As a manager with deadlines, projects, and budgets, finding time to mark employee anniversaries is challenging, but neglecting them can have detrimental effects on a company's culture. Day-to-day responsibilities can interfere with the important, but less frequent, the task of honoring years of service.
Gifts honoring a service anniversary shouldn't be one-size-fits-all symbols of passing time, but personal tokens of an employee's professional commitment to organizational success. Below are some employee anniversary gift ideas that inject personal touches that will make employees feel appreciated. It's by no means a hard and fast guideline, but rather a series of recommendations that can serve as inspiration for how you'd like to honor workers as they reach major milestones.
1-Year Work Anniversary Gifts
Recognizing the first year is vitally important to help prevent voluntary turnover. In an environment where employees are always checking to see where the grass may be greener, celebrating a first anniversary can re-engage employees at just the right time. Some gift ideas include:
- A hand-written note. Emphasis on hand-written! There may be nothing more low-tech, inexpensive or meaningful than a hand-written note. It's more meaningful to the employee because you took the time to write it, and more memorable (both emotionally and cognitively) than something typed.
- Personalized corporate clothing. Remember the feeling of making a team and getting your jersey with your name on it? Same feeling.
- Additional celebrations or gifts. If an employee has made it to one year with the company, you can give any number of smaller, but still valuable gifts, such as a brief office party or staff lunch, a restaurant gift card or headphones. These types of gifts can be repeated on any anniversary.
3-Year Work Anniversary Gifts
Lasting three years at a company shows you've become part of the culture and have displayed the potential to be in it for the long haul. Some great gift ideas for a three-year anniversary are:
- A one-on-one meeting with decision-makers. This is a gift that can keep on giving. Inviting employees to meet with…