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Work Anniversary Gift Boxes: How To Do Them Right

What is a work anniversary gift box?

  • Corporate gift boxes sent to celebrate a work anniversary are known as work anniversary gift boxes.
  • These packages can include any number of bespoke promotional merchandise or unbranded goods to celebrate an employee’s years of service with your organisation.
  • They can be heavily personalised to an individual or, for larger organisations looking to economise, produced en-masse, so that they can be quickly turned around and delivered as and when they are needed.
  • Whilst many companies allocate resources to welcome gifts for new employees, thank you gifts for new employees, or business anniversary gits, the ball can be dropped when work anniversary gift boxes are concerned.
  • Welcoming new employees with a gift can help create a positive first impression of your organisation, whilst contributing to their perception of your work culture.

Read on more to find out about how work anniversary gift boxes can benefit your business, as well as some of our own suggestions for what to include in them.

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Work anniversary gifts aren’t always at the top of the agenda for companies, although an argument could certainly be made for them holding more importance for both employee wellbeing and motivation than traditional birthday celebrations.

  • Whilst they may not be suitable for every industry or job role, the celebration and recognition of an individual’s years of service can highlight how the organisation appreciates employee contributions to both them and their colleagues.
  • Celebrating a work anniversary offers organisations a unique opportunity to highlight each team member’s achievements, allowing them to recognise how their work is appreciated by their employer and motivating them to continue contributing their best efforts on a daily basis.
  • Work anniversary gifts come in all shapes and sizes; it’s important to put some time aside to carefully consider what you’ll give as they can have a real impact on how employees perceive the organisation they work for, as well as their long-term future with you.

What is a ‘workaversary’?

A ‘workaversary’ is the informal term given to an employee’s work anniversary. Similar to a wedding anniversary, a ‘workaversary’ marks the date that an employee joined a particular organisation.

This is typically the employee’s first day at work, or it could be marked by the official start with the organisation as stated on their contract.

What is a milestone anniversary at work?

Milestones anniversaries in the workplace vary from industry to industry, however, they typically follow suit with wedding anniversaries.

Depending on the nature of your business and staff turnover rates, you may want to celebrate work anniversaries every year.

If you have very little staff turnover, you may find it prudent to stick to traditional milestones of 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, and so on.

Opening a corporate gift box
Joe & Seph's Movie Night Gift Box

How do you recognise employees for their years of service?

There are more than a few ways that you can recognise employees for their years of service. For those who are reaching early milestones such as 1 or 2 years, you may wish to keep your recognition low key.

A small token of your appreciation could be enough to validate their brief time spent with you. You may wish to reserve larger scale gifts or celebrations for those who have contributed longer to the organisation, ie. tenures from 3 years and up.

What do you give employees for work anniversary?

Once you’ve decided on how often you want to celebrate work anniversaries in your organisation, next you’ll need to decide what you actually want to give. If you’re responsible for a small team, or organisation, you may wish to keep work anniversary gifts very personal.

However, if you’re tasked with organising work anniversary gifts for a large company, you’ll need to take a broader approach in order to complete the task efficiently.

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Why send a corporate anniversary gift box?

Foster better engagement with job roles

Taking the time to recognise the contribution that your employees have made to your organisation could have a real impact on how they engage with roles, as well as their intention to stay with the business.

Studies conducted from within the public sector have shown that employees positively react to recognition in the workplace, which could include a work anniversary gift box.

Put a smile on your employees’ faces

Whilst you can’t expect every employee to hold the same reverence for their work anniversary, making the effort to celebrate the date is one way that you could put a smile on their face.

Research by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School has shown that happy workers are 13% more productive – this is just one reason for businesses to value the wellbeing of their employees.

Happier employees stay for longer

Keeping your employees happy is one way to keep them in your organisation. Harvard Business Review points to two key factors behind the inertia that moves people on from their place of work: job satisfaction and ‘company environment’.

Giving work anniversary gifts is a great way of creating a positive work environment and can contribute to providing your employees with some extra job satisfaction.

Promotes a supporting company culture

Celebrating the workplace achievements of those you work with is one way to promote a positive, supportive company culture.

You don’t have to throw a party for every work anniversary that comes along, but giving the person in question a special mention in a meeting, or newsletter is just one more way that you can highlight their contribution and encourage others to celebrate their achievements too.

Forbes has also highlighted the positive correlation between an organisation’s success and their company culture.

Boost employee wellbeing

The well-being of your employees can benefit in many ways from celebrating work anniversaries.

Making the effort to celebrate your employees’ time with you is just one way to support their wellbeing, as defined by Gallup’s Five Essential Elements of Well-Being. Work anniversary gifts can contribute to improving the Career, Social and Community Elements of Well-Being.

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10 Tips on how to do corporate anniversary gifts properly

  1. Keep it personal. Whether you’re organising work anniversary gifts for a small organisation, or an entire corporation, you should remember to keep your gifts to a personal extent. You may send dozens of the same branded gift boxes out every year, but it’s the hand-written note inside them that really hits home for the recipient.
  2. Announce or keep it private, depending on the individual. Some people love to be the centre of attention, whereas others prefer to keep out of the limelight. Sending a work anniversary gift box direct to their home is an easy way to make this work for both types. However, if you know that the recipient is extroverted, then you could make a big song and dance for them in front of the whole team, which could go a long way to improving the morale for all present.
  3. Highlight their achievements, not just time-served. Don’t get too fixated on the number of years a person has put in for your organisation. Remind yourself and them that it’s the work that they’ve contributed that should be celebrated. This could be working towards a major project or simply being a member of the team who can be relied on to lift others’ spirits.
  4. Choose items you know they’ll use. We’ve come a long way since the days of giving carriage clocks to long-serving employees, which many will be relieved to hear. There are now countless options for work anniversary gifts that can be perfectly tailored to your employee, depending on their individual tastes or hobbies. With so many options available to you, it’s important that you select gifts that are going to be of actual use to the recipient, rather than something which will simply sit in a drawer gathering dust!
  5. Talk to your team if you’re not sure. If you’re responsible for managing a large team, then it’s possible that you may not be 100% certain on what gifts will make the lucky recipient happy! Take the time to talk to your team ahead of time, to ensure that you’re putting the components into your work anniversary gift box. Consulting your team for ideas should also help build excitement for the moment the gift box is presented, which is an added bonus.
  6. Keep track of all the upcoming work anniversaries. Whilst remembering an employee’s work anniversary ahead of time should help you reap dividends, forget an anniversary at your peril! If you’ve made a point of celebrating work anniversaries publicly, but then forget about an employee’s special day, you may end up damaging your relationship rather than improving it! Create automated reminders using a Google Calendar to ensure that you’ve got plenty of time to plan the perfect gift.
  7. Scale-up gifts with the length of service. The generosity that you choose to show those reaching specific milestones will depend on your budget, but it’s a good rule of thumb to ensure that gifts get more generous as the years go by. Don’t make the mistake of giving a generously packed gift box at the 2-year mark and then disappointing with a token gift 3 years later!
  8. Make sure you’re fair. It should go without saying that you should be fair when planning work anniversary gifts for your team. People talk, and if you’re giving gifts publicly, it will quickly become apparent when certain members of the team are given larger rewards than others. This is where making use of a corporate gifting service can be particularly useful, as they can create a set gift box for your company depending on the year of service, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally short-changing someone.
  9. Make sure you budget for it. All businesses are different and operate with different cash flows. With this being the case, you should make sure that your business properly budgets for the cost of anniversary gift boxes for your team. If you plan ahead, you should be able to predict how many anniversaries you’ll be celebrating in a given year, so you won’t be surprised by the time the next one rolls in.
  10. Source and create gift boxes online to save time. Although nothing can replace the personal touch of sourcing, wrapping and packaging a work anniversary gift box yourself. It goes without saying that it can be a time-consuming process, especially when you have multiple work anniversaries to think of at a time. Save time by sourcing and creating your gift boxes online instead.

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Corporate anniversary gift box ideas

1 year work anniversary gift box

1 year work anniversary gift box

What’s in the box?

  • Insulated, aluminum bottle
  • Carefully packaged in a branded double-box

Why this box?

  • The 1-year work anniversary is a small milestone, but it’s a milestone nonetheless! This simple gift expresses your gratitude in a simple, stylish way.
  • Your employee may not be expecting a gift to commemorate their first year with you, so this will serve as a surprise that can also stand the test of time for them.

2 year work anniversary gift box

What’s in the box?

  • Smart, denim apron.
  • Oven gloves.
  • Bottle opener.

Why this box?

  • 2 years service is certainly a milestone worth celebrating. This gift box facilitates your employee to do just that in the comfort of their own home.
  • Each item can be branded with your logo and offers genuine utility in the kitchen, so your employee can think fondly of their time with you each time they cook.
2 year work anniversary gift box
5 year work anniversary gift box

5 year work anniversary gift box

What’s in the box?

  • Insulated shell jacket
  • Roll-top rucksack
  • Notepad and pen
  • Insulated aluminium bottle

Why this box?

  • After 5 years working for your organisation, it’s worth pushing the boat out a bit more.
  • This combination of high quality outdoor products are smart enough to be used in or out of work.
  • Each product can be branded with your company logo, or personalised for the recipient.

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How do you congratulate someone on their work anniversary?

How you choose to congratulate an individual on their work anniversary will depend on the length of their service with you, their own tastes and the budget you have to work with.

For example, if you’re celebrating a newcomer’s first anniversary who loves cooking, then you could include some personalised cooking utensils, along with a recipe book. If that same person is still with you in 10 years time (and still loves to cook), then you could upgrade this gift to a high-quality set of chef’s knives.

What should I get my boss for my work anniversary?

If your work anniversary is coming up, then you may wonder if it’s appropriate to buy your boss or manager a gift. Whilst they should certainly be thanking you for providing so many years of service, if you have a good working relationship you may be just as grateful for how they’ve supported you through the years. Ultimately, whether you give a gift or not will depend on the type of working relationship you have.

How much should you spend on a work anniversary gift?

The amount you should spend on a work anniversary gift for an employee will depend on the length of service, your budget, and also the standard that you’ve set for anniversary gift giving in recent years.

For example, if an employee is reaching their 15th work anniversary for your organisation, then how much you spend on this may be informed by previous recipients of 15 year anniversary gifts. If this is the first one you are celebrating, then you could simply scale up what you spent for previous shorter tenure work anniversary gifts.

How do you thank someone for a work anniversary?

In addition to giving a work anniversary gift box, you should also consider writing a thank you note to the recipient. Your written message should be personal to them and mention more than just the years of service they’ve provided. Consider highlighting achievements or landmarks in their time spent with you, as well as any private jokes that you may share with them – the more personal the better!

How do you celebrate your work anniversary virtually?

There are more than a few ways of celebrating a work anniversary virtually. One of the easiest ways is to send a work anniversary gift box to the recipient, filled with treats that you know they’ll appreciate.

You could supplement this surprise with a video call celebration with your team, a digital gift card or a team-coordinated celebration, such as a pre-recorded video featuring personal messages from each member of your team.

If all else fails, you can make sure that the entire team is aware of the big day, so that they can all send a congratulatory message when the anniversary rolls around.

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