What Is a Workaversary & How Should You Celebrate?
A workaversary, or work anniversary, is a chance to celebrate the people in your company that make it all happen. We rely on our team members for the big things and the small, and the milestone of each year a team member has worked with the business is an important one. It lets the employee know that they are seen — the company sees how dedicated and loyal they are, and the whole team is excited about what the future might hold.
Here at Kotn Supply, we’re all about the little guys. We work with rural farmers, craftsmen, and artisans to create products that last a long time without leaving a lasting impact on the earth. We understand the importance of caring for your team and creating a work environment that is full of support, positivity, and employee appreciation.
That’s why we’re excited to share top ideas and guides for recognizing your employees’ hard work and highlighting all they do for the team with workaversary celebration plans, gifts, and messages.
What Is a Workaversary?
There are many names for a work anniversary, including workaversary, service anniversary, or employment anniversary, but they generally all mean the same thing. This day refers to the very first day an employee began working for the company — whether it’s their first-year anniversary or their ten-year work anniversary, we believe that’s worth celebrating.
While it perhaps may seem like a distraction to take the time to celebrate work anniversaries, there are actually many benefits to it. It’s a way of telling your employee, hey, you’re a part of this team.
It’s an essential way of recognizing that great work that often goes unnoticed in the busy day-to-day. Simple things, like offering congrats for a work anniversary, can shift the culture of a company and inspire confidence, loyalty, and innovation, all while improving employee retention and morale.
The good news is that there are many types of workaversary celebrations, so you can easily pin down one that represents your company (and what works for your particular team).
Kotn Supply is here to share a handful of our favorites:
Best Workaversary Party Ideas
Workaversary parties are a way of taking just a little bit of time out of the day to showcase and highlight the excellent work of a team member.
Some workaversary parties that your team will enjoy are:
An In-Office Celebration
It can be challenging to coordinate schedules and plan parties outside of work, which is why many teams choose to have holidays and birthday celebrations during the workday. Consider adding workaversaries to the list of company-wide events and activities. This ensures that the whole workforce is aware of it and no one gets accidentally forgotten during an unusually busy week.
An in-office celebration can be simple and festive, or you can take it to the next level with a catered lunch, gifts, and goodies, or sweets and treats. You want to plan the celebration around the specific employee, if possible, so consider picking up their favorite snacks or desserts. Take into account the group’s dietary guidelines and preferences.
Additionally, clear this gathering with the guest of honor beforehand — some employees might prefer not to be the center of attention. In that case, go far more low-key with a mass email or something smaller than an actual party.
A Happy Hour Celebration
Of course, you can’t go wrong with a happy hour celebration. If the team has a favorite bar or lounge, consider covering drinks for the night, either for the whole team or for the person you’re celebrating.
There are many benefits to taking the party out of the office, so everyone can feel more relaxed and festive. A bar, restaurant, or cafe is a great place for people to unwind and celebrate a special occasion.
A Nice Meal
If you feel it is appropriate, you may want to consider taking the team out for a nice meal in celebration of an employee's work anniversary or the employee on their own, depending on the office dynamic.
This may look like an elegant lunch during the workday or a scheduled dinner at a restaurant after work has come to a close. A luxe meal outside of the office is typically a bit fancier and more elevated, but it may be a good fit for your team.
Best Workaversary Gift Ideas
Another way to show your employee appreciation is with a gift. A gift can stand on its own or be shared at the celebration or meal, depending on how you choose to celebrate. Make sure that the gift you’re sharing is both personal and appropriate, so consider your dynamic with an employee before picking out a workaversary celebration present.
That said, you have lots of great options to pick from when it comes to work anniversary gifts, including some of the following.
A Day Off
One of the best ways to say thanks for all you do is to give your team member a day off that doesn’t come out of their built-in days off, so they can rest and recharge after a year of hard work. It’s best if you can give them a paid day off so that they don’t feel obligated to come into the office to keep their budget balanced.
It’s smart to let your team members know that this is the gift they can expect to receive on their anniversary. It will boost morale and let your team members know that you want them to get the rest and relaxation that they deserve.
An Anniversary Bonus
Show your appreciation for quality work with a small bonus. Let your team know that this bonus is just a way of saying thank you and that it’s not contingent on the number of hours they worked or any kind of review process.
Naturally, you only want to give anniversary bonuses if you feel comfortable doing so for each employee and if you feel they won’t alter or disrupt the culture of the company.
A Gift Card
The best work anniversary gifts are ones that will actually be used. That’s why a gift card will always steer you right. It gives your team member the opportunity to pick out a gift or service for themselves that they’ll want or to enjoy a good meal as a thank you from the team.
Gift cards can also be surprisingly personal. You can give gift cards to their favorite restaurants or local boutiques, relaying how much you are engaged in your professional relationship. Consider wrapping a gift card in a nice box or card so that they have something to open up on their workaversary.
Gift Box or Gift… Tote Bag
You can’t fail with an elegant gift box or gift basket. There are many to pick from, so you can easily find an option that fits your employee’s personality and preferences, whether they like cheese, fruits, sweets, or wines.
And if you’re looking to give something a little more personal for their work anniversary, then consider putting together a gift basket all your own, based on the person you’re sharing it with. This may look like a box of baking supplies and ingredients, workout gear and tools, or tea and cookies. Instead of a paper box that’ll end up in the company recycling bin, opt for a custom-branded canvas tote bag so that the wrapping is also part of the gift itself.
No matter what kind your employee likes best, you’ll be able to create a workaversary gift basket they’re sure to appreciate.
Service or Membership
You may want to consider gifting a workaversary present that helps to make your employee’s life a little simpler or allows them to try out something they’ve been looking forward to. And you have a bunch of interesting options to pick from. If they want to try something new, like dance classes, a specific gym, or language lessons, give them a certificate for classes.
Or maybe they’re feeling overwhelmed at home, with a new baby or other family members in the house, in which case a cleaning service might be much appreciated. If you’re at a loss for ideas, spa days and manicures are always a hit.
When gifting memberships and services, carefully consider your relationship with the employee to make sure it’s a gift that they’ll be able to use.
A nice workaversary gift doesn’t have to break the bank. One simple but very effective way to show your gratitude and appreciation for the time your employee has given to the team is with company swag.
Here at Kotn Supply, we make it easy to order sustainable and eco-friendly products with your company name or logo, so you can make a big splash without leaving a big impact. We carry easy-to-to customize products every employee will appreciate, including sweatshirts, t-shirts, tote bags, and more.
Company swag is a wonderful way of saying thank you while still providing functionality and use. It allows each employee to feel like an important member of the team and gives them something fun to wear on company outings. Consider gifting company swag like apparel, reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, or tote bags that they’ll be able to use again and again.
Your employee works hard, and they deserve a rest. One time-honored way to relay thanks is to provide the tools they need to get that much-needed relaxation — self-care goodies.
This can take many forms, from hair care and skin care to gift cards for a day at the local spa. If you’re unsure what kind of products they like best, consider tools and accessories that don’t require a change in their routine, like scrunchies, hair clips, or fluffy slippers. They’ve been working hard for the whole year, and this is a chance for them to take a break.
Plants and Flowers
Flowers make everyone happy. If you’re just not sure what the ideal gift for your employee is, put your faith in a stunning bouquet.
Pick out their favorite types of flowers, or go with the flowers that correspond with the month of their work anniversary. If you want to take the gift of flowers to the next level, consider giving them a live plant for their office or home instead.
Favor easy-to-care-for variants like succulents. You can create a floral gift set with a low-maintenance plant, as well as a beautiful and individually chosen pot that you think they’ll really enjoy. Pair it with gloves or other gardening supplies for a complete set.
A Bottle of Something Nice
While you always want to use your judgment when gifting alcohol, a bottle of wine or liquor can be a great way to celebrate a work anniversary. You can personalize it by picking out a type you know they enjoy or that features the flavors they like most, and dress it up with a bow or in a pretty bag to give it that touch of extraordinary,
It’s important to remember that not everyone drinks alcohol, so consider the employee you’re picking the gift out for before making the purchase. That said, wine or liquor can be an elegant anniversary gift and one they’re sure to appreciate. Don’t forget to add your card!
Best Workaversary Card Ideas
When celebrating a happy workaversary, you’ll want to share some meaningful messages with your team member. Even if you’re unable to give a gift or plan a party, a simple letter or email can show them that you appreciate their work. Tell them that you’re happy to have them on as part of the team. You may want to highlight the work they do on social media services like LinkedIn to share with your clients and customers how much your team members matter.
Here are a few of our messages and ideas for thanking your employee for a good year together:
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A simple card that fits their personality with a nice message is often enough all on its own. With simpler messages, you can say things like “Happy workaversary” or “Congrats on another amazing year.” What they’ll really appreciate most is the time you took to think about their special day and to honor it in your own way.
A Professional Acknowledgment
Recognize all the work your employees do by praising a specific accomplishment from the last year. This may be something larger for which they received honors or brought in business for the team, or even something small that maybe only you noticed. If they overcame a challenge, landed a big client, or completed an impressive project, that’s worth mentioning.
A Personal Note
If you feel like it’s appropriate, you may want to consider writing a short personal note or reference in the workaversary card. This may be in reference to a funny or heartwarming experience you shared, a project you worked on together, or something that they taught you along the way.
Let them know that having them on the team has helped you to grow and learn alongside them and that you’re thankful for everything that they bring to the group. While you always want to use your good judgment when writing something personal to a member of your team, sincerity is always appreciated.
A Quote or Poem
If you’re not quite sure how to put your thoughts down, consider using a quote, poem, or the lyrics of a song, instead. Not only can these lines be heartfelt, but they can even be used to bring in the company's values by referring to the work you do or the impact you make on the world. Quotes and poems are a brilliant way to share your thoughts and appreciation for your employee without feeling like you’re overstepping.
Our employees work hard each and every day, and it’s through that hard work and determination from our team that the business and company can grow and develop. We rely on those employees to meet with clients, come up with ideas, and build our business for the future, and all that hard work should really be appreciated.
That’s why our team here at Kotn Supply recommends celebrating work anniversaries with your team. A work anniversary is simply a recognition of the day that an employee began working with the team and the year of hard work that you've shared.
There are many ways to celebrate this day, but even something as simple as a handwritten card shows your employee that their work is seen and appreciated and that you’re excited to see what else they’re going to come up with in the future.
Kotn Supply can help bring our workaversary and company gift ideas to life. Build and care for your team with the support of ours today.