Inspirational 5-Year Employee Anniversary Gift Ideas

20 Apr 2023

Five years may not sound like an awfully long time, but when job vacancies are at a record high and there are fewer unemployed people than roles to fill, an employee’s 5th work anniversary is a pretty big deal these days.

Not only are today’s workers spoilt for choice, but the average time an employee stays with a company is 4.5 years. So, if you do have an employee that’s reached the five-year mark, your organisation’s doing something right. And that makes celebrating this milestone one meaningful moment for you and your employee.

So, what’s the perfect gift to show them you care? Tricky, when your employees have their own unique tastes and interests – not to mention the fact that many may not be sitting alongside you physically anymore.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From unforgettable experiences to tailored pressies with a personal touch, here are some 5-year anniversary ideas that will mark this special occasion in style.

Shine a spotlight on their accomplishments

We often hear about 10-year work anniversaries being the first of those big milestones. But when turnover is currently so high, many employers are rightfully wondering: why wait a decade to reward staff for their loyalty and dedication?

So, how about showing them some public recognition as a 5-year work anniversary gift instead? You could give them a surprise “happy work anniversary” via a shout-out in the company newsletter. Or, if you want to go one step further, why not arrange a special meeting (remotely is OK if you’re working from afar) and make a splash of their hard work and commitment? You can celebrate their professional life by handing them a long-service award – hopefully, the first of many more to come!

Still not sure how to make the right fuss? No worries. Take the option out of your hands and put it into theirs.

Give the gift of choice

You may have worked with this loyal employee for five years but that doesn’t necessarily make choosing their special gift any easier. Well, the good news is that with the gift of choice, you can’t really go wrong. That’s because our own research has shown that people value having a choice above anything else, with 84% wanting rewards in the form of prepaid cards and gift cards.

These rewards are so appealing because of just how versatile they are. With BHN’s range of gift cards and eGift cards, your employees can choose from 130 retailers, which offers them a huge amount of choice. And a gift card isn’t impersonal either; many of our reward options allow you to add your own message for that personal touch. It’s the perfect surprise if they think you’ve forgotten about their anniversary; much like a traditional gift box, handwritten card or care package, it can be sent directly to their door or inbox. Ideal if that special someone’s working from home.

Send them a cosy care package

There’s nothing quite as uplifting as a surprise delivery in the middle of a workday. So why not put together a special gift basket to make your exceptional employee feel spoilt and celebrated at home?

You could add some ambience and help them unwind with a luxuriously scented candle or change the scenery of their work environment with a lovely potted plant. Add chocolates or any of their favourite snacks, a face mask for pampering and a handwritten card to show them how much you care. The beauty of such a thoughtful gift is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth if your budget is tight, but it’s still a nice gesture they won’t forget.

This isn’t just a great working anniversary idea; it’s something that’ll be a great surprise for any employee. In fact, 74% of employees working from home said it was important to receive rewards from their company to stay motivated. Looking for some more inspiration?  We’ve put together some great gift ideas for employees who work from home here.

Offer them balance beyond birthdays

For remote employees, especially, hidden overwork can become a risk. That’s because as many as 90% of people aged 25-34 are now using smartphones as their main device for checking emails. Add to that the many workplace apps that make it effortless to log in from anywhere and it can feel like there’s no escape from the daily grind. Well, the good thing is that many companies are giving employees the day off (or even a half day) on their birthdays.

But when burnout is so prevalent in today’s workforce; worryingly, now reported in up to 63% of employees; why stop there? Treat this fifth-year work anniversary as an opportunity to give the gift of free time. That way they can decide exactly how to spend it. Just make sure there’s one condition: the out-of-office stays on and ‘away’ means exactly that.

Support with living costs

Rising prices aren’t set to fall anytime soon and the cost-of-living crisis is expected to spark the Great Resignation of 2023, according to an Unum survey. Worse still, the same Unum survey estimates that 35% of workers (that’s almost 10 million employees) feel their employer hasn’t provided any cost-of-living support so far.

So, if you haven’t done so already – and you are able to help a little – show them you’ve got their back like they’ve had yours over the past five years with some financial support. The good thing is, you don’t have to do it with cash if you’re tightening the purse strings at the moment. Putting on a special lunch in the office to mark the occasion is a great way to celebrate and also saves staff shelling out for food that day.

Mark it with a memorable experience

What do you get a hard-working employee who has it all? Celebrate the five-year mark with a memorable experience. BHN’s range of experience vouchers includes over 5,000 handpicked experiences, such as spa sessions, driving experiences, hot air balloon rides, family days out, short breaks and much more. Again, you don’t have to worry about their calendar; you pick the price point, and your recipient can enjoy their experience when it works for them.

Gifting shares

Five years in and there’s little doubt that the employee in question is loyal. So why not reward them with something that will give back in time? Stock options don’t just give staff a stake in the company and a sense of ownership, but it also helps strengthen their bond and commitment to you for the years ahead. The company’s success is also their success, after all.

Not only are there lots of options available out there when it comes to gifting shares to employees, but you may also be subject to tax exemption if you’re looking to give your employees a gift that doesn’t exceed £300.

But where do you start?

At the moment, employers can make use of the four types of tax-advantaged schemes:

  • Save As You Earn (SAYE)
  • Share Incentive Plan (SIPs)
  • Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI)
  • Company Share Option Plans (CSOPs)

According to the government’s advice around tax and share schemes, the latter gives you the option to buy up to £30,000 worth of shares at a fixed price. Not only that, but you also won’t pay Income Tax or National Insurance contributions on the difference between what you pay for the shares and what they’re worth. Looking for some advice? We’ve put together guidance around tax and employee reward schemes here.

Obviously, this can be a big investment – especially if you’re rolling it out as an anniversary benefit across the board. But there are other cost-effective ways to show staff you’re invested in their future – fitting for how they’ve committed to your past.

Invest in their next five years (and beyond)

There’s plenty of research to suggest that employees who have access to professional development opportunities feel more fulfilled and productive at work; one study revealed 90% of employees agreed or strongly agreed that training and development programmes improved their job performance. But just because your employee has been with you for five years, doesn’t mean they’re finished learning new skills.

This can be especially true for the youngest members of our workforce who’ve spent their first five years with you. In fact, over half (61%) of Gen Zers say they can see themselves staying loyal to one place of employment for ten years or longer – an ROI that quite clearly blows the cost of training out of the water.

But training and development aren’t just appealing prospects for younger workers. After all, you’re never too old to try something new. So why not keep employees satisfied with a personal development budget that can help their careers or even personal interests flourish? It doesn’t just show that loyal member of staff you’re committed to them long-term; it’s a valuable investment in your business too. However, you don’t need to invest in loyal employees personally to show them you care.

Donate to their chosen charity

Remember when your loyal team member ran the marathon for Mind? Or how about the time they organised the coffee morning for Macmillan? Well, there might not be a more meaningful gift to mark their 5-year work anniversary than this – especially if they’ve got a specific charity close to their heart.

Demonstrate you care about the personal lives of your team members by rallying around the company and sending out a secret Just Giving link to everyone. Any amount would mean a lot and you might be surprised at just how many people want to contribute to a good cause. Just put the total amount of donations in a greeting card and wait to see the look on their face. Priceless.

Toasting the next five years

When it comes to toasting personal growth and marking career milestones, this is just the start of what you can do. One thing’s for sure though, loyal employees deserve to be honoured and this is the perfect time to give something back. After all, they’ve had your back for half a decade – even as employee turnover continues to rise. And that kind of commitment has got to be worth celebrating.

Looking for that perfect anniversary award or an extra-special gift for employees? Give us a call on 0204 517 5862 or fill in the form below.

Ready to make work more meaningful with employee rewards?

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