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5 Ideas to Celebrate Employee Work Anniversaries

5 Ideas to Celebrate Employee Work Anniversaries

It’s no secret that employees have had to adjust and adapt more than ever in the past year. For employers, the soft skills it takes to balance workloads with COVID-19 complications are invaluable, whether your employees have been with the organization for years or just a few months. Celebrating employees when they reach anniversary milestones can help boost employee retention and morale. Here’s how.


Why are Employee Anniversaries Important?

Simply put, employees want to feel valued for their hard work and contribution to the organization. While regular rewards and recognition play an instrumental role in keeping employees engaged, employee anniversaries are the perfect opportunity to celebrate employee milestones and show appreciation.

A study found that in a work environment, efforts that demonstrate appreciation and affirmation can promote employee engagement and performance. Keeping employees engaged is important because workers who are motivated are generally more productive in their jobs. Plus, turnover is costly—employers can save time, money, and stress by keeping high-performing employees on their team. 

Celebrating employee milestones also strengthens company culture. Employees are more likely to enjoy their time in the workplace if they fit in with the company culture, which impacts retention and engagement rates. Additionally, employees are more likely to recommend others to work for your company.


5 Ways to Celebrate Employee Anniversaries

Celebrating employees on their work anniversaries can be an opportunity to get the whole team involved. Here are five ways to celebrate employee anniversaries.

  1. Decorate the Employee’s Desk:
    Decorating a team member’s workstation is a classic for a reason. Not only does it outwardly celebrate the employee, but it’s a fun and easy way to get the rest of the team creatively involved. From balloons to posters with personalized notes from the team, a fun desk can set the tone for a day of appreciation. Depending on the employee’s tenure, you can also consider gifting tools to upgrade their workstation. This can be anything to help make their day-to-day more enjoyable and productive, from wireless headphones to a standing desk, or something simple like a new desk plant.

  2. Treat Them to Lunch:
    If you’re celebrating hire classes or a group of team members who have the same anniversary, a group lunch can be a great way to reflect on the past year together and celebrate growth. If your workforce is back in the office, a catered lunch or visiting a favorite restaurant is a welcome break from the typical workday and makes the anniversary special. 

  3. Give an Extra Day Off:
    Sometimes the best way to celebrate hard work is by having a break from it. Granting employees extra paid time off on or near their work anniversaries can give them a chance to relax and recharge. Some organizations who do this also give employees a stipend to treat themselves however they want, like a day at the spa to unwind, a new experience like rock-climbing or kayaking to cultivate creativity, or simply a new book to enjoy in their favorite coffee shop.

  4. Make the Day Special:
    Give employees something to look forward to on their work anniversary, like a “dress down” day if your company usually adheres to a certain attire, a work-from-home day, or a letting them bring in their dog if your office allows it. 

  5. Send a Special Shout-Out:
    Make sure the rest of the teams in the organizations know who’s celebrating an anniversary. Give employees a shout-out in your organization’s internal newsletter and communication boards and platforms, especially if your office is still operating remotely.

HR's Innovative Strategies for Employee Retention

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