4imprint, LLC

| Updated: May 10, 2022 4 min read

The start of a new year is always cause for celebration. And celebrating your staff is especially important, as employee appreciation—including employee recognition gifts for years of service—has been shown to improve engagement, productivity and performance by 14%.

If you’re looking for ideas to show just how much you appreciate your long-term employees, we’re here to lend a helping hand. Here are a few simple suggestions to help commemorate special anniversaries, plus some corresponding employee gifts.


One year

The first year at a new job is a time for learning, a time for mistakes, and often a time when employees feel unsure of themselves. As a team member reaches the end of their first year and truly starts to settle in, offer them a branded jacket, shirt or even an entire bag of swag to thank them for their hard work and provide a reminder that they’re truly a part of the team.


Three years

With the average salaried worker staying at a job 4.1 years, the three-year mark is an excellent time to start thinking about what’s going to help your staff member stay. You’ll be relieved to know there’s a near-universal answer: 94% of staff members would stay at a company longer if the organization supported their learning.

Providing staff members with extra training can be a major win for your company and the team, as it prepares your employees to:

  • Move into leadership roles
  • Move into new positions that allow them to follow their interests
  • Fill skills gaps in your staff roster

This makes the three-year mark the ideal time to ramp up educational opportunities. Here are some suggestions:

  • Pay for a course (or degree) at a local university
  • Provide access to online training
  • Pair the employee with a mentor who will help them grow or move into a new position

Couple these opportunities with employee recognition gifts they can use during their training, whether it’s a laptop backpack to carry their computer to class or a notebook and pen set for their note-taking needs.


Five years

In an era where so many employees move on before they reach the five-year mark, hitting this number is truly a cause for celebration. Five years is an ideal time to combine a more substantial gift with something sentimental.

A framed photo of their work team and a pair of high-end wireless headphones combine a great memory with their favorite tunes.


10 years

Making your organization a better place for 10 years is truly something worth celebrating. It’s also the perfect time to look beyond the 9-to-5 and support associates in some of their outside interests.

Do they love to travel? Help them fund the cost of a trip and offer them a high-end backpack/duffel to take along.

Live for grilling season? A portable grill and Master Grill Set lets them take their favorite pastime wherever they go.

Big sports fans? Get them tickets to a game and a stadium blanket to make it extra comfortable.


25+ years

After a quarter-century (or more!) together, there are likely dozens of photos and hundreds of great memories that revolve around your hardworking staff member. And the best employee recognition gift for all their years of service may just be to give all those memories back to them.

Invite other staff members to record themselves sharing a favorite memory on their smartphone or send in pictures of day-to-day work or special events where the person of the hour is the star. Assemble it all into a presentation and show it off at a catered luncheon in their honor. Be sure to put the presentation—along with any extra photos or videos—onto a flash drive they can keep.


Celebrate your staff

Great staff members deserve your appreciation—especially if they’ve been making your company better year in and year out. Employee recognition gifts for years of service will help to ensure those years keep accumulating.