Recently, I noticed that two of my connections on LinkedIn with closely similar names yet vastly different professions were being deservedly recognized and heartily congratulated for their work anniversaries that occurred sometime this month. Two common themes emerged: one was the considerable length of time that each of them had been in their current roles and the other was the number of genuine likes and thoughtful comments given to each individual. These work anniversaries were a chance to celebrate their successful tenures in these roles as well as these individuals for their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence.
The on-line dictionary entry for the word Celebrate lists two appropriate definitions: to mark a special occasion and to show happiness that something good or special has happened. I wonder not only if the individuals having these work anniversaries were celebrated by their workplace colleagues as eagerly, energetically and enthusiastically as they have been by their Linked In connections but also if there should be more encouragement for individuals to celebrate work and business anniversaries as they would personal anniversaries like birthdays or wedding anniversaries or the achievement of a long-desired goal that has demanded discipline and determination.
Even though card sellers online and in brick and mortar stores have an abundance of cards and gifts to celebrate personal anniversaries, there seems to be a lack of cards and gifts to celebrate work and business anniversaries. Some organizations recognize employees only when they have achieved a milestone year like 5, 10, 20, 25, 30 or 35 years. There are businesses both large and small that celebrate major milestone years or the achievement of certain business targets like the first million dollars in revenue or profit or the millionth customer served. Many retail businesses use an anniversary to have a sale and offer discounts to reward existing and attract new customers to their products and/or services.
If you are celebrating a work or business anniversary this month or in the coming months, whether it is your first anniversary, a milestone anniversary or one in between, it is time to celebrate it in the same way that you would your birthday, wedding anniversary or any other special event or achievement in your life. You may either want to bring in sweet treats for your colleagues and invite them to celebrate with you or you may want to celebrate privately by taking the day off from your work or business and doing something special for yourself. Choosing to celebrate with colleagues gives you a chance to sincerely express your gratitude and publicly recognize each of them for what they have done to get you to this anniversary. Celebrating on your own affords you the luxury to reflect on your current role and either deciding to commit to another successful year or realizing that the time has come to look for a more challenging role at the next level of your career, in the same organization or in a totally different organization, business or industry.
If you are a business owner or leader, perhaps it is time to make every work or business anniversary a time to celebrate for you, your team and your colleagues. Work or business anniversaries can also be shared and celebrated with clients/customers and contacts as a way to thank them for their continued support and significant contribution to your ongoing business success.
While work is serious business, there should always be time set aside and reasons put forth to celebrate. Make a commitment today to start celebrating work and business anniversaries. It makes business sense. Clients/customers, colleagues, contacts and work environments will be more positive and productive as a result.