Let’s stay together: Make the most of your employee anniversaries

After 30 years’ service at a job, you used to get a gold watch, a handshake, and a good old-fashioned breakfast whiskey. However, in 2020, you’ll notice things are a little different.

“Lifers” are a thing of the past. Millennial employees don’t just want to climb one ladder, they want to broaden their horizons, build skills and collect experience. And only 28.4% feel that they can achieve that with their current employer, so staff retention can be tough.

But let’s not pretend this is just about those pesky ‘Millennials’, handy imaginary scapegoat that they are. It’s about improved quality of life and flexibility for everyone, and new workplace standards that benefit us all. 40.1% of UK employees want to change jobs in the next 12 months to fulfil their personal goals, and the number of those actually doing it spikes at the 12 month point, and on every anniversary after.

Most employees leave at 12 months. Eek.

Replacing employees is expensive. Recruiting and onboarding a new staff member can cost the equivalent of 6-9 months’ of the role’s salary. More importantly, losing good people is a blow to morale, your skill pool and company culture. Especially when they have that uncanny psychic ability to know when everyone needs a brew.

So how do we do our bit to stop the One Year Exodus and boost staff retention? Well, on a larger scale you need to offer opportunities for professional development, including lateral moves to other departments. After all, money isn’t the primary motivator in 2020.

On a more manageable scale? Let’s talk about Employee Anniversaries!

What if, instead of weighing up their options at 12 months, your team mates were actively looking forward to their work anniversary? A day when their contributions, both big and small, are recognised and rewarded. Where they’re thanked for just being there, without having to have landed a big deal or found a cure for the common cold. This is for everyone.

It’s not just a great way to make someone know that you love having them around, it makes a statement to everyone working with you. Yours is a culture of appreciation, respect, community and fun. And that’s a hard thing to leave when you’re weighing up an uncertain move.

Make their day

Now that you’ve been convinced to show your colleagues some love, how are you going to go about it?

How about letting someone DJ the office Spotify playlist for the morning? No complaints allowed! Or perhaps they can call a tea round at any point during the day? A parking space by the front door is always appreciated, as is letting someone out early to beat the traffic.

Perhaps they get to pick the lunchtime delivery? (Just be wary of the foodies who might be in the middle of an oyster and horseradish smoothie fad).

Even better, find out if there’s a staff member they’d like to spend a little time shadowing. After all, if training and promotion aren’t available right now, a window into the future can be inspiring. Staff retention isn’t just about recognition today, but potential for the future.

And, of course, there are employee gifts. Try to act surprised, you knew we’d get here eventually.

Something special 

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a range of tastes in your office. From barbecue buffs to yogis to gadget gurus and fashionistas. After all, the reason you’re celebrating every individual’s anniversary is because of the things that make them unique.

As a result, the last thing you want is to spend your limited budgets on a White Elephant that someone isn’t going to enjoy. Fortunately, Asda for Business gift cards have got your back here. You’ll find everything from treats for the foodies to wardrobe favourites, 4K TVs, bluetooth headphones and thousands more lovely things.

By all means, put together a list of your best ideas to get them started, but let them have the final choice. After all, you can’t be expected to know if someone’s hosting a last-minute soiree –but you can help save the day!

Asda for Business gift cards can be used at over 600 stores across the country, including Asda Living, and online at George.com. If you’re the paperless type, or your colleague’s anniversary is spent Out of Office, you can even get e-gift cards delivered by email instantly.

Hang onto employees – and more of your budget!

You can register here to sign up for Asda for Business gift cards, and you’ll be able to manage your cards from our handy online hub. Better still, you’ll qualify for bigger discounts the more you spend, and you’ll be surprised how quickly savings add up with all those staff anniversaries! Spend between £1,000 and £10,000 on gift cards, and you’ll receive a 2.5% discount, with 4% after that. Just don’t forget to treat yo’ self too.

Nobody likes a forgotten anniversary. If you’re looking for long term relationships, make them feel special. Because they are.