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37 Ways to Celebrate a Work Anniversary

Last Updated on August 25, 2021 | 0 Comments
37 Ways to Celebrate a Work Anniversary
Last Updated on August 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

If you’ve celebrated a work anniversary of a year or longer at your workplace, congratulations; you’re among the 78% of workers who have remained in a job long enough to commemorate this milestone! According to Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report, the number of employees leaving jobs voluntarily reached 42 million in 2019. 

With numbers like these, any employee anniversary of a year or more is something to celebrate. Employees who feel appreciated show accelerated performance, as O.C. Tanner Learning Group discovered over 15 years of research. And celebrating an employee’s workiversary, whether it’s a relatively quick 2-year work anniversary, a dedicated 5-year work anniversary or a monumental 10-year work anniversary, is a surefire way to express your appreciation.

 

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Why Celebrate Your Workiversary?

A company’s culture can make or break its workforce, which can, in turn, make or break the company. Instilling a culture of appreciation — even simply wishing someone a happy work anniversary — is an easy way to make sure your employees feel their efforts are viewed with gratitude. 

A company’s employee recognition program also ties to its corporate values, as noted by the Society for Human Resources and Management (SHRM). And employees who have dedicated themselves to a company’s success are deserving of a display of thanks for their years of service. 

Work anniversary celebrations allow for peer appreciation while commemorating significant milestones for their teammates. It’s important to celebrate a 1-year work anniversary as much as it is a 20-year work anniversary. This allows management to keep up on the longevity of their workers, as well as show appreciation for the newer folks.

Work Anniversary Ideas for Foodies

1. Food Tours

Exploring the local food scene can make a great work anniversary celebration for the foodies on your team. There are expert-guided options everywhere, such as the food tours in Chicago or food tours in Seattle, that showcase the best neighborhood restaurants, hotspots and hidden gems. Browse all food tours near you to find one that best suits your guest of honor.

food tours are a fun work anniversary idea
via Cozymeal

2. Private Chefs

How about a five-star gourmet meal prepared especially for your office celebration? There are culinary magicians waiting to help make your occasion memorable; all shopping, cooking, serving and cleanup covered. You’ll find private chefs in San Diego, private chefs in Austin and beyond. Browse all private chefs near you to find a one-of-a-kind experience to appreciate your workers’ years of dedicated service.

3. Cooking Classes

There’s an enticing selection of hands-on cooking classes near you that offer unique work anniversary celebration opportunities. You can choose a menu, cuisine or cultural technique from a vast array of offerings. These cooking classes in New Orleans and cooking classes in Denver are just a sample of what’s available.

chef topping an eggplant pizza during a cooking class
via Cozymeal

4. Online Cooking Classes

For convenient virtual perks at work, there are live, fully immersive online cooking classes that allow your team to learn a selection of exciting recipes without leaving the comfort of their kitchens. It’s a great way to get everyone in on celebrating your worker’s momentous occasions.

5. Online Mixology Classes

Have everyone raise a glass to your workers’ longevity with exciting cocktails your team can create for themselves! With online mixology classes, your workers can celebrate a work anniversary onsite or from their own home bars with virtual guidance from the best mixologists and bartenders in the industry. 

online mixology classes are great ways to celebrate a work anniversary
via Shutterstock

6. Virtual Wine Tastings

The wine-minded workers in your organization will love celebrating their work anniversary with a virtual wine tasting. Your team will interact virtually with a world-class sommelier or chef who’ll guide them through the finer points of wine culture and food pairings, all from the remote location of their choice. 

7. Online Coffee Classes

Your team won’t need to leave their homes to enjoy the best cup of coffee in town. You can find online coffee classes that teach the best-kept barista secrets of roasting beans, brewing the ultimate cup and perfecting the pour. Perfect for celebrating a work anniversary or team event, this is sure to perk up your workers’ senses.

barista pouring a latte
via Canva

8. Virtual Beer Tasting

If your workers are stuck deciding between cocktails and wine, why not indulge them in a refined virtual beer tasting, instead? These online classes are perfect work anniversary treats for the beer snobs in the group, each taught live by renowned brewery experts with years of experience under their belts. 

9. Virtual Whiskey Tasting

A unique choice for any work celebration, a virtual whiskey tasting is a perfect way for your group to sample a curated list of whiskey, bourbon and scotch selections from around the world. A talented scotch steward will be your virtual guide in learning all about the history, process and flavors of this beloved spirit.

enjoy a virtual whiskey tasting experience with colleagues
via Shutterstock

10. Banquet

An onsite dining occasion is a satisfying way to celebrate without having to coordinate off-campus travel. Have a luncheon banquet catered by your worker’s preferred restaurant with their favorite selections on hand. Or have your team create their best recipes in honor of their coworker and create a do-it-yourself banquet for a more personalized touch. Remote teams can always plan a fun virtual dinner party instead.

1-Year Work Anniversary Ideas

11. Team Building 

A 1-year work anniversary celebration offers a perfect opportunity to engage in some fun team building activities. There are many engaging activities to enjoy, ranging from kitchen challenges to competitive cook-offs. Explore team building activities in Dallas and team building activities in DC for ideas, or search for similar team building activities near you.

coworkers prepping food in a culinary team building activity
via Cozymeal

12. Online Team Building Activities

For remote teams celebrating a socially-distanced work anniversary, online team building activities present a perfect solution that brings your workers together virtually while observing their major milestones. You can explore a whole world of virtual team building activities that will give your guest of honor a stellar celebration that builds morale and camaraderie.

13. Outdoor Day

Take your team on an outdoor excursion to celebrate in a natural setting. Plan a picnic or other alfresco food occasion in a local park and provide easy games that can be enjoyed by all, such as cornhole, bocce and kickball. It’s a prime chance to relocate the workspace to a more enjoyable environment and encourage your team to move a little!

coworkers playing cornhole at the office
via Unsplash

14. Slide Show

Gather photos from prior workplace events or personal occasions and present them in a cheerful 5-year work anniversary slideshow that shows how appreciated your worker has been to those around them over the years. You’ll have a nostalgic time reliving the memories, and your guest of honor will have a digital keepsake they can revisit whenever they like.

 

15. Roast and Toast

A gentle tribute filled with humorous observations about the guest of honor is sure to be a work anniversary celebration to remember! Have your team prepare short speeches describing your worker’s best and most tease-able qualities and invite a higher-up figure like a director, VP or CEO to act as emcee for a fun “celebrity” guest appearance.

a roast and toast is a fun work anniversary idea
via Canva

16. Video Collection

A montage of personalized video messages is a fun way to commemorate your guest of honor, and a perfect way to wish them a happy 5-year work anniversary. Have your group and any extended team employees prepare quick 20-second clips wishing them well. Then, recruit your most creative team members to add music and effects for a dazzling video tribute.

10-Year Work Anniversary Ideas

17. Cameo Message

For a 10-year work anniversary, give the video idea a fun and exciting twist by ordering a Cameo message from one of your worker’s favorite celebrities! You can choose from actors, musicians, athletes and more offering their well-wishes in video form, with prices varying by figure. Blend the two options and have a Cameo message pop up in the middle of the video collection for a mind-blowing surprise!

screenshot of celebrities on cameo
via Cameo

18. Yearbook

Collect images of the guest of honor from coworkers, friends and family, design a meaningful cover and print it all out to assemble into a simple booklet. Then pass it around for everyone to sign with a cheerful yearbook message and present it to your worker as a sweet and thoughtful keepsake collection of their years of service.

19. Themed Party

Is your 10-year veteran a Trekkie, a gaming enthusiast or maybe a reality television fanatic? Consider planning a themed party based on their interests for a fun work anniversary celebration. It can be as simple as decorating their workspace using the theme or as elaborate as a full-blown costume party. Get imaginative with it!

coworkers wearing dinosaur and chicken masks at a themed costume party
via Canva

20. Office Royalty

Let your honoree celebrate their 10-year work anniversary by becoming a monarch for the day! They can decree the morning a time of celebration with donuts, choose the location for their celebratory lunch and command their coworkers to entertain them like jesters with jokes, skits and music throughout the day. A fun, inventive way to turn the reins over to the little guys for a while.

21. Art Lessons

Why not commemorate a work anniversary by inspiring the creative side of your team with some art lessons? There are paint-and-pour studios that are perfect for such an occasion, or you can easily find artists and teachers offering online lessons for a safer, more convenient virtual experience that brings out the color in your workers.

art lessons are a fun way to celebrate a work anniversary
via Canva

Work Anniversary Gifts

22. Personalized Gift Baskets

A selection of your honoree’s favorite items assembled in a thoughtfully curated basket is a perfect way to commemorate a work anniversary that your worker can take home to enjoy. Snacks, activities or bath and body items are all wonderful gifts for employees that are bound to be appreciated.

23. Wine and Spirits

If your worker loves a good merlot or favors a well-aged tequila, presenting them with a bottle of their favorite beverage can be a thoughtful work anniversary gift. Create a fun message describing the “vintage” of your worker that celebrates the passage of time in their career! 

glasses of red wine with charcuterie
via Canva

24. Office Gadgets

Who doesn’t love receiving new gadgets to add some happy energy to their desks? A USB fan, a coffee warmer or a small air purifier can be a useful and moderately priced gift that helps personalize a workspace. Gather ideas for some fun gadget gifts at Personalization Mall, which also allows you to add your worker’s name for an extra personal touch

25. Electronics

If your worker is celebrating a major milestone, an electronic device can be a very generous work anniversary gift to mark the occasion. A tablet makes a great choice for readers, and a fitness tracker or a subscription to an online exercise program can be wonderful options for the health-minded workers on your team. 

electronics are a great gift for a work anniversary
via Unsplash

26. Travel

Workers with a passion for seeing the world would love receiving a gift related to their travels. Think in terms of usefulness; a travel journal, a helpful piece of luggage or a gift card toward an airline ticket can demonstrate true appreciation for their contributions while also encouraging their relaxation.

27. Food Gifts

A collection of gourmet snacks is an easy go-to work anniversary gift. You can select items that reflect the tastes of your guest of honor from a single location or gather favorite snacks and noshes from several locations and assemble a thoughtful crate, decorative tin or charcuterie board.

chocolates are a thoughtful work anniversary idea
via Canva

28. Commemorative Gifts

Plaques, statuettes and makeshift trophies are classic work anniversary gifts that can make a lovely centerpiece to a workspace. When choosing one, think along the lines of artful or sculptural pieces that will fit in with modern décor and personalize it with a thoughtful engraved message.

29. Relaxation Gifts

Few gifts show appreciation for your workers better than relaxation gifts. This is especially true when celebrating work anniversaries for long-term employees who’ve proven their dedication through long hours and hard work! Consider a gift card to a local spa or a weekend stay at a resort for rejuvenating a work-weary soul.

woman getting a massage at a spa
via Canva

30. Experience Gifts

If you're celebrating an adventurous employee, you can assemble your team for a fun experience gift that makes a memorable and unique celebration. Consider things like indoor skydiving (as long as everyone is physically up for it!), a nature hike or an art gallery tour in your downtown area. You can also opt for a gift card or certificate for your worker to enjoy the experience on their own.

31. Bonus Vacation Day

If your company’s policy allows, why not offer your honoree an extra vacation day or two to commemorate their years of service? It’s a great gift to boost morale and show your investment in their personal well-being as a thank you for all they’ve done.

a bonus vacation day is a thoughtful work anniversary idea
via Canva

Virtual Work Anniversary Ideas

32. This Is Your Life! Gameshow Tribute

Gather your most creative minds and put together a game show-style tribute that offers a timeline of accomplishments or a trove of trivia about your guest of honor. This is a fun way to time-travel and reminisce about how things have changed around your workplace through the years.

33. YouTube News Broadcast

If your team is particularly creative, consider having them put together a mock news broadcast detailing the honoree’s career. They can add music and graphic effects and choose a time for broadcasting for everyone to watch on a shared Zoom or MS Teams screen. 

young woman video chatting with her coworkers
via Canva

34. Game Day

A relaxed day of coordinated online games for remote teams is not only a perfect way to celebrate a work anniversary, but it’s also an opportunity to let the whole team relax and reset for a day and enjoy their work time more than usual. If a full day isn’t possible, block out an hour or two for the fun instead.

35. Zoom Luncheon

Sometimes, sharing a simple meal is a wonderful celebration, especially if you work remotely from the rest of your team. If your crew is a manageable size, you can arrange to have lunch delivered to their home locations so everyone can get online and enjoy a Zoom luncheon celebration. 

a zoom luncheon is a great work anniversary idea
via Pexels

36. Round Robin

Who doesn’t love hearing good things about themselves from their coworkers? Encourage your team to write a few thoughts about working with your honoree and plan a laid-back Zoom meeting that allows your team to go around the “room” to express their appreciation.

37. Messages From the Big Guys

Few things indicate appreciation in the workplace quite like receiving a message from the executives. Coordinate personalized video messages, thoughtful emails or live phone calls from an officer, a director or a VP to add a little extra magic for a work anniversary celebration.

coworkers during a video call
via Canva

FAQs

Should you celebrate work anniversaries?

Absolutely! Commemorating a work anniversary for your team not only promotes goodwill and elevates morale, it also demonstrates the culture of recognition in your company, which boosts employee engagement and retention. 

How do you celebrate an office work anniversary?

Depending on the size of your organization and your budget, a work anniversary celebration can range from an email campaign from the team or a simple, thoughtful gift for smaller milestones to a full-blown party to commemorate a momentous anniversary. To make sure it remains personalized, the celebration should also take the team member’s preferences into consideration; for instance, a worker who isn’t comfortable in the spotlight might favor a smaller, more subdued occasion.  

How do you celebrate your 20-year work anniversary?

A milestone like a 20-year work anniversary is momentous and calls for a more notable celebration. A video collage of messages from the worker’s colleagues through the years or a gentle roast covering their history of roles in the company is a great way to compile two decades’ worth of achievements and give everyone involved a sense of the notable history that 20 years with a company represents.

What are some work anniversary messages? 

The messages relayed in work anniversary messages can be anything from a simple “Thank you for your hard work this past year!” to a highly personalized note listing a worker’s multiple achievements and contributions through the years. The most important message that should come through is one of appreciation and of awareness of the employee’s role and value in the organization. 

Happy Work Anniversary!

There is no downside to celebrating a happy work anniversary for any employee who’s shown dedicated service for a year or more. Regardless of your budget or the grandness of your gesture, the thoughtful appreciation for your workers’ longevity in the workforce will go a long way toward encouraging employees to continue with an organization. 

Even better than this, the evidence of elevated employee performance that comes from celebrating a work anniversary makes the prospect beneficial for everyone involved!

For even more ideas on how to celebrate a work anniversary, check out other experiences on Cozymeal.

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