Employee Anniversary Gifts By Year: Paper Through Gold


An employee’s first work anniversary is a big celebration — something that is easy and rewarding for everyone involved. Research shows that an employee’s risk of turnover decreases significantly after the first year, and employees can look forward to increasing responsibility, the opportunities for raises and promotions and other noteworthy perks with increased time.

Yet, after that first year, some organizations forget to celebrate additional employee anniversaries. Recognition of employee anniversaries is always important, so if you are scrambling to think of a great gift for your most loyal team member, here is a handy guide Gift Market :

1st Anniversary: Paper

The first work anniversary could be the most important of all, as it is around the first anniversary that most employees leave the organization looking for better opportunities at other employers. Generally, it is not necessary to award such fresh employees with incredibly lavish gifts, but you should be certain that workers feel immensely valued around the time of their anniversary. You might celebrate the paper anniversary with plenty of paper decorations and a paper certificate commemorating their first year on your team — as well as a gift card or some other small token of appreciation.

2nd Anniversary: Cotton

Two years is the recommended amount of time to remain at the same employer, so it is possible that your workers might start looking for new work if they do not feel appropriately recognized at this anniversary. For the cotton anniversary, you might shower your employee in corporate swag, like T-shirts, laptop bags, drink koozies and anything else with your company logo, to help them feel connected to the brand.

3rd Anniversary: Leather

Leather celebrates the third anniversary because it demonstrates the hardened strength of your relationship, which occurs by the third year. If an employee has remained loyal for this long, they are likely to be committed to climbing their career ladder within your organization. You can demonstrate your gratitude with some personalized leather item, like a leather tray, leather tote bag or leather journal.


In this article, we speak with leading experts from Gift Market, one of the leading and most trusted platforms for employee appreciation gifts. We ask them about gifting options according to the period of time that an employee has spent in the organization. If you are a business owner looking to start a program for employee gifting, please read what we have to say till the end of the article.

4th Anniversary: Flowers

The fourth anniversary is marked by flowers because your relationship has bloomed into something that benefits you both. You might get the office to pitch in to surprise your worker with a luxurious floral display on their desk, or you might send virtual flowers in the form of a social media post highlighting your worker’s achievements and asking for praise from your brand’s devoted audience.

5th Anniversary: Wood

In the 21st century, five years is an incredibly long time to spend under one employment roof, so the more you can do to show how much you value the loyalty of your employee, the better. In the spirit of the wood anniversary, you might give your worker a trip to a natural space, where they can disconnect from technology and their workplace duties to find rest and relaxation. Some extra PTO and an Airbnb reservation in some nearby wooded space are excellent presents for this milestone.

10th Anniversary: Aluminum

The employment anniversaries between five and 10 are no less important than any other year, but likely your worker is more committed to their position within your organization and less dependent on annual celebration to remain engaged in their role. For the years in between, you might offer a workplace lunch and offer smaller gifts, like their favorite snacks or gift cards and tickets to their favorite local attractions.

Yet, a full decade with your organization should not go unnoticed. To celebrate the aluminum anniversary, you should buy your employee plane tickets and encourage them to take time off at a more luxurious vacation destination. You should talk to your worker (or someone they are close to) to select a time and destination that accounts for their interests and expectations.

15th Anniversary: Crystal

The crystal of the 15th anniversary is meant to symbolize the clarity and sparkle of your relationship. After so much time together, this work anniversary should be marked with a more formal party with plenty of champagne and crystal glasses. You might commission a crystal award for your employee, which can rest in their office and remind them of their years of service to your brand.

50th Anniversary: Gold

The milestone anniversaries after 15 will largely consist of similar awards, celebrations and gifts: plaques and trophies, parties and luncheons, vacations and special perks. However, when an employee has spent half a century working for the same firm, they deserve something majorly memorable. The 50th anniversary celebration might also serve as a retirement party, so you should provide plenty of room in your budget for an expensive gift that they will cherish for the rest of their life, like a designer watch.

These days, job hopping is de rigueur, so it is rare for an employee to remain at the same company for more than a few months, let alone a few years. By creating a culture of recognition and celebrating major milestones like anniversaries, you can reduce your employee turnover and create a strong and loyal workforce to help your organization thrive.

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