12 great ideas for work anniversary gifts

Thomas Paris
October 10, 2022
12 great ideas for work anniversary gifts

Staying with a company for the long haul is becoming uncommon. Employees are job hopping and moving around to make their way up the career ladder. This only makes it more important than ever to celebrate those that stick with you.

In this guide, we'll explore why work anniversaries are worth celebrating and share some amazing work anniversary gifts you can add to your list to express thanks for your in-office and remote employees’ loyalty.

Why celebrating work anniversaries is important

Instead of hunkering down to try to climb the internal ladder at a single company, employees are bouncing from employer to employer, seeking new opportunities to rise quickly in both title and salary.

The median tenure (or length of time at a single company) for those 65 and older has been 10.3 years, while it’s only 3.2 years for those ages 25-34. That’s a significant decrease that’s hard to ignore, especially since employee turnover rates are expensive to businesses once you factor in the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees (the average employee exit costs a business around 33% of their annual salary).

Finding ways to keep your employees around is important, and one of your best options is to make your employees feel appreciated. When employees don’t feel like their work is recognized, they’re twice as likely to start job hunting. 

If you want to show appreciation for your employee’s hard work, it’s best to do so consistently as part of your employee engagement strategy. This includes showering praise after a job well done, as well as celebrating 1-year work anniversary or other milestones. Since a work anniversary is more fleeting, honoring the time your employees have committed to your business is a big sign of appreciation — and one that more businesses should actively focus on.

12 work anniversary gifts to say thank you to your team members

smiling woman on yellow background holding gift

Let your team members know how special they are, and what a difference they make to your company with a work anniversary gift. To help you find the perfect way to express gratitude, here are some of our favorite work anniversary gift ideas.

1. Online shoutout 

For most people, getting a public shoutout is the perfect gift. These shoutouts show that you value your team and the work they’re doing, and everybody loves feeling special.

Consider featuring your employees’ work anniversaries on your website or social media channels. You could even interview them for a feature in your company newsletter, or have them write a guest blog post. Talk to your employee to find out what they’d enjoy the most, and work together to create something that feels special. 

2. Freshly baked goods

Surprise your employee with some delicious freshly baked goods from a high-quality bakery, as a sweet way to say thank you for staying with us. This is a great gift idea if your team member is a real foodie, or if they simply love freshly baked cookies or brownies.

Find out who the best baker is close to your headquarters, or do some scouting around for the best local place close to where your employee lives. Work with them to put together a box of tasty treats and snacks tailored to your team member’s tastes. It’s one of the tastiest employee appreciation gifts out there. 

3. Extra vacation day

We all experience burnout, and I don’t know anyone who isn’t motivated by the thought of an extra day off. It’s an employee appreciation gift that’s definitely well-received. 

For every year that an employee is with the company, consider granting them an extra day off in the form of PTO or vacation time. Not only does this gift give someone more time off to do something they enjoy, but they’re also likely to come back feeling refreshed and focused.

While we think this is a great work anniversary gift idea, send it alongside a reminder to your employee that their time outside work is valuable. Encourage them to use their extra vacation day — as 52% of Americans don’t use all of the vacation days allotted to them. 

4. Gift basket

There’s one traditional way to say thank you to someone that isn’t going away any time soon — the simple yet effective gift basket or gift box. Fill your gift basket with useful company swag, pampering treats, vouchers, and little gifts team members can enjoy or share with their families. For an extra special touch, add a handwritten note. It’s really the easiest way to make someone feel special and works whether you’re a company of five or five hundred. 

Spend some time thinking about what to put in your gift set to create something that feels more unique than an off-the-shelf package. Work with your supplier to create different options based on themes, so you can send personalized gifts at scale. 

5. Anniversary party

Most of us love a well-planned party, and it’s a good way to publicly express gratitude for your employee alongside their other team members. End the work day early and finish with a party in the office break room or a virtual party planned around your guest of honor’s schedule. 

While throwing parties is a lot of fun, this is one of those team gifts that works best for milestone years. Celebrate someone’s first year with you with a bang, then reserve virtual office parties for other milestone employee work anniversaries — like five or ten years. 

6. Personalized praise

Sometimes we all underestimate the value of a single quiet “thank you.” A lot of employees really want to hear that, even if they don’t realize it — especially from their direct supervisors. We want to know that what we do gets noticed and appreciated. 

Make sure that your team leaders know to take some time and thank each individual celebrating a work anniversary for all the hard work they do. Focus on specific details, like “You’ve really done an excellent job motivating other team members to sell more, you’re a big asset to us,” or “Fantastic job on that client account — they were extremely happy.”

7. Care package

flowers on a pink background blooming

If you’re close to your team members and want to send something really special to congratulate them on a work anniversary, try a care package. This is a lovely way to send a unique gift that you can tailor around the individual.

Put together a care package filled with mini gifts and self-care treats for your employee. Artisan chocolate, spa essentials, gift cards for wellness programs, reusable tumblers, and a great book are all thoughtful things to include in a work anniversary care package.

8. Public announcement

Private acknowledgment is great, but a little public acknowledgment in the office is certainly welcome too — at least by most people. Create a public recognition program where it’s part of your company culture to celebrate the good things people do, including highlighting work anniversaries.

During a team meeting or conference call, give the employee celebrating the work anniversary a shoutout for a round of applause. Say that they’ve done a great job, and let them have an extra long lunch that day. Tie this in with other work anniversary gifts to give them a real “feel good” moment. 

9. Anniversary card

Your work anniversary gift doesn’t have to be big or fancy to make an impact. All too often our favorite things to look back on are those personal comments of praise and gratitude from the people around us. 

Send your employees a greeting card signed by all their team members, or use something like Kudoboard to send a virtual card with some real visual impact. Have everyone contribute a thoughtful message or note that’ll make your recipient smile. 

10. Virtual gift card

We may be a little biased, but we think one of the best work anniversary gifts is a virtual gift card. It gives your recipient endless possibilities and the freedom to spend their thank-you gift on anything their heart desires. 

Virtual gift cards make great gifts for anyone — from your BFF at work to your 200th new hire. Send a Hoppier gift card and suggest someone uses it for an experience like a spa day or dinner out at a top restaurant, or to spend on a treat for themselves. Tailor the card balance to the number of years of service, for an extra way to mark the milestone moments. 

11. A day as the boss

Everybody likes having a little bit of decision-making power, and the day of their work anniversary is the best day to hand it over. Have a little fun with this idea and give your employee a taste of what it’s like to run the ship for the day. 

You’ll want to set some limits on this — the idea is to have some fun, not make drastic corporate changes. Give them the chance to choose where your team lunch is ordered from, set a quirky dress code, send a joke staff memo, or do a fun team-building activity. Put a limit on how many times an employee can redeem this perk, so it doesn’t get old.

12. Major perks for milestone anniversaries

Employee retention rates are getting lower and lower. There’s more freedom for people to go out and find their perfect job — so it’s important to celebrate employee loyalty. Rewarding employees for significant anniversary milestones is a great perk you can promote as a big part of your company culture.

If someone has worked for your company for five years, they deserve a special gift — if they’ve made it 10 years, or even 15, that’s even more impressive. Years of service awards, paid sabbaticals, vacations, learning experiences, big charity donations, bonuses, and even stock options are all great ways to make your employee feel valued.

Hoppier: a simple yet effective way to say thank you

We love the idea of putting thought and personalization behind the employee anniversary gifts you send out. With Hoppier, you can do just that — and scale it up to meet the needs of your growing organization. 

Hoppier gives you a thoughtful way to personalize the virtual gift card experience. Instead of sending a generic card by email, you can customize the look, feel, and details to send corporate gifts with personality. 

hoppier screen shot

With Hoppier, you can get creative with your virtual gift card and use your brand colors and logo — or create something fun based on your gift recipient’s own tastes. Give your program a fun name, and add an emoji alongside it for some extra visual flair.

hoppier gift card

Set up a gift card balance, and decide whether there’s a spending deadline. You can also narrow the applicable vendors down to create a really interesting, bespoke collection — ideal for a themed virtual gift. Alternatively, leave it open, and let your team member choose the best way to spend their gift balance. 

Hoppier cards give you a simple way to bring more employee recognition to your company culture — without complicating things. Set up a work anniversary gift program and make it easier to celebrate those moments, without searching for a fresh gift idea every time. 

Make work anniversary gifts part of your employee engagement efforts this year  

Employee appreciation is directly tied to lower employee churn rates, so taking some time to celebrate work anniversaries is something more businesses should be doing. It should be a central part of your employee engagement efforts.

Take inspiration from these work anniversary gift ideas to create a program that suits your company and your employees. Blend in-person and virtual experiences to create an employee recognition program that people enjoy.

To get the most out of your work anniversary gift program, try Hoppier. It’s a powerful way to deliver employee rewards — whether that’s to celebrate loyalty, welcome a new hire, or reward for a project well done.

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo


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