Work Anniversary

How to Meaningfully Celebrate Work Anniversaries

Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland
May 23, 2023
4 min read

If you’re not celebrating work anniversaries, why not? By celebrating work anniversaries, you can show gratitude for the time, efforts and sacrifices of staff and increase employee morale. 

Work anniversaries are not only perfect for injecting a little fun into the work week, but they’re also excellent for sparking excitement about the job. They can remind employees of what they’ve already achieved and what they’re aiming for in the future and can boost motivation and employee engagement too.  

They are also the perfect time to spotlight employees and make them feel special – considering that 66% of employees said they’d quit if they didn’t feel appreciated

Celebrating team occasions can also help build stronger relationships at work, especially when working remotely or in a hybrid office environment. It gives employees a reason to chat and have fun and may spark good conversations. 

How to Celebrate Work Anniversaries 

1. Highlight their achievements 

A work anniversary is a perfect time to reflect on what an employee has been getting up to and pick out some moments to highlight. Unlike an appraisal, where the focus is on the good and the bad, this is an opportunity to focus on everything that’s been going well. 

Whether it’s hitting some personal goals or landing a big client, a mini ‘year in focus’ can make someone feel extra special – and remind them just how much they’ve been contributing. 

2. Publicly recognise them 

It’s great to have a one-on-one chat with an employee where you talk about their achievements, but why not take it one step further and make sure everyone else knows just how great they are? 

Public recognition is a wonderful way to ensure an employee feels valued by their bosses and the organisation as a whole. 

Employee recognition is one of the best ways to improve engagement, and according to Gallup, engagement levels are as low as 20% worldwide; there’s plenty of room for improvement. Recognition and rewards platforms make it easy for everyone to chip in and give someone a boost.   

3. Give them a small gift

Giving your employees extravagant gifts every time a work anniversary rolls around may not be practical, but a small token of your appreciation can go a long way. A gift card for a local coffee shop, a little selection of goodies, or a book token are all low-cost options that are a fun way to celebrate. 

4. Support their favourite charity 

Alternatively, make an anniversary the perfect time for an employee to support their favourite charity without having to pay out themselves. 

By donating in their name, you can celebrate your employees’ dedication and make them feel good about themselves while also supporting an important cause. This is a great way to tap into what’s important to people. 

A survey found that 71% of employees thought it was imperative to work in an organisation where the culture supports giving back.

5. Acknowledge their hard work and dedication

Sometimes you don’t have any big hitter stats or projects to reflect on, but there will always be the opportunity to acknowledge how hard someone has been working. 

A few words of appreciation can make a huge difference, and a work anniversary really is the perfect moment to share. If you’re struggling to figure out how to phrase your gratitude, our guide to words of appreciation might help. 

6. Give them a half day

A bonus half-day is a nice way to mark a special occasion like a work anniversary. It doesn’t need to be on the day itself, but it is a good idea to make it compulsory to take the time off on the same week as the anniversary. That way, it doesn’t feel like it’s been lumped in with normal annual leave or TOIL and stays special. 

7. Collect memories and quotes

An excellent way to celebrate someone is to source memories or quotes about them from their colleagues. This is especially nice if it’s an important anniversary, but it can be fun even for people who’ve only been with you for a year. 

There are always a few stand-out moments or anecdotes, and by taking the time to collect them and present them to your employees, they are sure to feel cared for. 

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues. Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today.

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