How Using Work Anniversary Rewards Can Help Re-Recruit Your Workforce


Many times, it’s easier to start something new than it is to stick with it. For instance, take a new job. For the first 90 days or so, you are full of excitement and hope. You are meeting new people, taking on new projects, and having opportunities for plenty of new beginnings. However, it doesn’t take too long for the novelty to wear off once you settle into your new day-to-day routine. With this in mind, HR professionals can leverage work anniversary celebrations to help remind employees of why they wanted to work for an organization to begin with.

Work anniversaries are like other significant life events, such as graduations and birthdays. If you hope to retain employees, leveraging work anniversaries can help you re-recruit employees and demonstrate to them how much you value their input. A work anniversary can reflect the significance of an employee’s commitment and their work efforts while making them feel like they are seen, heard, and cared for.

The HR “Worth-It” Equation

Thanks to the pandemic, today’s workforce is more mobile than ever. The pandemic led to a huge migration on a global scale, and people are no longer limited to taking jobs in their immediate region. This creates problems for some companies since employees can easily switch between jobs. The number of remote employees has grown exponentially. Many industries are facing heavy employee turnover as job-hopping becomes the new normal.

Just a few years ago, employees needed to tough it out at a job, whether they liked it or not, to prove they weren’t a flight risk. But today, employees who are not happy in their jobs or roles are eager to leave no matter how long they’ve been with a company. As the barriers to job switching disappear, the “worth-it” equation has changed for employees across the board. It’s no longer just about hours, compensation, flexible work incentives, or swag. Today’s measure is more about how they are treated at work.

Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report states the number one reason employees express job dissatisfaction is feeling like they are being treated unfairly at work. Workers commonly define “unfair treatment” in terms of the lack of respect, community, diversity or inclusiveness, and acknowledgment of contributions. So basically, when your employees don’t feel a strong sense of belonging or appreciation, they are likely to leave. But telling someone, “Good job,” isn’t enough. People need to hear the specific things they contributed, how it was experienced across the board, and how it impacted team members and/or the organization. When a person knows they made a difference, they feel valued; they are more likely to want to stay.

Companies that prioritize employee recognition counteract negative feelings and show their employees that their contributions have value. It can be as simple as a handwritten note, a Slack message, or a shoutout during a team meeting. However, rewarding work anniversaries can serve dual purposes. For one, it acknowledges an employee’s hard work, and it helps them feel special and valued.

Bright Idea Crystal Award

Work Anniversaries Renew Your Top Talent’s Commitment

Work anniversaries are oftentimes exciting for employees; they are important milestones. But they are also good at bringing up some complex feelings. It’s human nature to connect a big decision or change with a milestone or time. That’s why the gyms are crowded each January and why most people try to start new habits on the first of the month or week. These mental landmarks are a new opportunity to wipe the slate clean. Each new week, month, or year often feels like a fresh start. That can motivate people to action.

According to one study, people are most likely to leave their jobs on their first, second, or third work anniversaries. It’s not just entry-level personnel either; managers across all levels, even vice presidents, are quick to quit too. As employees reach the end of yearly anniversaries, they reflect on their goals and purpose. They want to evaluate if they are in the right place and if they are moving in the right direction. They also begin to weigh in factors like work environment, professional development and growth, perks, and company culture.  These factors are why work anniversary rewards become critical to employee retention. Rewarding your employees with years of service awards, and making their work anniversaries personalized and memorable, deepens their commitment to your organization and helps them feel connected.

Let Suburban Awards Help You Keep Your Workforce

You’ll find high-quality employee recognition awards at Suburban Custom Awards. We carry a wide variety, so you have plenty of choices when it comes to rewarding your best workers with personalized rewards. Check out our large selection, and let us know if you need help choosing the perfect award for a recipient or if you need help with adding a personalized engraved message to honor them.