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Take care of your people and protect your business

Companies often look for ways to improve their culture and help their employees feel validated. There are many ways to do this, but one of the simplest can be through celebrating employees’ birthdays. How a company celebrates employees birthdays can go a long way in ensuring the employee feels welcomed and appreciated.

Benefits of Celebrating Employee Birthdays

Before a company decides on how they want to celebrate employees’ birthdays, it is important to recognize the impact and benefits that come from celebrating employees’ birthdays.

Employee Recognition

The first and foremost biggest benefit for celebrating an employee’s birthday is recognition. Employees want to be recognized and appreciated for their work. Employee recognition can come through many forms, such as employee of the month or bonuses, as well as a birthday celebration. Great Place to Work research found that 37% of employees say that more personal recognition would encourage them to be more productive at work. Recognizing employees on their birthday shows them that you care about them and appreciate their contributions.

Employee Bonding

Another important reason for celebrating employees birthdays is that it gives other employees a chance to get to know the employee better. When employees celebrate a birthday together, they are more likely to open up with one another and care for each other. It is a great opportunity for employees to bond together. This bonding can go a long way in improving the employee experience.

Reduce Turnover

According to Harvard Business Review, job search activities jump 12% before employees’ birthdays. By celebrating employees’ birthdays, it can reduce employee turnover in a company. This is likely due to employees feeling valued and recognized, which leads to them more likely staying.

Ideas of Ways to Celebrate Employee Birthdays

There are many kinds of ways to celebrate employee birthdays. The key to deciding how to celebrate an employee’s birthday is to ensure that the employee feels appreciated and ultimately enjoys celebrating their birthday.

Food

There are many forms of food that can be used to celebrate an employee’s birthday. This can be done through getting lunch for the office. This could be done through getting some kind of treat for the office(donuts, cake, or cookies for example). If you are a larger company, you might want to do something on a smaller level. A manager could take the entire department out to lunch for the employee’s birthday. These are some examples, but anything with food can be a good way to celebrate an employee’s birthday.

Decorate the Employee’s Office

An idea that takes a bit more time and thought, which the employee will likely appreciate, is decorating the employee’s office or desk. This will put the spotlight on the employee for the entire day. It is a great opportunity to make them feel special and see the effort put in by the company to celebrate their birthday.

Give the Employee the Day Off

A less conventional way of celebrating an employee’s birthday is to give them the day off. While you won’t be able to celebrate the employee’s birthday in the office, it shows the employee that work-life balance is valued as a company. It also gives the employee a chance to celebrate their birthday however they want, without feeling the pressure from work or feeling like they can’t take the day off to celebrate it.

Giving a Gift

Giving a gift to an employee is another thoughtful way to celebrate an employee’s birthday. This could be a gift provided by the employer, or a gift that the rest of the employee’s departments go in on. Whoever provides it, this is a great opportunity to put some serious thought into what the employee would appreciate. This can also include giving the employee a gift card and giving the employee a birthday card signed by everyone in the office.

How To Set Up Your Own Employee Birthday Program

When coming up with an employee birthday program, you want to make sure you put serious thought and planning into what is important to the employees and what will make them feel appreciated. Some things to consider when setting up your own employee birthday plan is to make sure it is personal, consistent, considerate, tailored, and discreet.

Step 1: Create a Budget

For starters, it is important to decide as a company how much you want to budget out for an employee’s birthday. It should be consistent for all employees. Once that amount is decided, an employer will have a better idea of what things they can do for an employee’s birthday. If it is easier to come up with the ideas, and then figure out how much they will cost, this will also work. However, you will still want to remain consistent in how much is spent on each employee’s birthday so an employee doesn’t feel unappreciated if they see another employee’s birthday be more extravagant.

Step 2: Decide Who Will Run the Program

The next step is to decide who will oversee the employee birthday program. Some companies have a culture committee or party committee that oversees birthday parties. While other companies have HR oversee it. Whatever the case may be, it is important to set the right expectations of who will be in charge of organizing and planning the celebrations for employees’ birthdays.

Step 3: Make a List of Birthdays

This is a simple step, but it is important to keep a list of all employees’ birthdays to ensure nobody’s birthday is forgotten. This list could be through an excel spreadsheet, calendar reminders, or even a report of all employee’s birthdays. However the list is obtained, it is important to have the list of birthdays and review the first of every month so the necessary preparations for the month can be taken place.

Step 4: Get Employee Feedback

A key step to implementing an employee birthday program is finding out what employees like for their birthday. Find out how they like to be celebrated at work. This is important, as it can also help find out who does not want their birthday celebrated. Obtaining feedback from employees gives the employer a chance to hear what is going well and not so well for current birthdays, and see what changes need to be made.

Step 5: Keep It Consistent

The last thing to consider, and has already been mentioned previously, is consistency. It is vital for an employer to be consistent in how they celebrate employees’ birthdays, otherwise, they can do more harm than good as employees might potentially cite problems of prejudice against them if their birthday isn’t celebrated but someone else’s is. This does not necessarily mean that the exact same kind of celebration needs to take place, but rather one of similar value. Ultimately, it comes down to whether an employee is feeling valued and appreciated on their birthday.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Employee Birthdays

The only reason to consider not celebrating an employee’s birthday is if the employee asks for it to not be celebrated.

Yes, an employer can share an employee’s birthday, however, they should avoid sharing the employee’s age to avoid any potential ageism.

Tanner has over 4 years of HR professional experience in various fields of HR. He has experience in hiring, recruiting, employment law, unemployment, onboarding, outboarding, and training to name a few. Most of his experience comes from working in the Professional Employer and Staffing Industries. He has a passion for putting people in the best position to succeed and really tries to understand the different backgrounds people come from.

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