Applauz Blog

15 Thoughtful Work Anniversary Gifts By Year

Published: April 22, 2024

  6 min read

By: Anouare Abdou

15 Work Anniversary Gifts By Year

Work anniversary gifts can have a huge impact on engagement and morale. Here are 15 ideas for different years and milestones.

Picture this: It’s your team member’s 10-year work anniversary. You’ve set up balloons and decorations and ordered a custom cake. Employees have started gathering and chit-chatting. When the guest of honor arrives, everyone cheers. The air is buzzing with excitement.

You deliver a heartfelt speech. You open the floor so other colleagues can share anecdotes and words of appreciation. Then, you walk over and present the person being recognized with a personalized gift on behalf of the company. You watch their face light up and their eyes tear up as they open it. As the celebration winds down, people crack jokes while walking back to their desks.

Celebrating work anniversaries can not only leave a lasting impact on the employee celebrated, but it can also foster a positive work environment for everyone involved. It is a simple gesture that sends a powerful message: You matter here. We see your efforts, and we appreciate them.

If you plan to acknowledge a team member's years of service, sometimes a work anniversary message isn't enough and a meaningful work anniversary gift is what's called for (and we aren't talking about company swag). Here’s what you need to know to get the right gift for the occasion – along with 15 work anniversary gifts by year to inspire you.

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close-up-hand-holding-present-2The Underrated Impact of Work Anniversary Gifts

Giving a work anniversary gift to an employee isn’t just a nice gesture. The right gift can have a powerful impact on employee engagement. According to Gallup, team members who receive great recognition are 20 times as likely to be engaged as those who receive poor recognition.

As a leader or HR professional, you want to use all the tools at your disposal to provide effective recognition – and work anniversary gifts are one of them. They provide a tangible way to show employees appreciation for their contributions and reinforce a person’s sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization.

In other words, work anniversary gifts are good for both people and business. When workers feel appreciated, they are more likely to stick around, which reduces turnover and its associated costs. Additionally, work anniversary celebrations demonstrate your commitment to being a good employer and offer a platform for team-building.

That said, the type of work anniversary gift that you choose can make all the difference. A Tremendous study on holiday gifting at work revealed that the wrong gift can actually make employees feel worse than receiving nothing – 31% of respondents said a bad gift made them feel unappreciated.

To avoid this pitfall, consider leveraging a tool like the Applauz Rewards Marketplace, which gives employees the option to choose from thousands of gifts and select something they’ll actually find valuable.

joyful-brunette-woman-demonstrating-her-friendly-smile-while-showing-her-present-per-videoWhy Work Anniversary Gifts Should Be Adapted to Tenure

Work anniversary gifts need to strike a balance between thoughtfulness and appropriateness. It’s best to select a gift based on an employee’s tenure and the milestone they are celebrating.

Bigger anniversaries call for bigger gifts. Personalizing gifts based on tenure shows employees that their dedication is appreciated and that their long-term commitment is highly regarded. Offering increasingly meaningful gifts as team members reach important milestones can serve as a motivator to stay with the company.

Giving gifts based on tenure also prioritizes fairness in the recognition process. Celebrating someone’s first year with the organization is a big deal too, of course. But if someone has been with the company for a decade, it’s important to acknowledge their loyalty with a more substantial gift.

hands-young-elegant-businessman-with-packed-birthday-present-giftbox-passing-you-gift-blue-box-with-bow-made-up-silk-ribbon-2Work Anniversary Gift Ideas By Year

Ready to start shopping? Here are 15 work anniversary gift suggestions by year (and what to consider for each milestone).

1-Year Work Anniversary Gifts

The first year in a new job flies by. Being surprised with a work anniversary gift can cement your employee’s choice to stay with you and set the tone for a long, successful stint. A first-year work anniversary gift should have a personal touch, but it shouldn’t be too expensive or extravagant.

  1. Amazon Echo Dot Speaker

    The Echo Dot speaker is a crowd pleaser. It offers good-quality audio for listening to podcasts or music, and it’s compatible with various smart home devices for those who like to get geeky with their daily routine.

  2. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Sommelier Wine Cooler

    Wine lovers will appreciate this well-constructed cooler. It holds both sparkling wine and regular bottles and keeps wine chilled for hours – no ice required.

  3. Kikkerland iBed Lap Desk

    A lap desk is a fantastic gift option for remote or hybrid workers. Let’s face it – sometimes you just want to work on the couch, and this useful accessory provides a more comfortable way to do so.

5-Year Work Anniversary Gifts

For a five-year work anniversary, you’ll want to spend a little bit more. Spending half a decade with the same organization is a big deal these days. Look for gifts within the $50-$100 range with a more upscale feel.

  1. FujiFilm Instax Mini 12

    No need to be into photography to enjoy an instant camera. It’s always a hit at events and allows the gift recipient to capture memories on the go.

  2. Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Home Candle

    Inspired by the dramatic cliffs and waves of the British coast, this Jo Malone wood sage and sea salt candle is understated yet luxurious. It can create a zen atmosphere on a desk or at home.

  3. Stanley Adventure Cooler

    Adventure enthusiasts will appreciate this rugged cooler, which offers ample storage room without sacrificing lightweightness. It’s also leakproof and comfortable to carry around.

10-Year Work Anniversary Gifts

When celebrating a 10-year work anniversary, look for a special gift that will honor your team member’s dedication and loyalty. Consider spending $100 or more if you can, as a decade of service represents the culmination of thousands of hours of effort.

  1. Briggs & Riley Executive Travel Duffle

    Perfect for a business trip or a weekend getaway, this high-end duffle bag is well-constructed and convenient – it fits right under a plane seat or on top of a carry-on. Add a personalized leather nameplate to amp up the wow factor.

  2. AirPods Pro

    If your team member loves Apple products and hasn't gotten their hands on a pair of AirPods Pro, they’ll be excited to open this gift. Superior sound quality and lightweight comfort meet in this solid pair of headphones.

  3. Cuisinart Basket Air Fryer

    Amateur chefs will rejoice at the opportunity to try a variety of air fryer recipes. This Cuisinart model doesn’t take up too much counter space and comes highly rated.

15-Year Work Anniversary Gifts

Once you’ve crossed the threshold of a decade, you’re a veteran employee – and a 15-year work anniversary calls for a substantial gift. Look for bigger-ticket items that cater to personal passions to impress your most loyal and long-serving employees.

  1. TaylorMade Kalea Premier 10 PC Package Set

    Is your team member into golf? Surprise them with a brand new set of clubs. This set has a lightweight design that offers an easy launch and advanced forgiveness.

  2. Breville Barista Touch Automatic Espresso Machine

    If your coworker has refined taste when it comes to coffee, they’ll go crazy for a fancy espresso machine. This Breville automatic model is one of the best-rated options on the market.

  3. Cangshan Thomas Keller 17 Piece Block Set

    This luxury 17-piece knife block set is the epitome of craftsmanship. It was designed by Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller and features fine-grained, high-alloy steel for maximum durability.

20-Year Work Anniversary Gifts

For 20-year work anniversaries, you’ll also want to focus on big-ticket gifts. Look for cool new gear or big home gifts that your coworker can enjoy with their family.

  1. 75 in Neptune Shade Series Outdoor TV

    Yes, all-season outdoor TVs exist – and they are perfect for the suburbanites who love to spend time outside. This gift will allow your teammate to host movie nights under the stars.

  2. Summit S-670 Liquid Propane Gas Grill

    You can’t go wrong with a state-of-the-art barbecue. This six-burner Weber Summit grill will take backyard cookouts to a whole new level.

  3. iPhone Pro

    If your coworker is an iPhone user, they’re guaranteed to be pleased with an upgrade. From advanced camera features to aerospace titanium design and speedy processing, the latest iPhone Pro is a gift sure to impress.

excited-african-american-woman-unpacking-box-with-headphones-home (1)Other Work Anniversary Gift Ideas

Whether you’re shopping for a one-year work anniversary gift or looking for something extra meaningful for a 20-year anniversary, consider other work anniversary gift ideas, such as experiences, travel, and charitable giving.

Different employees value different gifts – and you may just strike a chord with an airline voucher, coveted tickets to a concert or sporting event, or a contribution to a good cause.

The Dos and Don'ts of Work Anniversary Gifts

Still unsure about the kind of gift to purchase? The universal dos and don’ts below should help guide your decision.


  • Personalize the gift: Tailor the gift to your team member’s interests and preferences. This shows that you have been paying attention and care about getting to know them.
  • Assess the significance of the milestone: Look for a gift that reflects the tenure of the employee and highlights it appropriately.
  • Consider experiences: Some people value experiences more than objects. Consider offering restaurant vouchers, hotel and spa stays, or tickets to events.
  • Involve others: Don’t be afraid to ask for input in order to gain more insights about the type of gift that would be well-received.
  • Keep company culture in mind: Selecting a gift that aligns with organizational values and culture is always a good idea.


  • Don't give generic gifts: Avoid generic or impersonal gifts such as corporate swag that will never be used.
  • Avoid overlooking individual preferences: Don’t make the mistake of giving a gift that clashes with an employee’s lifestyle or interests.
  • Don't ignore budget constraints: Not all gifts have to be expensive. If you’re celebrating a bigger anniversary, it might be worth unlocking more budget. But there are plenty of great gift options that won’t require you to spend a fortune.
  • Never make assumptions: Avoid assuming what the employee would like without making sure, as it can lead to awkward situations.
  • Don't neglect recognition: Gifts are just one part of the equation. Make sure that your work anniversary celebration includes meaningful recognition and appreciation for the person’s contributions.


When selected intentionally and combined with genuine recognition, work anniversary gifts can positively enhance employee experience. For more resources on boosting employee engagement, look into Applauz.

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