30 Creative Ways To Celebrate Employee Anniversaries In 2023 (Remote And In-Person!)
Employee anniversaries are a time to celebrate and honour the people who keep the office running (especially those teammates who bring in the biscuits!). It’s an opportunity to show you care and appreciate your employees and that all their hard work isn’t going unnoticed.
For workers, these milestones are a fun reminder of how far they’ve come since receiving their lanyards, log-ins, and the secret knack to using the printer. It’s a chance to reflect on a job well done. But with remote work becoming more prevalent, it can be easy to let anniversaries slip through the cracks. Luckily, here at Thankbox, we’re here to help.
What is an employee anniversary?
An employee anniversary is the date on which an individual began working for your organisation. It’s an annual celebration that acknowledges the positive impact they’ve had in the workplace.
Why do employee anniversaries matter?
In today’s job market, where three in five workers actively seek new employment, it’s more important than ever to recognise employee contributions and hard work. Celebrating anniversaries boosts team morale and fosters a real sense of community.
And as we spend so much time with our co-workers (sometimes more than our friends and family), neglecting milestones can be damaging to their confidence. But with a pinch of creativity and planning, these celebrations can turn into opportunities to strengthen work relationships.
30 creative ways to celebrate employee anniversaries
As employee anniversaries celebrate a coworker, it makes sense to explore group gift ideas with your team. Not only does this mean you can split the cost, but everyone is involved in the decision-making process.
With 30% of the UK workforce in remote positions, and that number is likely to keep increasing as more companies realise the benefits. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 30 ways to celebrate a work anniversary, both in the office and remotely.
Let’s get the show on the road:
1 Organise a stylish e-card
Thankbox seamlessly blends heartfelt sentiment with practicality by allowing your colleagues to come together and celebrate an employee’s anniversary. With its stylish e-cards, it’s never been easier to write a handwritten note to make someone's day.
Not only can every member of your team add a personalised message, complete with unique backgrounds, videos, and images, but employees can add their favourite GIFs too, so even Michael Scott can join the celebration!
2 Gift cards
Speaking of Thankbox, not only can the platform send personalised e-cards, but it can also set up an online group gift collection. Recipients can choose whether to claim the cash value as a gift card or receive a prepaid debit card, so the choice is up to them!
When your team adds their messages to the recipient's card, they can securely add a cash amount as well. With over 700 popular retailers worldwide like Argos and Amazon, gift collections are easy and flexible. This method is one of the best ways to collect money for a gift and is ideal for remote workers.
3 Add colour to their desk
Decorating your employee’s workspace with balloons, hand-written notes, and streamers is a personalised approach that goes a long way. Not only is it a welcome surprise, but it’s a fun way to kick-start the anniversary celebrations.
4 Award a day off
What better way to let your employee enjoy their work anniversary than by awarding some much-needed me-time. If their anniversary falls on a weekend, allow them to have either Friday or Monday off.
5 Employee spotlight
Highlighting the employee’s anniversary in your newsletter or social media is a sincere way to display public recognition. While this promotes company values, it also showcases how you treat your staff. Include employee appreciation quotes to strengthen team bonds.
6 Personalised cake
We can sum this method up in four words: who doesn’t love cake? But seriously, providing a personalised cake lets your team share in the celebration.
7 Personalised video messages
As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Have your teammates record video messages wishing the recipient a happy work anniversary, this crystallises employee recognition with something they can cherish forever. It’s also ideal for remote workers, and video messages are included with a Premium Thankbox.
8 Team lunch
A team lunch lets the recipient celebrate their work anniversary with the people they see everyday, it also strengthens team cohesion and engagement.
9 Virtual happy hour
If meeting up in person isn’t an option, hosting a virtual happy hour is another avenue to explore. This method eliminates transport issues as everyone can attend from the comfort of their own home.
As it's a virtual event, you can partake in fun, online quizzes. You could even assign team members to come up with questions and tasks relating to your workplace.
10 A personalised trophy
As we’re celebrating milestones, nothing celebrates the gift of giving more than a trophy. Every event from the Baftas to badminton tournaments awards trophies, so why shouldn’t employees be awarded the same way?
11 Boss for the day
Allowing your employee to become the boss for the day is a creative way to celebrate their work anniversary. While they won’t be able to make any policy changes, it’s a fun way to give them responsibilities that they’re not used to.
Responsibilities can include rearranging desks, taking team meetings, and offering feedback for any work queries. It’s a chance for them to put on another person's shoes.
12 Gift a framed picture of their early days
Find an early work outing photo with your employee and their teammates (either at a party or team building exercise) and gift it as a present. They will see how far they’ve grown within the company and the valuable relationships they share.
With 71% of employees saying they are more productive when they feel well-connected to their colleagues, it makes sense to highlight these relationships.
13 Host a virtual “This Is Your Life”
By creating a visual journey of their milestones with interviews recounting hilarious stories, the recipient will feel valued as the special event is all for them. It’s an opportunity to see the impact they’ve made. We advise you to get the tissues ready!
14 Create a personalised comic
If video isn’t your thing, you can always take a more creative avenue and develop a comic. With comics being all the rage, creating a comic strip of their highlights is a fun and unique way to show appreciation for their anniversary.
15 Provide a few months of paid gym membership
This anniversary gift encourages employees to get out of their comfort zone, especially as hectic work schedules and money concerns can get in the way. With a free gym membership, you’re removing the cost barrier and kickstarting their health journey.
16 Professional headshot
We’re not sure about you, but we don’t know anyone happy with their company photo. A lot of the time, company photos are sprung upon us without a single word of warning, usually when we’re having a bad hair day and wearing yesterday's shirt.
Gifting a professional headshot means your employee can look their best and feel like a model for a day.
17 Recognition certificate
Present your employee with a recognition certificate for their anniversary. It helps show employees you care and that you value their hard work.. Their praise for a job well done is in writing.
18 Gift card for a spa day
Show your employee that you value their well-being by gifting them a day at a spa. Using Thankbox’s gift collection, they can relax and rejuvenate after a long year of hard work.
19 Personalised gift basket
Assemble a gift basket filled with their favourite items like snacks, biscuits, or even a new plant for their desk. This is an opportunity to show how well you know them. Additionally, it’s ideal for remote working because it can be delivered straight to their door.
20 Virtual team building activity
Organise a virtual team-building activity that all of your employees can participate in. Unlike a virtual happy hour, this activity can include virtual meditation sessions or virtual book clubs. These activities help strengthen the bond between your team.
21 Professional development course
To show that you value their growth and development within the company, invest in their professional development by gifting them a course or training program. This illustrates you’re thinking about their future.
22 Surprise delivery
As with an anniversary cake, who doesn’t love to receive a surprise gift while at work? Sending flowers or a gourmet meal works well, both in the workplace and at home.
23 Volunteer day
Allow your employee to take a day off to volunteer at a charity of their choice. This shows that you have their personal and community values at heart, and you're thankful for what they do outside of the workplace.
24 Donate to their favourite charity
Sometimes logistics can get in the way of volunteering, so donating to their favourite charity is the next best thing. Donating in your employee’s name demonstrates a personal touch and helps others along the way.
25 Company swag
Give your employee a piece of company swag, such as a t-shirt, backpack, or mug. Over time, they’ll be able to look back at a job well done. You could even consider embroidering their name on the items.
26 Special parking spot
We all know how valuable a parking spot can be (some of us may have even lost friends because of one). Reserving a VIP parking spot is a small token of appreciation that goes a long way, especially if they have mountains of gifts to take home!
27 Employee of the year
Some of us may never see our names in the big lights, but employee of the year can change that. We’ve all heard of employee of the month, employee of the year takes it to the next level. This method shows that you’re proud of the contribution they’ve made.
28 Personalised stationery
No more fighting over whose pen is who’s or lost staplers, personalised stationery is an imaginative way of gifting appreciation. You can even include “happy anniversary” to commemorate their achievement.
29 Office party
To cement that family feel, throw a party in their honour with everything themed around them, including banners, speeches, and trivia games based on their career. Make the recipient feel special about their milestone. Everybody loves a party, especially a party you don't have to organise!
30 A home office makeover
As remote work was thrown upon us, most workers didn’t have time to think about a home office let alone decorate one. If your employees are working remotely, gift them a home office makeover worthy of Grand Designs. Let them wave goodbye to fake backgrounds.
There are countless ways to creatively celebrate employee anniversaries and show appreciation for the hard work they do for your company. These examples are just a starting point, and by taking the time to implement them, you can enhance employee engagement and morale.
And best of all, the majority of these examples are cost-effective and meaningful, especially if you use Thankbox. Not only is it flexible, but you can create and share a Thankbox instantly. Click here to create a Thankbox and kickstart your journey.
All images via Unsplash.