commemorative watches, monogrammed money clips or water bottles with inspiring messages printed on them that seem to say, “My boss gave me this because they value my work.” Others may opt for event tickets, gift cards or other out-of-the-box ideas. Whatever it is, it should directly reflect the personality and character of the celebrated team member.
9. Subscriptions and Memberships
For the modern employee, it’s often wise to think outside of the box. Subscriptions and memberships are excellent gifts because they directly impact an employee’s life.
Employees may want a monthly gym membership or a subscription for any of the hundreds of streaming services that are available right now. Or team members might prefer monthly subscription boxes like FabFitFun, Bespoke Post or Rocksbox.
Whatever the subscription or membership, it should be tailored to the employee. That’s the best way to convey trust, appreciation and value.
10. Recognize Them (in Public or in Private)
Doing shoutouts on social media, the company website or right in the middle of the office is a great way to make an employee feel valued. Being showered with praise in a public forum can be a perfect way to show appreciation for the right team member.
However, not every employee wants to be in the spotlight. Sometimes, a private meeting or even a congratulatory email is enough to have a significant impact.
11. Career Advancement Opportunities
Every year should provide new opportunities. Whether that involves educational opportunities, pay raises or the possibility for advancement, employees love to know that they work for an organization that will grow with them.
It also allows supervisors to have one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their life, goals and performance. This is an excellent benefit since so many employees value feedback and open communication.
12. Let Them Choose
The only way to truly show an employee appreciation for all their hard work is by knowing and understanding who they are and celebrating them in a way that’s both impactful and meaningful.
Personalization is the key to showing employees that they are appreciated and valued. The work anniversary ideas discussed above require knowing a team member’s specific wants, desires and tastes, which starts with open and honest communication.
If employees feel valued, they tend to stay with the same company. Every work anniversary is important, but it’s not enough to make it to the one-year mark; the goal should be decades.
Customizable lifestyle benefits are a revolutionary way to provide benefit options for employees on an individual level. Fringe has a personalized, lifestyle benefits platform that lets team members choose the benefit options that are right for them.
When a work anniversary rolls around, it’s simple to assign additional points to a team member’s account, allowing them to choose from over a hundred different and unique lifestyle benefits. Companies are revolutionizing their work anniversaries with Fringe.