An anniversary at work may just be another day on the calendar. More often than not, the day you started at your current job passes, and neither you or the company you work for even remember or realize it.
But work anniversaries should be celebrated! In fact, it’s becoming more common for professionals to leave jobs after a short time; in an example of extreme cases, around 16 percent of new hires don’t even making it to the end of their first week. So yes, work anniversaries should be celebrated, and the longer a person makes it at a company, the bigger of a deal it should be.
But what do you get someone to celebrate their work anniversary? And as the years (hopefully) keep adding up, what are some unique gifts you can get someone, rather than the same old executive gifts that sit on their desk or goes into storage, never to be seen again?
Our ideas can help you find ‘traditional’ gifts that still stand out, or maybe even help you create your own unique gift ideas to honor a work anniversary.
A work anniversary isn’t just something one side of the employee-company relationship should be proud of. It’s something both sides should be happy about. For the employee, you have found a place that you deem worth staying, whether that’s because of the pay, benefits, or it being something you’re passionate about doing. And for the company, it shows you have built a culture and place people want to be a part of. An employee hitting anniversary marks is important for the company as a whole to celebrate.
It’s also important to recognize for a number of other reasons beyond hitting a date on a calendar.
So, even if it’s something small, a gift for an employee celebrating a work anniversary can go a long way in making an employee feel seen and appreciated.
But the question becomes, what exactly do you get employees for the work anniversaries they will hopefully celebrate at your company?
If you’re unsure where to start when you’re looking for work anniversary gifts, the traditional wedding anniversary gift categories can actually be a really good place to start. They can give you ideas for gifts that can be both useful and traditional. But keep in mind, there is absolutely nothing that requires you to stick to these guidelines, and often, less traditional and more personal or creative gifts can be just as fun to give or receive.
Another thing that always shows a nice touch is a hand-written card or note with the gift which shows you took the time to speak about what the person and their time at the company has meant, and is a much more personal way to show that rather than an email or just having everyone sign a card real quick.
To help you get started, here’s our thoughts and ideas on some work anniversary gifts you can get for your employees as they celebrate different anniversaries at the company.
Traditional Gift: Paper. This is an easy one, and for an employee’s fist year, you could celebrate it with something like a personalized notebook, or personalized calendar/planner. It’s simple, something that can have a personal touch, and can be useful to them at work.
Non-Traditional Gift Idea: Gift Card. If you know the employee is really interest in something like golf, you can get them a gift card to a golf shop, or a round of golf at a nearby course. It may not be a work-related gift but is an experience or purchase they are more likely to enjoy and use.
Traditional Gift: Cotton. There’s a lot of ways you could go with this, but if your company issues laptops or other tech devices that require your employees to travel with them or bring them home nightly, a custom laptop case is a fun and unique idea. You can either get their name or initial monogramed on it, or you could get one that reflects their interests or personality, for instance, an Incredible Hulk laptop case if they’re into superheroes or comic books.
Non-Traditional Gift Idea: Extra time off. This doesn’t have to be crazy where you give them a whole week off or anything, but could just a half day on a Friday, or an extra vacation day to use whenever they want. Every little bit of extra time away is appreciated, and even just one day for a mental break can do wonders for keeping employees happy and healthy.
Traditional Gift: Leather. Leather offers up some of the coolest, most stylish options for a work anniversary gift. It can be anything from a leather desk caddy, to a leather travel bag, or maybe even a leather backpack. And be sure to look for local leather shops near you that can offer up customization. Here in Huntsville, we’d recommend Holtz Leather Co. if you’re looking for awesome leather gift ideas.
Non-Traditional Gift Idea: A personal or team experience. Maybe the person is into wine, or painting, perhaps offer the person or their entire team a day where they go to something like a wine and paint party, or a start watching experience, or an escape room. Something fun that gets the team together outside of the office, while still building relationships.
Traditional Gift: Fruit or Flowers. This is a fairly straight-forward gift, and can be as simple as having a fruit arrangement or bouquet of flowers delivered to the persons desk on the day of their work anniversary. If you want something more personal, flowers or a plant delivered to their home where they can be planted or grown permanently is a nice touch. But, be care of allergies or if people live in a small space where they may not have room.
Non-Traditional Gift Idea: Take them out to lunch. Ask what their favorite restaurant or type of food is and take the person out for a lunch on the company. A good meal is always appreciated, and one that they don’t have to prepare, pay for, or clean after is even better.
Traditional Gift: Wood. Similar to leather, there are countless things you could get for someone that are made of wood, and often will be hand- or custom-made. Things like pen holders, custom pens, or even clocks. There should be no shortage of places to look for these items, which can be both functional, and add a decorative touch to their desk or office.
Non-Traditional Gift Idea: Induction into Company Wall of Honor. If somebody has made a big impact at the company, or been there a long time, that should be recognized and remembered. A Wall of Honor, either physical or digital, is a place where their hard work and time spent at the company will be remembered forever.
Traditional Gift: Aluminum or Tin. After ten years, you want something that will last, much like the employee has at your company, and neither tin or aluminum rusts, meaning they’ll last long into the future. A nice set of aluminum or tin drinking cups or coffee mugs are another easy, but fun idea that can be customized and used at work or in the office.
Non-Traditional Gift Idea: Charitable donation in their name. If they’re a dog lover, or lover of the symphony, the company making a donation in the employee’s name helping out organizations near and dear to their heart is a great way to please the employee, and give back to the community.
Traditional Gift: Silver. It’s worth noting at this point that the deeper into anniversaries you get, the more expensive the gifts get, but that’s to be expected and honestly, should be the case if somebody is willing to stick it out at one place for a quarter of a century. This could be something like a nice watch or a plaque recognizes their efforts and time at the company.
Non-Traditional Gift Idea: A paid vacation. If they’re not the type who would wear a fancy watch, and if you want something more personal than a plaque, a weekend trip somewhere is a great gesture. It can be to some nearby scenic town at a small bed and breakfast, or a trip to a big city with concerts and fine dining experiences.
Traditional Gift: Gold. Holy cow, if someone has been with the company for 50 years, that’s an incredible accomplishment for both you and the company. Another anniversary where a custom watch could be a gift, or something like a personalized compass or other decorative items where you can personalize a message inside thanking them for all the time they have been with the company.
Non-Traditional Gift Idea: A rocking chair. This is kind of a funny gift. If someone has been at a place for 50 years, they probably are close to retirement, or at minimum just want somewhere at home where they can sit and relax after a long day. And if you’re getting them a chair, get one with all the bells and whistles; we’re talking built-in massage, cooler, speakers, really go all out. After all, they have spent 50 years working for your company.
So when a work anniversary rolls around, celebrate it! It’s a day for the employee and company to be happy, and getting them the right gift on that day can make it even more special.
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