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Create Unforgettable Company Anniversary Celebrations

Insights from
,

Updated on 

March 25, 2024

A company anniversary presents a valuable opportunity to celebrate your organization and also build engagement, connection, belonging, and community for your employees.

Whether it’s your 100th year in business, the 50th anniversary of when you went public, or another big company milestone, celebrate your business anniversary with the people who made it possible. Here are some celebration ideas for an unforgettable anniversary.

74% of employees say recognition and celebration is a crucial part of workplace community.

1. Decide what you want to celebrate

Company anniversary celebrations should be about more than just the number of years you’ve been in business. It’s about all the people—at every level—who have helped you get there.

As you plan your company anniversary celebration, take the time to reflect on your company’s journey and history, including your challenges and successes. Think about how you’ve evolved as an organization, and build those stories into your celebration.

“An anniversary is about people… A successful anniversary is not the product of a checklist. It is the result of love. You may find yourself falling in love with your company and the people who made it. From that will emerge an anniversary truly worth celebrating.”
—Jeff Bradford, President of Bradford Dalton Group

2. Build excitement

Create an internal campaign for the months and weeks that lead up to your anniversary to get employees excited. Be sure your communications and promotions reach all employees, including those working remotely, offline, and in other locations.

You could create a special brand for your anniversary and content to tell your company’s stories. Or try some special events, games, contests, initiatives, or social media posts. Whatever you do to generate energy and help employees feel excited about the upcoming anniversary, be sure it reflects and aligns with your company culture.

3. Have a celebration event

Consider bringing all employees in for a company-wide event. If that’s not possible, perhaps hold smaller company celebrations in each location. But don’t forget your remote and virtual employees.

These events should be more than an informal happy hour or lunch out. Anniversary events may include food and fun, but make sure they honor your company history, purpose, progress, people, and culture.

Anniversary celebrations don’t have to be expensive or lavish. The most meaningful celebrations are thoughtfully planned with the employee experience in mind. Take time to show appreciation for your people and make an emotional connection.

See more celebration ideas for your company anniversary.

4. Give a thoughtful gift

Company celebrations are more memorable when everyone receives a meaningful gift. In fact, employees are 3x more likely to remember an employee appreciation experience when it includes a gift like a symbolic award. A celebration paired with an award can create a peak employee experience for your people, and it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Research from the O.C. Tanner Institute shows spending as little as $50 per employee on a company event award can have a substantial impact on employee engagement.

 

A chart showing the probability of engagement at different award values

         

Highly integrated employee recognition increases the odds of high engagement 9x and a thriving culture 8x.       

Memorable gift ideas for your company anniversary celebration

A meaningful custom, branded gift that employees can be excited about and brings them together

A selection of custom, branded gifts to bring employees together

Fun custom swag boxes that help employees show their company pride

An image of a custom-branded company swag box designed and curated by O.C. Tanner. This example includes a blanket, water bottle, sunglasses, and more.

A choice of gifts from a thoughtful selection

An image showing an online recognition message and catalog for employees to choose a gift

Recognition points from your employee recognition program (like a Group Points Deposit through Culture Cloud®), that let employees choose an award they’d love (or save up for something they’ve had their eye on)

An image of O.C. Tanner's Culture Cloud group deposits experience. Employees receive an email from a leader with points to redeem in an online award catalog.

Custom symbolic awards to represent your company anniversary

An image showing a selection of custom-designed symbolic awards with distinct branding and storytelling for Marriott, Elevance Health, and St. James hospital. Designed by O.C. Tanner's award team.

       

If finding the perfect gift feels daunting, seek out a partner to help. Look for someone who can source a wide range of award ideas, help you develop gift concepts, and manage supply chain, messaging, and delivery for your company anniversary celebration.

Need help finding the perfect company anniversary gift? Check out our gift giving guide and see more company anniversary award ideas.


5. Strengthen community

As you celebrate your company with your people, rally them around a shared purpose and vision for the future. Connect them to your goals, initiatives, and purpose as you go forward.

When employees feel connected to their organization, the odds of high engagement and positive business outcomes increase. They’re also more likely to feel a sense of belonging to your organization and its purpose, which strengthens workplace community. Company anniversary celebrations are a perfect time to improve community by communicating shared goals and commitment, and promoting camaraderie, trust, and unity.

A chart showing the essential elements of a workplace community
Community Index, 2023 Global Culture Report

Another way to strengthen community: Gather employees to do good. Offer them time, on the clock, to participate in a community outreach project. Link them with opportunities to volunteer and participate as a team or company. Ensure your remote and off-site employees can volunteer in their own locations. This builds both community at work and the larger community outside of work.


After your company anniversary celebration, keep the momentum going
throughout the year as part of your employee engagement strategies. Integrate recognition all year long to keep employee engagement high, improve company culture, and create ongoing experiences employees will never forget.

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