Celebrate Good Times (and Office Birthdays), Come On!  image

Celebrate Good Times (and Office Birthdays), Come On! 

Staff Squared date icon4th June 2021

Tag iconEmployees

Showing your staff that they are valued members of the team has many benefits. Staff who feel valued by their employer tend to feel happier and more motivated at work, leading to higher levels of productivity and decreased turnover. Recognising employee milestones including birthdays is a great way to do this.  

Celebrating office birthdays is a really simple (but effective) way of showing staff that they matter to you. It also creates a more positive culture that encourages staff to connect and get to know each other, and we’ve got some great ideas to get you started. 

Why not try celebrating office birthdays by… 

Providing Sweet Treats 

When you think of birthday celebrations, I bet you anything that the first thing you think about is cake! Or at the very least, something delicious and satisfying.  

Why not make a pit stop at the local supermarket on your way into work and pick out a selection of goodies for your team to celebrate their colleague’s birthday together?  

Just be sure to find out what your employees like (especially the person celebrating their birthday!), and make yourself aware of any allergies within the team.  

Getting Decorative 

There’s nothing quite like showing up to work in the morning to find your desk covered in balloons, confetti and banners.  

Why not even go the extra mile and carry the decorations on through to the staff room? Print out some pictures of their celebrity crush and hang up some funny, office appropriate artwork.  

If you’ve really done your job of getting to know your staff right, you’ll know their likes and interests, so planning on how to decorate the office will be a piece of cake.  

Would they love to travel to Japan? Redecorate the entire room so it has a Japanese vibe. Or if they’re an animal lover, why not ask someone to bring in their beloved pet pooch for an afternoon. 

Planning a Work Meal 

Birthdays are the perfect opportunity for you and your employees to build a stronger bond.  

Why not shout the person celebrating their birthday lunch or dinner? Make it a team event by inviting some colleagues along too.  

It doesn’t have to be at a restaurant, either – you could order in some takeaway and have an extended in-office lunch break with a couple of games or a movie!  

Either way, eating a meal together is a great way to get people talking to one another, forming stronger relationships. 

Giving them a Gift Card 

Some employees might prefer a more low-key affair. Especially if they don’t like being the centre of attention.  

A simpler way of celebrating an employee’s birthday is by giving them a gift card to use on something they want. 

Either offer a token amount (for example, £20), or get everyone in the office to chip in to gift something a little more.  

With so many types of gift cards to choose from, you won’t be stuck for choice. Are they always seen with a coffee in their hands? Perhaps a Starbucks or Costa is the way to go. If they’re into fashion, do some digging into their favourite shops, or simply get them an on the high-street voucher to spend in participating stores.  

And More… 

We could be here forever talking about all the things you could do to help your employee celebrate their birthday – here are a few other ideas you might like to try: 

Make a donation on their behalf – If your employee is into charitable work, or has a specific charity close to their heart, make a donation on their behalf. Not only will it be a meaningful gesture, but is also a great way to show that your company is invested in the community and in social responsibility. 

Give them the day off – Some people won’t want to celebrate their birthday at work, and that’s okay! Why not include birthdays as an additional paid leave in your benefits package.  

Give a memorable or thoughtful gift – We’re all guilty of gifting for the sake of it. Put some thought into what your employee really likes and come up with a gift that will really make them feel valued.  

Hold a surprise meeting – Hold a standard meeting so that they don’t suspect anything unusual, and then surprise them with well wishes and decorations in the board room – maybe even some snacks? Just be sure to switch up your tactics, otherwise they’ll soon cotton on and expect a ‘surprise’ meeting on their birthdays.  

Recognise their birthday on your HR platform – Don’t go substituting this one for actual birthday wishes, of course, but why not go the extra mile and send them thanks in your Staff Squared account to let them know that you’re thinking of them? 

Give them a superpower for the day – Most decisions made in the office are based on a majority vote – where or what to have for lunch, what music to listen to, where to have a meeting – let the person celebrating their birthday have the power of decision making for the day.  

Hold monthly celebrations – If you have a large number of employees, it’ll prove difficult to make birthdays as personal. Why not have a monthly office party with a buffet and decorations to celebrate the birthdays of everyone in that month? Not only is it a more efficient way of doing things, but it might make those who don’t want to be centre of attention feel more comfortable.  

Birthday Celebrations aren’t for Everyone 

While some people might like to acknowledge their birthdays at work, others might not feel comfortable doing so.  

The most basic rule for staff birthdays is to work out whether employees would actually want to have their birthdays acknowledged at work.  

From introverted individuals, to those whose faith might not recognise birthdays, it may not always be appropriate to make a thing out of someone’s personal day. For these reasons, it’s important that you: 

  • Don’t assume – ask new hires whether they are comfortable with having their birthday announced. 
  • Don’t expect – some people might not want or be able to make contributions to buy gifts.  
  • Don’t specify – when celebrating or announcing a birthday, never disclose their birth year. That means no big inflatable ‘50’ balloons!  

The long and short of it – make sure employees are comfortable with having their birthday recognised, and adjust accordingly. 

And if you don’t know how to manage birthdays, why not consider celebrating work anniversaries instead of birthdays?  

We would all love some recognition for our length of service and the hard work that goes into our jobs, and as an organisation grows, it becomes harder to achieve this for all employees. So, taking a beat to celebrate another year at the company could really go a long way to employee satisfaction and loyalty. 


Written by Clarisse Levitan

Marketing and Customer Relationship Advisor - Staff Squared

Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Care Team to provide our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software and is responsible for our day-to-day marketing activities and st

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