Celebrating employee milestones provides the opportunity to observe some of the most important moments in an employee’s time with your company. Consider celebrating:
- Achieving a professional goal, like a new degree or certification
- Earning a promotion
- Reaching a yearly anniversary
Because so many offices now include remote workers, we’ve put together a few ways to celebrate these special occasions, whether your staff member is in the office, working from home, or on the opposite side of the world.
1. Give thanks
The most powerful form of recognition can also be the simplest. Draft a personal note that congratulates an employee on their achievement or talks about what they have added to the team during their years of service. It’s a great way to let staff know how much they’re appreciated.
2. Make them feel like part of the team
While welcoming a new teammate is a reason to celebrate in and of itself, many companies have a training or probationary period that must pass before an employee is considered a full member of the team.
Celebrate this event by giving these staff an employee milestone gift, like a company T-shirt, polo or sweatshirt. The gift will make any new employee feel like part of the team, whether they work in the office or in their home.
3. Celebrate every anniversary
Eighty-five percent of Canadian employers with recognition programs acknowledge years of service.
Much the same way that wedding anniversaries are celebrated with paper the first year, wood the fifth, and silver for the 25th, putting an anniversary gift calendar in place can show appreciation for employee milestones while ensuring that every employee is recognized on their special day.
Did you know more employees choose to leave a job around their anniversary than any other time?
Although companies may acknowledge major anniversaries—like year 10, 25 and 40—every year a staff member is with your organization is worth celebrating. And celebrating employee milestones can help them feel engaged and appreciated. Consider giving:
- Gift cards: A gift card to a favourite restaurant, coffee shop or store is both personal and easy to share through mail or email.
- Online recognition: Posting a social shout-out for years of service doesn’t just show your company how much you value an employee—it also shows your fans and followers.
- A framed picture or photo collage: Giving a picture of the entire team together as an employee milestone gift can remind team members they’re valued. And if you have remote employees who aren’t usually in the office, a staff photo collage can help the team feel more connected despite any distance.
- A career planning session: When approaching the end of the first or second year, having a conversation about how they view their place in the company going forward can truly help them see their future in your organization.
- A charitable donation: Much like a gift card, making a donation on behalf of the employee to an organization of their choice creates a truly personal gift.
- A day off: Giving employees a day with no obligations helps them celebrate their milestone and take time to recharge.
When an employee hits a major anniversary milestone or retirement, going the extra mile can show them just how much they’re valued.
- Pay for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: Has your employee always wanted to learn a new skill? Cover the cost of their expenses to make it happen.
- Throw a company-wide party: Whether your company has a few remote workers or multiple warehouses around the world, throw a party with cake and mingling at each location and share it via video.
- Give them a sabbatical: Instead of a day off, give them a month off and encourage them to spend time recharging or picking up a new skill.
Celebrating employee milestones helps them to see how much you value them, no matter if they walk into the office every day or work from home.