30+ Creative Gift Ideas for Celebrating Years of Service

Long-term employees are valuable to your organization in so many ways. Not only do they bring years of on-the-job expertise that can be transferred to younger employees, but they’re often an organization’s biggest champions. They bring a positive attitude to a workplace that they clearly enjoy.

For these reasons, it’s essential for you to recognize them and show your appreciation. Giving years of service awards when they hit important milestones is one proven way to provide this recognition.

Why Should We Celebrate Tenure Milestones?

Employee recognition is crucial for ensuring that employees feel valued. However, it also has positive impacts on the business. 70% of employees agree that they feel strongly connected to their workplace culture when recognition is an important aspect of that culture.

This connection leads to reduced burnout and turnover and enhances your employer brand. Furthermore, employees who receive great recognition are 20 times more likely to be engaged at work than employees who receive poor recognition. This high level of engagement often leads to greater productivity and performance.

These statistics demonstrate the fact that when you show your employees that you appreciate them, they often reciprocate those feelings by helping the business reach its goals.

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30+ Creative Suggestions for Years of Service Rewards

Years of service awards should be both personal and reflective of the employee’s tenure. The longer an employee has worked for you, the more personalized and spectacular the gifts should be. Here are some ideas to help you select appropriate gifts for each stage that communicate your appreciation and gratitude.

One Year of Service Gifts

Research suggests that companies have only 44 days from the time of hire to convince a new employee to stick around. Consequently, making it to the one-year mark these days is a significant milestone and should definitely be recognized. There are several things you can do to celebrate the occasion:

The one-year work anniversary gift doesn’t have to be huge. A small gift can go a long way.

Five Years of Service Gifts

The average tenure of today’s wage and salaried employees is 4.1 years, so when employees have been with you for five years or more, there’s cause to celebrate. Here are some good ideas to help you treat this milestone accordingly:

Remember that the goal is to ensure that your employees feel appreciated and to encourage them to keep going to reach double digits.

10 Years of Service Gifts

The average person in the U.S. retires somewhere between the ages of 62 and 65, which means many of them are working for around 40 years of their lives. Having someone working with you for 25% or more of those years is a big deal.

Fortunately, there are several gifts you can give to communicate this fact:

These gifts show employees that you care about them personally and are grateful for their tenure at your company.

15 Years of Service Gifts

It’s a big deal for a person to enjoy working at your company enough to do it for the bulk of their working lives. You can show that you appreciate all that they have contributed over the years by giving gifts that excite them and make their lives easier:

These gifts aren’t just personal, but they truly represent the magnitude of your gratitude for the employee.

25+ Years of Service Gifts

Employees who remain with you for a quarter of a decade or more are hard to come by. Make sure you treat them like the treasures they are by pulling out all the stops for their work anniversary gifts:

While these gifts require an investment, it’s worth it to show these special employees how much they mean to the team and to the company.

What to Avoid When Picking Out Years of Service Gifts

When it comes to giving the right years of service gifts, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of. When possible, try to avoid these mistakes:

Avoiding these issues will help you ensure that your years of service gift has its intended effect: making employees feel valued and appreciated.

Help Employees Feel Appreciated Every Day

Celebrating your employees when they arrive at certain milestones should be a natural practice in a company-wide culture of recognition. This means that you don’t have to wait until employees have been working there a long time to recognize their hard work.

Make sure to pay attention and reward employees for the small things they do, such as bringing smiles to the office, gaining new skills, and working particularly hard on an important project. When you appreciate employees on an everyday basis, you make it much more likely that they’ll be around for the long haul.

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