12 Service Award Gifts for Employee Work Anniversaries

Show your team how much you appreciate their dedication and hard work with thoughtful service awards they won’t forget!

How do you boost employee engagement and recognize those who’ve made a positive impact with their diligence through the years? From the big wins to the small milestones that occur every single day, employees need to know that the work they’ve put in over the years has made a difference to their organization.

In order to follow tradition, we’ve grouped the gift possibilities into three categories: five, 10, and 25 years. We also know that the average tenure of employees is getting shorter and shorter, so feel free to leverage these ideas sooner than these milestones! If you’re wondering how much to spend on award gifts, consider that most companies on average spend $25 – $35 per employee per year of service. Curious about tax implications for employee recognition? We’ve got you covered.

Now let’s get to the gifts!

Five-Year Service Award Gifts

A five-year service award recognizes those who are still relatively new to your organization but are there longer than the average tenure. The focus: to reinforce their loyalty and reward them for the time they’ve dedicated to your business. Here are a few service award gift ideas that show appreciation and are appropriate for the number of years of service.

1. A Gift for Relaxing After Work

Want to show your employees you value them for more than just the deadlines they hit — and that you encourage work-life balance beyond the 40-hour work week? Find out what they like to do for fun, then treat them to it! It could be a night on the town with fine dining and entertainment, or even a hotel stay.

2. A Trophy-Style Award to Display

Whether it sits on an employee’s desk or a nearby bookshelf, this type of award sends a message to the employee and their visitors: “I have something to be proud of and my company has acknowledged it.”

3. Company-Branded Sportswear for Casual Fridays

Let your star employees show their pride in the company team. Some popular options include a pullover or vest. There are other options too, such as polo shirts, Oxford shirts, hoodies, and more.

4. A Curated Gift Box

From coffee to music, let your employee know you appreciate them with a gift box curated to their interests.

10-Year Service Award Gifts

Service award programs celebrating the 10-year mark should be more meaningful. It’s not just any employee who gives you 10 (or more) years of their life and career! Make sure they know that you appreciate them for their decade of service, the multiple roles they’ve filled during that time, or the effort they’ve put into becoming highly specialized in one or two roles.

1. A Personalized Experience

By now, you should know this individual reasonably well. If their passion is traveling, exploring a new pastime, or supporting a cause, provide the resources they need for a memorable experience. Bonus: you’ll get to hear interesting stories when they return to work!

2. Season Tickets

Is there an avid sports fan or arts aficionado among your 10-year employees? Give them an entire season of tickets to sporting events, theatrical performances, or concerts. Be sure to order at least two sets of tickets so the employee has someone to share the experience with. If they have children, try to accommodate everyone if possible — this demonstrates that you value their family life outside of work.

3. A Subscription or Membership

Customize experiences to your employees’ interests with product-of-the-month subscriptions like meal deliveries or memberships to audiobook clubs, museums, or fitness facilities. This shows them that you value them beyond their role in the workplace and can help them feel re-energized and passionate about your organization.

4. A Gift for the Home

We’ve all spent some extra time at home recently (looking at you, 2020), so why not give them something fun or luxurious to spruce up their homestead? Invest in something you know they’ll enjoy using, like a decked-out grill for the patio, a leather sofa or recliner, or a game table for the rec room.

25-Year Service Award Gifts

With this length of service, the employees you’re celebrating may be approaching retirement. If they’re in their last years with the company, consider a smaller (though nonetheless sincere) acknowledgment of their service. Then begin planning their retirement extravaganza.

Those who started with the company at a young age may still have time remaining in their careers. You can make these employees feel special with another milestone gift.

1. A Scholarship in Their Honor

Sometimes older adults feel they have all they need and want to give back. Many employees with 25 years of loyalty to a business would be thrilled to help future generations — and be remembered for years to come for their impact on your company.

2. An All-Expenses-Paid Vacation

Some highly dedicated employees seldom leave their desks during the workday — and would benefit from a much-deserved vacation. Find out their dream vacation destination, then gift them with a paid getaway!

3. Gifts for the Hobbyist

Whether it’s new supplies or equipment, an advanced class, or a media collection, gifting the hobbyist in your company with just the right accessories for their favorite pastime will make them feel seen and appreciated. Be prepared to gather info from their spouse, close friend, or work colleague to ensure the most fitting gift!

4. Support Their Favorite Charity

Learn what charities or causes are important to your employees, then surprise them with a donation in their honor to their favorite organization — or share a monetary gift that they can apply to an organization as they see fit.

Celebrate Employee Loyalty and Its Positive Impact

Don’t leave the kudos exclusively to the formal ceremonies and gifts. Treat every day as an opportunity to help your employees feel valued and appreciated. Send them periodic notes of appreciation or even nominate them for external recognition to show how much you care about them and admire what they do.

Whatever service awards gifts you choose for your five-, 10-, or 25-year employees, know they’ll be greatly appreciated for their personalization and thoughtfulness. Recognizing employees for their service helps to contribute to a positive company culture that makes every employee feel seen, connected, valued, and vital to the company’s success.

If you want to transform your employee service awards program from the occasional “Good job” to a robust and supportive employee experience, schedule a demo to learn how you can join the RecogNation.