14 Interesting Ways to Celebrate Work Anniversaries in 2021

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Smriti Rajan comes from a political science and literature background, having an immense passion for writing across varied topics. She has written several articles and blogs for diverse audiences worldwide. She has produced several research publications, policy frameworks, and opinion pieces for think tanks, government institutions and corporates. Alongside this, she writes for a large Fortune 500 clientele and is a key contributing writer for Wikistrat on their EMEA desk. Currently, she resides in India.

Virtual work anniversary ideas are ways to celebrate your colleague’s years of service online. Honoring important milestones like work anniversaries helps boost a sense of inclusion and gratitude in remote workplaces. Celebrating work anniversaries falls under the broader umbrella of employee engagement, which is the cornerstone of a positive work environment and a strong company culture. 

Work anniversaries carry a lot of emotion for professionals who started working for a company and gained several experiences. Such celebrations in the workplace positively affect employee engagement and motivate employees to stay connected with their jobs.

Here are 14 memorable work anniversary ideas to celebrate your employees:

1. Virtual celebration

One thing we all learned to do very well during the pandemic is to participate in meetings through video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, connecting with each other virtually in times that we can’t physically conduct business face to face. Use unique Zoom backgrounds. Especially during a celebration, team members can turn on fun backgrounds with pictures of the person being honored, or images that represent one of their favorite foods or pastimes. It’s a great way to keep all participating employees engaged as they take part in the milestone.

Virtual Celebration
Image Courtesy: Google

2. Certificate of appreciation 

A framable certificate is a personalized way to thank your employee for their commitment to the company. It would be a nice touch if both the CEO and team leader signed it too.

3. Monetary bonus

It’s hard to go wrong with a monetary bonus for your employees. This is a very tangible way to show your appreciation for employees’ dedication to the business. It’s a good idea to tie the amount to the number of years the individual has been at the organization. For instance, you could give a $100 or $1,000 bonus for one year at a company, and $500 or $5,000 for five years.

4. Personalized gift

Getting your employees personalized gifts for work anniversaries is your chance to show you understand them. As personalized gifts, you can consider gifting them accessories such as a coffee mug or a shirt with their name on it. Also, you can gift them books based on their preference which is always a great idea. This could be anything, the important thing is that you take the time to work out what gift they will really appreciate. After all, it’s the thought that counts. It is also a great way to get to know your employees on a personal level and pave the way for a great employee-employer relation.

5. E-gift cards

The world is going all-digital in today’s date and even workplaces are adapting to this changing scenario. Gift cards are a more personalized way of rewarding your employees with money. This gives you the opportunity to show your employees you know them well. If you don’t want to give a cash bonus, gift cards are a great way to treat your employee and allow them to pick their own present. Sending out E-gift cards to an employee on his/her work-anniversary helps you get flexible in gifting.

6. Customized company swag

Custom swag can be a fantastic reward for a job well done, but it also promotes your brand. Over time, your employees will love looking at the swag they’ve collected. Here are some custom company swag ideas:

  • Backpacks
  • Hoodies/sweatshirts
  • Jackets/coats
  • Hats/beanies
  • Tanks/Shirts

For an even nicer impression, get your employee’s name embroidered on the items you give them.

7. Spotlight

Nothing could get better than getting recognized for years of service in front of their peers. Also, let everyone know that today is one of their colleagues’ work anniversary. Put up some of their most interesting pictures on the company’s bulletin board and pin-up their long list of achievements. Encourage team members to put up their own rendition of their fond memories about him/her. Also, include their achievement and a photo of them as well. This allows the company to get to know what other departments are doing and gives individual praise too. What a great way to celebrate employees’ milestone!

8. Shout-out on the company website and social media 

Who doesn’t love public recognition? A shout out is an ideal way to recognize employees.  Give the employee a shout out on your company social media accounts, highlighting their greatest achievements in the role. Similar to the company-wide email, it would be nice to conduct a short interview with them about their role, which would make them feel special.

You can also create a special post on LinkedIn about them. You can include a picture of them (along or with you and the team), along with a personalized message as to why they’re important to your team. 

9. Letter of appreciation

Letter of Appreciation is another great way to appreciate an employees’ work and thank them for services over the year. Even, a letter of appreciation can have a personal touch to it and vary from employee to employee. A well-written letter of appreciation thanking the employees’ for the loyalty and efforts in running the company is one of the best things which he/she can desire to have. Moreover, it helps boost the employees’ morale at work and motivates them to further up their quality of work.

10. Handwritten ‘thank you’ 

A handwritten recognition letter never goes out of style. A note or letter from a manager is a meaningful gesture because it’s so uncommon. The best part is it requires little money and time. You can buy a quality card and also get the team to sign it as well. Taking the time to craft a personalized message is a small but essential gesture in making the employee feel appreciated and recognized for their loyalty to your company.

11. Fun video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth ten thousand. Get everyone in the company who regularly works with your employee to record a quick video about their experience. If they work with customers or vendors, get them involved too! Cut the video together, post it online, and send the video link to your employee on their anniversary date. Show you care with a fun video dedicated to the employee in question. A simple way is to ask their colleagues to say a few words on camera about why they enjoy working with them, or to recite a funny memory of them.

12. Recognition from the top level

Every one of us would feel good when our work and efforts get recognized by the top management. Getting the employees recognized by the top-level executives on their work anniversaries will raise their morale. This helps to improve their professional relations as well as get attuned to the management’s expectations. However, recognition from the top-level management shouldn’t be just limited to year-old anniversaries. Employee recognition for good work done should take place frequently for an efficient workforce.

13. Promotional opportunities

Employee work anniversaries provide a great opportunity for employers to upscale the roles for the deserving workers. Announcing promotions based on the employees’ performance or their years of experience is one of the best ways to make work anniversaries special. This motivates and gives every employee an equal chance to prove his/her mettle at work and earn the top spot.

14. Online scrapbook

Work anniversaries are a great time to relive memories, and one of the best ways to reminisce remotely is with an online scrapbook. The team can share photos and screenshots from events and can type out special memories. If you run short on visual content and are friends with your colleague on social media, then you can always swipe photos from Facebook or Instagram as well.

Online scrapbooks can be cumulative, meaning every year the team can add new content. The longer the employee remains at the company, the longer and more full the scrapbook will become!

Work Anniversary Message
Image Courtesy: Google

Final Words

Use these stellar ways to celebrate your employees’ work anniversary to create a positive working environment and motivate your people. Acknowledging work anniversaries can establish a sense of loyalty between virtual workers, online teams, and remote companies. Virtual celebrations are a great method of fighting off boredom and monotony in remote workplaces. Celebrating employee work anniversaries is one of those few ways where you can try out anything that would make them happy. 

What’s your favorite way to reward your employees on their work anniversaries? Let us know in the comments!

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