Congratulations, your employee made it through their first year at your company! Now it’s time to celebrate your employees for all the hard work they did during their first year.
The first year of tenure at work is crucial. A great year with your employees sets your company up for success. Employee turnover causes more turmoil than most of us want to admit. Some people have estimated that turnover costs $15,000 per worker from lost productivity to the cost of rehiring and training.
One way to prevent employee turnover is to be genuinely interested in your employees and their development at your company. One way to show your employees how much they care is by celebrating essential dates, like their anniversary date. The first anniversary is your employee’s first interaction with how you treat employees as they progress through your company.
Celebrating work anniversaries helps you re-engage your employees while showing how much you care.
Now that we know why we celebrate work anniversaries, here are some tips for recognizing the first work anniversary.
You shouldn’t be celebrating work anniversaries five days or weeks after the event. If possible, you should be celebrating the day of or earlier (if you group work anniversary celebrations in some way.) You should keep all of these important dates on your office calendar so you can keep an eye on upcoming anniversaries.
Your employees should hear from more than one person on their work anniversary. They have likely connected with countless employees during their tenure with the company. Make sure everyone knows about upcoming anniversary dates so they can take part in the fun. Use a tool like Nectar’s recognition and rewards tool to call out anniversaries publicly (and allow others in the company to comment.)
You don’t want to give out a general Amazon gift card, put some thought into your anniversary gift. Their anniversary gift is unique, and it will be seen as the culmination of your experience working with an employee. Make sure that the present feels special and unique to the person you’re gifting.
Don’t spoil one employee if you can’t spoil them all. We want to ensure that gifts line up across the company and the departments you run. Make sure that all managers understand the gift spending limits you have in place for each anniversary date. Your employees talk to each other, and you want to ensure that your employees don’t feel left out based on the gift you decide to give them.
If you don’t have a ton of money to spend, there are many free and meaningful things you can do for your employees. Think outside the box and get what you can to celebrate your employees.
General tips are great, but what about specifics? Here are ten fantastic ideas that your employees will love on their first anniversary at work.
Custom swag can be a fantastic reward for a job well done, but it also promotes your brand. Over time, your employees will love looking at the swag they’ve collected. Here are some custom company swag ideas:
For an even nicer impression, get your employee’s name embroidered on the items you give them.
If you’re looking for a simple way to show appreciation, purchase a flower bouquet or get a candy basket for employees who don’t like flowers. These gifts can brighten your employee’s workspace for the week. Get these items delivered to the office or your employee’s home for a special touch.
Indoor plants can make memorable gifts because every time your employee looks at the plant, they’ll be reminded of your company. Your employees might not want the responsibility of taking care of a plant, though, so ensure you only give plants out if they want them.
If your employees are engaged, they don’t want to stay stagnant. Your employee has learned a lot about you and your company over the past year. If they are in a smaller role, it might be time to start planning a larger employee role. Make sure you also give them a raise to go along with the extra responsibilities.
If you don’t have an opening in your company currently, sit down with that employee to discuss their future with the company. Having a candid career conversation shows that you want to invest in their growth, even if you can’t give them more responsibilities right now.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth ten thousand. Videos are simple to put together since most of us have smartphones with amazing video capabilities. Get everyone in the company who regularly works with your employee to record a quick video about their experience. If they work with customers or vendors, get them involved too! Cut the video together, post it online, and send the video link to your employee on their anniversary date.
Here are some things your video can cover:
How would you describe the employee in three words? Why?
What is your favorite memory of working with the employee?
What moment made you the proudest of the employee this year?
Personal development and investing in your employee’s growth can make a huge difference. There are so many excellent classes and conferences in your industry. Pick a conference and pay for them to attend it, purchase a course on Udemy, or get a subscription to a site like Skillshare.
Your employees are more than welcome to have passions outside of work. Help them invest in those passions by paying for a class or experience in a hobby that doesn’t relate to the work they do for your company.
Your employees are busy, and they probably have one aspect of their job they don’t like. Ask them to write out a list of all the things they do each week. Ask them to identify all the activities they wouldn’t mind getting rid of. Take on that activity, give it to a freelancer, or let the next hire in the department take that activity on.
If your employee loves helping others, let them pick a charity to donate to. Donate to that charity in your employee’s name and give them a small token of your appreciation alongside the gift. You’ll be helping so many people in the process.
The space you work in every day has a significant impact on your productivity. Give your employees a budget for a workspace upgrade or buy them the piece of equipment they’ve wanted for a long time.
We could all use a day off work. Encourage your employee to take the day off and spend some time with friends and family. Don’t count this as a vacation day. Make anniversaries a holiday at your company.
Employee recognition makes all the difference at work. Your employees want to be celebrated and awarded for all the work they do for your company. Taking time to plan the first-anniversary celebration can do wonders for employee engagement at your organization.