5 Work Anniversary Gifts That’ll Give Loyal Employees Heart Eyes

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It’s no secret that employee retention is the name of the game when it comes to building a business and brand; successful companies boast happy employees who are engaged with their work, team, and the company mission. In addition to making sure the professionals you hire are healthy and feel challenged, going the extra mile to make them feel appreciated will bring them a sense of value that can inspire them to stay the course. A fun twist on anniversary gift giving, we put together a guide of creative ideas that’ll help you reward your most loyal team members.

First Year, Paper: Spending an entire year at a company is a big deal; after all, this is enough time to learn and improve how systems and processes work, have a hand in establishing tone and company culture, and make a real impact. Though the way you celebrate your team member first year will depend on your team size and budget, a useful item is memorable and purposeful — consider gifting a handwritten note, signed book, custom business cards with a a quirky tagline or a new title; a monogrammed Moleskine notebook or planner, or a magazine subscription. Combine the gift with acknowledgement in the company newsletter and form of social recognition. This might seem like a small effort, but a little recognition will go a long way.

Second Year, Fabric: If you celebrate a standout teammate’s first full year with paper, try to commemorate their stellar second year with fabric — ponder something durable that regularly reminds them how important they are to the bigger team and goal. If you doll out t-shirts often, think about giving a sweatshirt, fleece jacket, or a backpack. For a fun spin on the fabric idea, consider a set of beach towels or a high-quality cotton blanket. Whatever your pick, monogramming can make the gift ultra-personal by allowing you to use initials, a nickname, a funny phrase, or something else. While we love company swag with a logo and clever branding, be thoughtful about if and how you include it on a gift.

Third Year, Tools: Three years is a long time in terms tech hardware (phones, laptops, monitors, etc), so it’s a safe bet that your employee would probably love some upgrades by now. While you might already equip new hires with cool gadgets or give them a stipend they can use for work-specific stuff, three terrific years on the team deserves a gadget or cash to spend on a tool that your employee will never have to return to the company — think new wireless headphones, a tablet, a smart watch, an iPad — whatever suits the person. Not only will they be thrilled to up their work game, but you’ll give their personal life a powerful boost too.

Fourth Year, Leather: Good leather stands the test of time, and someone who has been crushing it for four years definitely deserves a durable reminder of how appreciated they are. A personalized leather tote or work bag are solid go-tos a treasured teammate can sport for years to come; if that’s not in budget, a leather journal, agenda book, or gadget cover might fit the bill. For a worthy presentation, package the leather present with a bottle of wine, basket of fruit, or flowers.

Fifth Year, Experience: Half a decade with a single company is a remarkable milestone that warrants a truly awesome reward. Since your employee is no doubt dedicated, encourage them to get off the grid with an experience they can share with friends or family. Anything that will help the person kick back and relax is a sure bet; we love the idea of a spa gift certificate (bring on the massages), epic dinner reservation, or plane tickets to a destination that’ll provide some real R&R. Thank you and congratulations, indeed!