How To Select the Perfect Work Anniversary Milestone Gifts

How To Select the Perfect Work Anniversary Milestone Gifts

Published on April 1st, 2020
By HAMILTON Staff

Everyone enjoys seeing their accomplishments and hard work recognized, but finding the perfect employee anniversary gift for your team members can be overwhelming. After all, how do you encompass your gratitude for their hard work with one physical object?

Rewarding employees for milestones is important to show them that the company cares for their service and can be a great tool to improve employee engagement. The ideal gift should appeal to the employee receiving it and serve as a reminder that their exceptional work is appreciated.

When it comes time to select the perfect work anniversary milestone gifts for your employees, keep this information in mind:

What is a milestone at work?

Milestones can come in all different forms. It can be as small as noticing an employee nailing a presentation they were nervous about or celebrating a decade worth of service. Here are a few other work milestones that you should celebrate:

Years of Service:  One year? Five years? Two decades? These are just a few milestone anniversaries that could be cause for fanfare. While a one year service award may feel premature, it’s actually best to begin recognizing employees for their tenure early, considering the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median amount of years an employee stays with one company is 4.2. 

Meeting Sales Goals: There’s no better way to incentivize employees to not just meet goals, but to exceed them, than with a tangible reward. When employees understand there’s an opportunity to gain something they’re interested in outside of their typical salary and benefits, they will work harder to meet the expectations set forth by management.

Team Achievements : Not every employee enjoys constantly working with a team, but it’s critical for fostering a greater sense of loyalty to the company, according to Harvard Business Review. Team members can learn from others while flexing their greatest strengths to complete a project or meet a goal. Rewarding the group as a whole shows that successful teamwork is supported and encourages other employees to change their attitude surrounding it.

Individual Accomplishments: Has one employee really shined as of late? Have they showed up early and stayed late to get work done, or did they recently close a big deal they spent months completing? Recognizing individual accomplishments is crucial for retaining employees. In fact, research by O.C. Tanner Learning Group found that nearly  80% of employees cite lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving a job. Show employees you’re appreciative of their hard work and dedication.

Hosting guests: Is the CEO and his team visiting your office? Are you hosting employees from a different office or collaborating with a new, international partner? This could be the perfect opportunity to present them with a gift to commemorate their trip.

Promotions: Your employee will no doubt be pleased with a promotion, and the title and pay raise that may accompany it. But why not make a celebration of it? Publicly recognizing an employee for their promotion will create a lasting memory to accompany their accomplishment. It will also inspire other employees who may be on a similar career path to continue with your organization.

Retirement: Sweeping an employee’s retirement under the rug is disappointing for everyone in the office. Recognizing their years of service with retirement gifts can be a final “thank you” for their work that they can proudly display in their home.

How to celebrate milestones at work:

While everyone enjoys celebrating differently, there are generally two rules to follow when it comes to presenting a milestone gift: make it an event and do it in a timely manner. Publicly recognizing an employee’s achievements serves as a motivator and creates a surrounding memory to accompany receiving the gift.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all employees enjoy the same level of festivity, and could sometimes feel embarrassed with large displays of fanfare. Create the event with the employee’s preference in mind. Maybe they would enjoy a lunch out with their team, or an after-work outing to the golf club.

Additionally, make sure to present work anniversary gifts as soon as possible. This is so employees will know exactly what it’s for, and the memory and feelings from their accomplishment will still be fresh.

What makes a great work anniversary milestone gift?

With so many employees with different tastes and expectations, it can seem impossible to find great work anniversary milestone gifts to please everyone. Along with a workplace celebration, employers can make the gift special by ensuring it’s:

Personalized: Gifts like trophies, plaques, jewelry and even collectables can be engraved with an elegant monogram or important date to commemorate their achievement. A special engraving can elevate your thoughtful gift. It’s also an opportunity to strengthen company culture. Consider personalizing the gift with your business’s logo so your employees' friends and family will know who they received it from.

Unique: Nothing takes the wind out of a recognition program’s sails like generic gifts. Every employee has a different gift preference, so making sure you take the time to give an employee something unique that they don’t already have or wouldn’t necessarily purchase for themselves is the key to making the milestone special.

High-end: Commodities are not great motivators, nor are they appropriate for major milestones.
Incentive Mag explained that luxury rewards , like fine jewelry or a collectors watch, are better motivators that utilitarian rewards (like grocery store gift-cards) or even cash.


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The best work anniversary milestone gifts:

Of course, choosing the best milestone gift begins with picking out the item itself. Here are
some of our top gift ideas:

Trophies are the ideal way to recognize team accomplishments and can be displayed around the office.

Plaques  are easily personalized to commemorate the success of an individual employee or mark their years of service.

Watches are a classic gift. With the many styles available and the option to engrave, it’s a timeless and highly personalized gift.

Pens can be used everyday. For employees who are constantly signing off on deals, a sleek luxury pen will be a daily reminder of their achievements.

Jewelry may not be something an employee would purchase for themselves, but they are sure to wear these stylish accessories everyday or for a special occasion.

Collectables show you know about your employee’s interests. From globes to decanters, collectibles are a valuable and unique gift.

Every employee has different tastes, browse other popular recognition gifts from clocks to cashmere here.

The best work anniversary milestone gifts:

The best employee recognition program gives team members the power to pick a gift that appeals to them. At Hamilton, we can do the hard work for you and create a customized, one-of-a-kind website that is easy to navigate. Your employees can select an appropriate, pre-approved item from their tenure category and we take care of the rest.

Along with our selection of high-end, personalized gifts and trophies, you’ll rest assured that your valued employee is receiving something they truly love and captures your gratitude for their service. Our associates are always available to help with budgets and logistics to ensure your appreciation for your employees is expressed fully. If you’re ready to implement the perfect employee recognition program, get in touch with the professionals at Hamilton today.