Unite your team by celebrating company milestones and anniversaries with these creative appreciation ideas.
Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays—there’s a reason these events get circled in our calendars every year: they give meaning to significant life moments, help us mark milestones, and let us connect with the people we care about.
Our research shows that when news of success is spread across an organization, there is a 57% increase in feelings of appreciation. This is why your company’s achievements are just as worthy of celebration as any other important life event. Celebrating team anniversaries and milestones helps your employees unite over their collaborative efforts—and reinforces how much those efforts contribute to your company’s success.
However, it’s extremely difficult to keep employees engaged if your company’s celebration remains the same year after year. It’s time to breathe some new life into your office events with these creative company anniversary celebration activities.
Turn your office party into a family affair
We all want our loved ones to be proud of us, which is why it’s great to let your employees invite friends and family to company anniversaries. If the weather’s good, take it outside with barbeque, ice cream cones, live entertainment, and a bouncy castle for the kids.
Spend a thrilling day at an amusement park
Has your workplace felt sluggish lately? Inject some excitement into it by getting your employees out of the office and onto a roller coaster. If you’ve got a large enough group, you can even rent out the entire park so your team can enjoy a day of fun, food—and no lines.
Make a special video commemorating your people
Over the course of the year, hire someone to take pictures and record videos of both significant and everyday moments in the office. Showcase this video to your employees at your yearly anniversary celebration—then post it on your social media so they can share it.
Go on a company scavenger hunt
If you’ve got employees who like a little more action in their celebrations, consider a company-wide scavenger hunt. Picture-based hunts are especially great for this occasion because they require minimal effort on your part—just don’t forget to make prizes for the winners!
Create custom merchandise for your celebration
Who doesn’t love getting free stuff? For your next significant anniversary, design custom company merchandise and present it to your employees at the party. You can also use this anniversary as an opportunity to create a unique anniversary logo and slogan.
Host an office award ceremony
Give your team the VIP treatment by hosting a glamorous office award ceremony. After you’ve created unique categories (such as “Most Years in Service” and “Best Meeting Notetaker”), roll out the red carpet and present each winning nominee with a custom award and prize package.
Plan a company-wide potluck
Throw a company potluck and encourage your employees to bring cuisine from their home states, countries—or even a favorite recipe from their childhood. This will help your people get to know each other better while they share a meal that truly means more.
Step into the world of virtual reality
Give your team members an experience they’ll never forget by either renting out virtual reality equipment or taking your people to a local VR place. With virtual reality technology, your employees can explore new worlds, compete in games, or go on fantastical adventures together.
Throw a themed party
Even if you don’t leave the office, you can still make your anniversary party memorable. Poll your employees for theme ideas (like favorite movies, books, and TV shows), then use the top-ranked theme to influence decor, cuisine, costume contests, and trivia quizzes.
Enjoy a night out on the town
If you’re looking for a more off-the-cuff way to celebrate, take your employees out for a relaxed night at happy hour. Try out local dining hotspots, grab a few drinks, harmonize at a karaoke bar, and enjoy a casual evening walk with your whole team.
Treat your employees to a personal wellness day
Survey your people about what activities they would enjoy for an in-office day of wellness. They might decide on an instructional lecture with breakfast in the morning, a midday massage at lunch, and then a sundae bar and dance lessons in the evening!
Plan your party around your company’s purpose
Our survey results show that only 66% of employees worldwide feel a sense of purpose from their organization. To remedy this, design your celebration around unique achievements, awards, and activities that reflect and celebrate your company’s purpose.
Test your team’s skills in a puzzle room
Puzzle and escape rooms provide unique experiences where your people can have a great time while developing their skills as a team. Some escape rooms even offer rentable trailers that can be driven right to your party’s location!
Take your celebration outdoors
Celebrate team achievements by taking your employees out to get some fresh air. Visit an archery range, go rock climbing, compete at paintball, or try your hand at hatchet throwing—then wind down and relax with a casual picnic after your invigorating day.
Host a party for both employees and clients
It’s always good to recognize employees in front of their coworkers, but you can take it a step further by thanking them in front of clients. This is a great way to celebrate your team and introduce your clients to the people who keep your company running.
However you decide to celebrate your milestones, achievements, and anniversaries, it’s always good to get feedback and ideas from your team. This lets them give input that directly influences your culture—and ensures you always choose the perfect way to celebrate and unite your people.
Take a look at our Modern-Day Guide to Years of Service Awards for tips and best practices on how to celebrate careers, not tenure.
More Employee Recognition Resources
There are so many different ways to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate your employees. Here are more resources for guidance:
• Guide to Employee Recognition Programs
• 11 Employee Recognition Ideas
• 22 Awesome Employee Recognition Gift Ideas
• 9 Tips for How to Choose Employee Recognition Software
• Heartfelt Employee Appreciation Quotes to Say "Thank You"
• Benefits of Peer to Peer Recognition
• Best Practices for Virtual Employee Recognition
• Guide to Years of Service Awards
• Tips to Celebrate Work Anniversaries
• Employee Recognition in the Modern Workplace
• Victories: Modern Recognition Software
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