Who doesn’t love an anniversary celebration? Even a work anniversary is worth noticing and making a fuss over.
And while it may not warrant dozens of red roses and wine, there are ways to let your employees know that they’re important to you and that you celebrate their time with your company.
Celebrating a milestone like an anniversary can give someone an amazing feeling. When you notice someone else’s achievements and make an effort to acknowledge them, there are so many rewards.
If you practice celebrating other people, you’ll be in the top 1% of people who want to be around. Think about the generosity of Ellen Degeneres, Jimmy Fallon, and Oprah Winfrey. Not the monetary generosity but the spirit that is so quick to say, “You did good. Who you are makes a difference.”
“Everybody loves to be around people who celebrate them.”
It’s the generosity of celebrating other people that draws them in and gives them reasons to want to stay close.
You don’t necessarily have to spend money on a party or a gift to get the message across. You just need to take an interest in the people you work with. Keep your eyes peeled for their accomplishments and success, and congratulate them in ways that will make them feel great.
This is true at work, too.
Celebrating an achievement like an anniversary can boost confidence and increase motivation. Showing appreciation can also boost your organization’s reputation, improve retention, and help to attract top talent.
How Important is Employee Recognition?
Take a minute to think about how your team or organization celebrates success or achievement. Does it have a positive impact?
If you celebrate achievement in the right way, you’ll likely increase confidence and motivation, which leads to happier and more productive teams. On the other hand, if you rarely acknowledge an anniversary or other milestone (or you celebrate in a way that feels forced, unfair or inappropriate), you risk that morale and dedication will slip away.
A reputation for celebrating time spent, wins, and effort can become a central pillar of your employer branding, helping your organization to attract and retain talent.
Just the simple act of acknowledging an achievement is a major boost for employee morale and performance. That’s why employee recognition is so important.
You might wonder why you should bother to worry about boosting your team members’ self-esteem in the first place. After all, they’re just doing what they’re paid for, right?
But you don’t want to create a work climate where people view their work as simply doing what they’re paid to do. Instead, you want to create an environment where every team member wants to give more than just good enough, where they feel ownership and pride and are willing to work as hard as it takes.
Acknowledging and celebrating their achievements is part of building an effective, driven team that will actively seek to improve results and performance.
Know Your Employee
However you choose to celebrate your employee, make sure you know what will make an individual feel celebrated.
Your employees aren’t a collective group of clones — they’re all individual and have different personalities. One way to find out what your people value is simply to ask them. You can do this informally or through an employee satisfaction survey.
Another way to really get to know your employees is through a personality test like 16 Personalities or True Colors. In the 1940s-50s, a mother and daughter team developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that’s built on the dichotomies within a person’s personality like energy, processing information, making decisions, and structuring your life. True Colors became a user-friendly and simplified form of the more complicated Myers-Briggs test.
Research shows that an acknowledgment or celebration has no positive effect if the recipient doesn’t like it, no matter how much thought has gone into the celebration. For instance, the way an introvert feels celebrated is significantly different from how an extrovert feels celebrated.
Understanding what drives and fuels your staff can help you create meaningful messages and find ways to celebrate them that will hit the mark.
For example, the introverts on your staff might not want to stand up and feel the eyes of everyone in the room on them, especially if those eyes are connected to ears who want to hear something witty and entertaining back from them.
But for an extrovert, the center of attention is exactly where they want to be. Not just standing up, but possibly standing on a chair so everyone can get a good look. Add fireworks? Yes, please.
Tailoring your message to the personality of your staff member is already a gift and one that will help make anything else you say or give strike the right note.
Ways to Celebrate Work Anniversaries
In order to keep up with everyone’s work anniversary dates, make sure you input these important dates on your office calendar and set a prompt for the week before. That way, you’ll have time to find the perfect message to acknowledge the date.
So, how can you celebrate your employee’s work anniversary? Here are three options, each of which can be tailored to a specific team member.
1. Just Say It
A straightforward, face-to-face “well done” is a simple but effective way to celebrate someone’s anniversary. If your office features an open plan layout, acknowledging the passing of another year in front of the staff can be uplifting and team-building — as long as it doesn’t embarrass anyone.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video can be worth ten thousand. Videos are simple to put together since most of us have smartphones with fantastic 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. A great tool for recording and sharing videos is Loom.
Here are a few 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?
2. Write It Down
A personal email remembering someone’s anniversary is a nice touch, while a handwritten card or note can add a valuable and personal touch. Though this method may seem dated, taking the time to write a card or note by hand just hits different.
Go to Walmart or Target and pick out a card or make it yourself using whatever paper you have. The substance is more important than the look.
Let your employee know the reasons you appreciate them. This approach may not be the most scalable if you have many employees, but people cherish the effort that goes into handwritten cards.
Take note of the good things your employees do and accomplish during the year and refer to them in your note or letter. This also lets your employee know that you notice them, and your congratulations aren’t just a once-a-year obligation you tick off your list.
Your employees should hear from more than one person on their work anniversary. They’ve probably connected with countless employees during their time with the company. Make sure everyone knows about upcoming anniversary dates so they can participate in the celebration.
A group message is another option. Tailor it to the specific person and their achievement with email, the company newsletter, social media, or a messaging platform to share and celebrate success stories. You could even set up a dedicated channel to highlight and congratulate people for jobs well done and to celebrate milestones like anniversaries.
Create a special post on LinkedIn about them. If you can, include the following:
- A picture of them (alone or with you and the team.)
- A unique, personalized message as to why they’re essential to your team.
- Three things you’ve learned from them over the last year.
You could do this as a “spotlight” from your company’s Linkedin account or your personal account. A sincere “Thank You” can go a long way. This is also a creative way to display your company culture and show how you treat your staff in a public setting.
While there may be a good chance that many of your employees won’t retire from your organization, your employees deserve your public support. You can write your employees a stellar LinkedIn recommendation that they can continue to lean on no matter where they land in your organization during the years to come.
8 Work Anniversary Messages to Thank Your Employees
If you’re still wondering what specific message you can give your employee to thank them for another year of service at your company, we’ve got you covered. Here are eight work anniversaries messages you can tailor, tweak and add to make them specific and unique to whoever is celebrating a special milestone with you:
For employees who love fun and adventures. These are the ones who are always ready for any excuse to have a party and keep the team laughing and entertained while still working hard:
1. Brian, you’ve been integral in placing our brand where it is today. Thank you for the last four years of hard work as we celebrate your work anniversary. This is a golden day because we are celebrating someone equal parts hard working and fun.
Your sincerity and upbeat attitude towards work are greatly appreciated. For all the time you have stayed with us, you have only made things better around here. Your sense of humor, confidence, and sincerity is an asset to our company.
2. Happy work anniversary to everyone’s favorite Shelley. You are truly an amazing addition to our team. Your enthusiasm, energy, and ideas are, quite frankly, unmatched. We are so glad that you chose us, and we highly appreciate the efforts you put into your work every single day.
For employees who work hard to do everything right. These employees are the ones willing to stay late and go the extra mile to get the job done perfectly and keep your clients happy:
3. A very happy anniversary to Maria, one of our strongest assets. Your expertise, brilliant imagination, and remarkable strategies have always helped us step ahead of our competitors. We are so thankful that you are a part of our team.
Thank you for all your creativity and innovation that has helped us build the most impressive winning strategies and for pouring your heart into your work.
4. Caleb, you inspire us with your skills, efforts, dedication, and sincerity. Your work has been impeccable and has brought us closer than ever to success. We wish you a very happy anniversary, and today, we want to celebrate all years of dedication you have put into this organization.
We are lucky to have you on the team. Your hard work, dedication, and loyalty are, quite frankly, unparalleled. You have set the bar very high, and we are extremely glad to have spent some very significant years with you. Thank you for everything.
For employees who value doing things together as a team. They’re the ones who see and notice what’s going on in other people’s lives and treat them with care:
5. Wishing you an incredibly happy work anniversary, Jose. May this day bring back memories, accolades, and titles you have earned over the years. You are a very special person and have been a wonderful addition to our team.
The ride this year has been especially special because you have been a part of it. Thank you for all you do and who you are.
6. Thank you for being an exceptional employee over the past year. Thea, the smile you wear to work every day and the care you show to everyone around you make this a special day.
So, we would love to wish you a very happy work anniversary, and we celebrate your joining. We are so awfully glad that you chose us. You have inspired us with your work ethic and undying enthusiasm every passing day. Here’s to your incredible journey!
For employees who are the organized backbone of the company. These list makers and checkers make you look good by taking on tasks and getting them done on time:
7. This year passed by so quickly, Debra, because you fit in with us like a lost puzzle piece. You’re quite remarkable, and we love how you have contributed to our work and the users we serve.
Our heartiest work anniversary wishes go out to you. You are a loyal, dedicated, and hard-working employee who has become one of our company’s most integral parts. Thank you for being with us and helping us grow.
8. Wishing you a very happy work anniversary, David. You have been a valuable member of this team and have proven your worth every single day you have been here. We appreciate the talent and skill you bring to the table, and we hope to see you grow and learn more as you continue your journey here at our company.
Researchers are finding that people who celebrate others are more grateful, happier, and have lower stress levels. They reduce the stress created by false needs and society’s unhealthy emphasis on competing with others. Set a great example, leave a legacy, and live longer.
Not a bad outcome as a result of sending an anniversary message thanking your employees.