By Jiji Lee

Meaningful Work Anniversary Gifts


Mark a milestone with a special gift.

Recognizing an employee’s work milestones can go a long way towards making them feel special and appreciated.

That’s why it's always a nice idea to celebrate a work anniversary with a simple, but meaningful gift.

A work anniversary gift is a thoughtful way to recognize an employee’s contributions and it shows that you are honoring their time with the organization so far. It’s these meaningful gestures that can help an employee feel more connected with you and the office.

When it comes to finding the perfect work anniversary gift for your employee, it always helps if the gift is both practical and a nice upgrade from what they already own. It also goes a long way if you know your employee’s taste and preferences. But don’t worry, you don’t have to play 20 questions to uncover your employee’s likes and dislikes in order to personalize your gift.  Instead, here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine what your employee might like.

  • Could their favorite, but chipped coffee mug use an upgrade? 
  • Do they love all things paper and stationery? Do they love handwriting notes during meetings?
  • Are they more likely to refresh with a cup of coffee or settle down with a soothing cup of tea?
  • Are they a movie buff or is their idea of entertainment an afternoon of puzzles and games?
  • Do they love anything that helps them stay organized? Or do they like their work space to feel open and creative?

Below is a list of meaningful work anniversary gifts that will express your appreciation and respect for your employee. Whether your employee is a foodie with a sweet tooth or a go-getter who could use a refresh on their goals, you will surely find a thoughtful gift on this list.  

  1. Goal planner. Help your coworker accomplish their personal and professional goals for the year with a brand new planner. Studies have shown that we’re more likely to achieve our goals when we write them down and break big goals into small steps. Our Ink+Volt Planner utilizes these proven methods to help people stay organized and focused on their goals. It includes 30-day challenges to help build new, positive habits, a visual timeline to track milestones, and journal prompts to encourage self-reflection and mindfulness. Comes in a dated, undated, daily, or 3-month format.
  1. Gratitude journals. A gratitude practice can be immensely beneficial in the workplace. Studies have shown that incorporating a gratitude practice and mindfulness into the work day can help employees handle stressful situations, be less critical of themselves, focus on their work, and improve their overall well-being in the office. Whether your employee is already a dedicated fan of Headspace or has always wanted to develop a mindfulness routine, they will appreciate the chance to practice gratitude in this beautiful journal. 
  1. Pilot Metropolitan Fountain pen. The best gifts are the ones that are fancy upgrades of our favorite, everyday items. These are gifts that are practical yet never think to splurge on for ourselves. A classy fountain pen meets this criteria. It's elegant and high-end, but affordable enough that your recipient won’t feel too precious about using it.  
  1. Inspiring, relaxing coloring book. This is a thoughtful gift for the coworker who seeks a simple way to unwind after work or tap into their creativity. Coloring is considered a mindful activity, which means that it can help anchor you to the present moment and keep distracting, anxious thoughts at bay. From the simple act of coloring, your coworker can experience myriad benefits, including improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased focus and attention. Not only is a coloring book a much-needed outlet to release stressful, anxious thoughts, but it can also help us express our creativity, without being too taxing on the brain.
  1. Inspiring book. Sometimes there’s nothing like a good book to perfectly capture what you want to say. You can gift your employee with a book that inspired you or a memoir that you think would instill hope and confidence throughout their career. You can even include a card and write down your own inspiring words or express how much you value your employee. 
  1. Special coffee mug. While gifting a generic coffee mug is a surefire way to appear inauthentic, you can make your gift more meaningful by selecting a coffee mug that’s a prettier, higher quality version of the one they already one. Maybe a travel mug that allows them to sip their favorite cup of joe in a park, or a pretty stoneware mug that would make a gorgeous display in their workspace and definitely give a nice boost to their Monday mornings. 
  1. Coffee subscription. We’d all love a gentle, relaxing start to our mornings, but more often that not, we’re rushing around, and inhaling our coffee before the first online meeting starts. Help give your employee a reason to slow down and enjoy their mornings with a coffee gift subscription. This will definitely help your coworker savor their morning coffee ritual.
  1. Gift certificate to an online class. Invest in your employee’s professional development and give them an encouraging nudge to pursue their interests with an online class. You can find career development courses on General Assembly or venture outside the typical career development route and look at creativity workshops or photography and painting classes on sites like Skillshare, Catapult, and Masterclass.
  1. Snack gift box. Who doesn’t love snacking throughout the work day? If your employee has a sweet tooth, they’ll love this assorted cookie tin from Milk Bar. Or how about a variety of fun snacks from Muji or Trader Joe’s? 

  2. A bottle of champagne. Before working from home became the new normal, you would have celebrated an employee’s work milestone with a small party or after-work drinks. You can still celebrate the spirit of the occasion by having a nice bottle of wine or champagne delivered.