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How to Celebrate Birthdays in the Workplace
March 1st, 2011 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler  Posted in In the Workplace

birthday party office workWhether you’re a manager, the office party planner, or just a thoughtful co-worker, planning a birthday celebration is a fun way to show someone you care. Looking for ideas? Wondering what’s appropriate? Here’s a list of common ways to celebrate the big day at work!

Commemorate monthly. Birthdays only come along once a year, but in the workplace, it can feel like there’s one every day. If you have many employees, it might not make sense to celebrate each one. Instead, set aside the first Friday of every month to celebrate birthdays. Purchase a cake and maybe even a bottle of champagne. Be sure to acknowledge each person’s birthday, and of course, sing Happy Birthday!

Take your crew out to lunch. If you manage a small team, taking everyone out to lunch to celebrate a birthday can be a great way to express your gratitude and promote team-building. Allow the birthday celebrant to choose the location. Be sure to let people know in advance, so they don’t make other lunch plans.

Go out after work. Looking for a way to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday? Find a bar nearby where everyone can let off a little steam in honor of the birthday celebrant, or go out to dinner as a group.

Give the person a shout-out. Do you have a daily meeting? Make a point to call out their birthday during the meeting. Or include it at the top of the daily report that’s sent out to everyone. A little acknowledgement can go a long way.

Send a card. It’s a simple way to acknowledge someone’s birthday, whether you’re management or a co-worker. Be sure to include a brief personal message letting them know that you appreciate all the work they do or how much you enjoy working with them. Or you can send the card around the office for everyone to sign and include their own special messages. Then you can leave it for them to find on their desk in the morning or after lunch. Want to do a little more? Find out what local restaurant people in the office frequent and buy a gift card for that location. It doesn’t have to be much, just enough to buy a lunch or two on the company.

Give the gift of time off. Many workplaces offer an additional paid day off for birthdays, usually in the form of a floating holiday. Let your employee choose when he or she “spends” that extra day off. Another idea is to surprise your employee by letting him or her take off early on their birthday. Everyone appreciates getting a little extra time to celebrate!

If you’re a manager and plan to celebrate birthdays, be sure that you give everyone the same treatment and that you don’t forget anyone’s big day. When people join the company, find out their birthdates (but don’t require anyone to tell  the year!) and keep a calendar up-to-date.
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Tags: office-culture, in-the-workplace
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