Let’s face it, there is not enough appreciation in the world. Sure it would be great to shower your employees with praise and recognition, but in the real world, life gets busy and work must get done. Chances are you can’t even remember the last time you actually expressed sincere gratitude or gave a gift for employees.
The more you can spread appreciation around your organization, the better. The value of kindness in the workplace is immeasurable. It can elevate the community you serve and attract high performers to your organization.
According to a study by Alight Solutions, employees who feel rewarded are seven times more likely to be engaged with work than employees who don’t. While we do agree that everyday should be employee appreciation day, celebrating the Workiversary is a great way to give a little gifts for employees and recognition to those who have stayed with you year after year.
Turnover is at an all-time high due to Millennials and Gen Z who are more demanding than prior generations. They want to work somewhere where they can balance peace of mind and healthy compensation. If they don’t have this, they don aren’t afraid to leave a job in search of something more. Celebrating important milestones like a work anniversary is a way to show that it is possible (and beneficial) to make a long-term career at one company.
What is a Workiversary?
A work anniversary is an essential landmark in the professional life of an employee. It marks the completion of one more year of employment. The workiversary is a date that is symbolic of both an employee’s continuous dedication towards the company and how the company chooses to honor and appreciate the employee.
Is it really important?
Celebrating a work anniversary strengthens the bond between an organization and its employees. Workiversary’s are important because they cultivate a healthier work environment. Celebrating a work anniversary with gifts for employees leads to an acknowledgment of employee’s work and dedication towards the organization. The older the relation, the more it feels like family. This serves as a huge morale booster for all employees to know they are noticed and appreciated.
How to Celebrate:
We recommend celebrating every work anniversary with a simple gift for employees. For a large company, this can get overwhelming. Instead of keeping track of each day, make it a once-a-month meeting where you acknowledge those who have reached another year’s mark. For a smaller company, mark individual dates in your calendar and plan ahead so you’re prepared.
Whether it is a 1 year work anniversary, or a 20 year work anniversary, here are a few ideas to use as gifts for employees to celebrate the workiversary in your company:
1. Handwritten Notes
This is the easiest. A simple card can be a very effective way to express your gratitude and acknowledge the dedication of your employees. Adding a handwritten note to any gift for employees serves as the perfect personal touch.
2. Use Social Media
Posting about a specific employee on your company’s social media page can be a great way to spread the word about an employee’s contribution, legacy, and show how you value your people. Publication in the company newsletters, emails, etc. can also be effective. The point here is to show how proud you. Share it with others so the employees get the recognition they deserve publicly, not just privately.
3. Time Off
Give the employee well-deserved time-off to celebrate their workiversary. This time-off can be complemented by gifts for employees such as vouchers for a local theme park, spa services, or sponsored vacation tickets. Nothing works better to re-energize your employees than some cooling off period and an experience they might not otherwise buy for themselves.
4. Charity or Service
Find out the charitable cause of interest of the employee in question. Make a donation to the charity or a celebration at the place itself. This can be a meaningful and memorable gift for employees and boost the morale of the team as a whole.
5. Customized SWAG
We aren’t talking about the free stuff you give away at a conference, but something more customized for your employees. Create fun trophies or brand merchandise gifts for employees or get customized merchandise from the employee’s favorite brand. These can be normal, everyday gifts for employees but the customized touch makes it a little more personal.
6. Meals Out
A team lunch or dinner with public acknowledgement of the employee’s efforts can be a great way to celebrate a workiversary. This works well in small-scale businesses or start-ups with a close-knit work environment.
7. Upping the Stock Options
For senior management or directors, upping the stock options or shareholding is a major step to acknowledge their long-term relationship with the organization. It is a significant workiversary gift for employees that is worth working towards.
8. Dinner with the CEO
For a fresher employee, dinner with upper leadership can be a great way to acknowledge their contribution and make them feel like they are noticed and appreciated. This can also provide two-fold benefits in allowing the senior leadership to hear from their newer employees and gain valuable insight and perspective.
9. Include the Family
Recognizing that your employee has a family at home who loves and supports them is just as important as recognizing the employee themselves. Making their family a part of their work-life milestone creates a beautiful bond between the organization and the employee.
10. Grow with Time
Just as the stature and status of an employee changes with time, so should the celebrations. A first year celebration should be simple, and sincere – whereas a 15 or 20-year workiversary should grow in proportion to the professional growth of the employee. Significant workiversary’s are the 1st year, 5th year, 10th year, 15th year, and 20-year marks.
A work anniversary is a special occasion. Even if you don’t acknowledge it, your employees likely do. They pay attention to how long they have worked there, and whether or not they are feeling appreciated. Taking the time to acknowledge this with a small gift for employees or token of appreciation for their hard work is a simple way to go above and beyond for your staff.
Needless to say, even the celebrations should be befitting enough to mark the occasion. Do what your budget allows. Remember, when it comes to gifts for employees, a small step goes a long way. Any time you can find a way to show your appreciation is a big step in creating a company-wide culture of loyalty, hard work, and dedication.