50+ Best Work Anniversary Messages for Employees and Coworkers in 2023

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Jasmine Shirley and Deanna deBara

For many people, work anniversaries are a big deal; they represent another year of learning, growing, and moving forward, both in their own career and with the organization. And because of that, it’s important to wish your colleagues a happy work anniversary—and acknowledge all their hard work, contributions, and professional growth over the previous year.

But when you’re working remotely, showing appreciation to your coworkers—on anniversaries or otherwise—can prove challenging. (You can’t pop into their office to say “happy work anniversary!” or take them out for coffee if you’re working in different locations.) And that can ultimately have a negative impact, both on your work relationships and the overall culture of your team.

“In a remote environment, it's harder to build culture and relationships,” says Bridget Enggasser, a remote work expert with over 15 years of experience building hybrid and remote customer-facing teams.

But while it might be a bit more challenging to recognize your coworkers on their work anniversary, it’s certainly not impossible—and it’s definitely worth the effort. 

“In a distributed workforce, it can be challenging to replicate the level of connection you get from direct human connection,” says Chris Mulhall, a talent management executive, career coach, and founder and CEO of Motivators.io. “However, you can still personalize the experience if you take the time to understand your colleagues’ appreciation language.”

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about wishing your colleagues a happy work anniversary (including anniversary messages to inspire you!)

Why should you wish your colleagues and employees a happy work anniversary?

Before we jump into what to say when you wish your coworkers a happy anniversary, let’s quickly touch on why sending those well wishes is so important to begin with.

Acknowledging your colleagues’ work anniversaries each year is important for a variety of reasons. Not only can it strengthen your bond with your coworker, but the recognition can also make your colleague feel seen and appreciated for their hard work—which can increase their engagement and job satisfaction.

Also, work (and life!) can be hard—and, as such, “it's important to celebrate the positives wherever we can find them,” says Engasser. And that includes recognizing important milestones, like work anniversaries.

Want to wish your coworker a happy work anniversary—but aren’t sure what to say? Let’s take a look at some work anniversary message examples to help get your creative gears turning. (And, of course, feel free to customize them with any relevant information or details to ensure your message feels personal):

15 great work anniversary wishes for coworkers

  1. [Name], congratulations to you on your one year of work! You’re an excellent colleague, and I wish you the best at this company.

  2. You’re an ambitious worker and it’s always inspiring to work alongside you. Congratulations on four years at [company]!

  3. Congratulations on your five years at [Company]! May the years ahead of you bring even more success!

  4. Though it’s been only one year, it seems like we have been working together for so many more. You have become a wonderful work partner and a friend on whom I know I can always lean. Congratulations!

  5. You inspire and motivate the team like no other. Thank you for helping to push us forward. Happy work anniversary!

  6. Congratulations on your anniversary with the company! Your high spirit and go-getter attitude are what makes you special. Working with you has been inspiring and motivating.

  7. You are a dedicated worker and deserve all the success in the world. Keep up the good work!

  8. I’m so grateful for your contribution and dedication to the team. Wishing you a happy work anniversary.

  9. Thank you for being such a dependable and enthusiastic teammate!

  10. You are a gem that will always shine. Have a happy work anniversary.

  11. In a short span of time, you have already achieved so much. Wishing you a happy anniversary at our company.

  12. Congratulations on your two-year anniversary! Every company needs hard-working and intelligent employees like you. Best of luck!

  13. I am lucky to work alongside you. Your enthusiasm, commitment and hard work are inspiring, and they all make you a cut above the rest.

  14. Every company should have someone like you at the forefront. You're talented in every sense of the word. Have a happy work anniversary!

  15. Your dedication and passion for your work make you the success that you are. Keep raising the bar, and have a happy work anniversary!

19 simple work anniversary messages

Short on space or time? Or maybe you don’t know the colleague whose anniversary card is being passed around very well and you’ve googled this article as it gets closer and closer? One of these short messages will work. Or you can use these as openings to a longer customized message for a coworker or work bestie. 

  1. Congratulations on your work anniversary! 

  2. Happy anniversary!

  3. Happy workiversary!

  4. Thank you for your efforts and creativity!

  5. You are a valued part of this team. Thank you for everything you do!

  6. Congratulations on another successful year of service!

  7. With a teammate like you, it’s easier for everyone to succeed. Thank you! 

  8. I wish you continued success in your career!

  9. Congratulations on [X] years with the company and here’s to many more! 

  10. Keep up the good work! Here’s to many years to come.

  11. Your hard work and creativity are an inspiration to us all.

  12. Thank you for growing with us. [Best if accompanied by a gift of an office plant.]  

  13. Your creativity and vision are exemplary.

  14. Thank you for your positive attitude and hard work. 

  15. You make our team and our company better.

  16. Congrats on another year of hard work and success!

  17. Your leadership and work ethic inspires all of us.

  18. Thank you for being an essential part of [Company name]’s success!

  19. [Company name] is lucky to have you! 

24 work anniversary messages from the team or company

If you’re a manager, HR professional, or higher-up within the organization, you may wish someone a happy work anniversary on behalf of the company, team, or department. For example:

  1. You’re an asset to our company, and I hope you’ll continue on this path. We are very proud of you, and we wish you a wonderful work anniversary!

  2. Today you’ve completed your first year at [Company]—congratulations! Happy work anniversary! It has been lovely to work with you. We wish you all the best.

  3. You are an essential part of our [company/team], and I’m really impressed with your work so far. Have a wonderful work anniversary!

  4. This company’s future is brighter because of employees like you. Well done! Enjoy the one-year anniversary of your career!

  5. We want you to know that you are a valuable member of our team. We wish you all the success in your career!

  6. You’re one of a kind. Thank you for helping us grow. Have a happy work anniversary!

  7. We are proud to work alongside you. Your contributions and commitment to our company are unparalleled. Have a happy work anniversary!

  8. Employees like you are the pride and joy of this company. We are so happy to have you here with us.

  9. Everybody at [Company] is lucky to have you here. We wish you a happy anniversary!

  10. You are a source of inspiration, as your work ethic is exemplary. Thank you for being there every time we needed you. Wishing you a happy work anniversary!

  11. Thank you for making us what we are. We wish you a happy work anniversary!

  12. You’ve come a long way since you started out with us. We are grateful for your ideas that have helped us evolve. We wish you a happy work anniversary!

  13. You are respected and admired. Our company shines because of you. Have a relaxing work anniversary. You deserve it!

  14. We‘re lucky to have you on our team. Wishing you a happy work anniversary!

  15. Congratulations on completing a successful year of work with our company. We are thrilled with your performance, and we appreciate your contributions. Good luck going forward. We wish you continued success!

  16. Your commitment to your job sets an example for everyone else on this team. Have a great work anniversary!

  17. Your hard work and punctuality set the bar for others. Happy first work anniversary!

  18. Thank you for everything you have done for this team and this company. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you!

  19. Your contributions to the company are greatly appreciated! 

  20. With each passing year, you bring creativity and a strong work ethic to the team.

  21. Thank you for your contributions to this team and the company!

  22. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you!

  23. Employees like you are the pride and joy of the company! 

  24. We are proud to call you a member of the [company or department] team!

Ways to recognize—and celebrate!—work anniversaries when working remotely

You can use any of the above messages to wish your coworkers a happy work anniversary. But sometimes, well wishes don’t feel like enough. What if you want to do more and actually celebrate their anniversary—but you’re both working remotely?

Not to worry. There are plenty of ways to celebrate your colleagues’ work anniversaries in a remote work environment, including:

  • Highlight their accomplishments. In addition to sending well wishes, a work anniversary is an excellent time to call out your coworker’s accomplishments over the past year. “Share specific examples of how their contributions over the last year positively impacted customers, colleagues, or the community,” says Mulhall. 

  • Send a gift. While you don’t need to send gifts, a small gift can be a nice way to acknowledge and celebrate your colleague’s anniversary—particularly if it’s a milestone anniversary (like 5, 10, or 20 years).

  • Get other coworkers involved. As mentioned, it’s important to send your colleague well wishes on their work anniversary. And if you want to up the impact on those well wishes? Get other colleagues involved.“Imagine the feeling you get when you receive an ecard signed by 20 people, and you can understand how touching such an acknowledgement would be to receive…on an anniversary,” says Enggasser. 

  • Give a shout-out in a meeting. If you want to recognize your colleague in a more public way, consider giving them a shout out in a meeting. If you have control over meeting agendas, you can even make acknowledging work anniversaries a recurring part of one of your larger meetings (like a monthly all-hands meeting).

  • Host a remote celebration. When you’re working remotely, you may not live anywhere near your colleagues—which means an in-person celebration is out of the picture. But you can still get your team together and celebrate! Consider hosting a virtual event to celebrate your coworkers work anniversary (like a virtual coffee hour or a team game night). 

  • Personalize your approach. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recognizing and/or celebrating your coworkers; everyone is different—and, as such, you should adjust your approach based on whose anniversary you’re celebrating. For example, an extroverted employee might love a virtual celebration with the team—while a more introverted team member might prefer a private message or card. 

FAQs about work anniversaries

What’s the best way to celebrate a work anniversary?

If you want to really make sure an employee or colleague feels appreciated, try one of these ideas based on how long they’ve been at the company.

Six-month work anniversary ideas

  • Pancakes: Since every employee who reaches a six-month anniversary will warrant another morning pancake party, the company may end up having a lot of pancake parties. Which is, of course, the goal.

  • A cup of coffee

  • A nice bar of chocolate

  • A card

One-year work anniversary ideas

  • A special shoutout: Gather employees and recognize what the person has accomplished in the last year—or take some time to do it during a regularly scheduled meeting.

  • Cake or pastries 

  • Company merchandise

  • A card signed by the whole team/company

  • Any or all of the six-month anniversary ideas

Five-year work anniversary ideas

  • A nice engraved pen, mug, watch, or similar gift

  • Flowers

  • Any or all of the one-year anniversary ideas

10- to 20-year work anniversary ideas

  • A scrapbook: Gather stories, pictures and tokens from the employee’s time with the company and have everyone pitch in to make them a scrapbook.

  • A certificate/plaque

  • Choose your own adventure: Many companies and big government agencies will give employees a choice for what they would like to receive as appreciation, such as a watch, perfume, or a nice picture frame

  • Any or all of the five-year anniversary ideas

25- to 35-year work anniversary ideas

  • A party or work-sponsored happy hour
  • A meal on the company: Treating a long-time employee to a nice meal, maybe with an executive, the employee’s family or even their whole team, is a nice way to recognize the time and work a staff member has put in over the years. 

  • Any or all of the 10- to 20-year anniversary ideas

What if I want to say it with a meme? 

We’ve all got those relationships that are mostly sending memes back and forth until someone has a major life event. Check out these work anniversary memes if that’s the case for you and your coworker.

How can I choose the right way to recognize someone’s work anniversary?

From a one-sentence card to a party with everyone in the office, recognizing a work anniversary is meant to make colleagues feel good. Make sure that your token, note or surprise party fits in with what you know about your colleague and what will make them feel comfortable and appreciated. 

Jasmine Shirley and Regina Borsellino also contributed writing, reporting, and/or advice to this article.

What's your favorite way to celebrate a work anniversary? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!