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They Say it's Your Birthday: Do's and Don'ts for Honoring Your Coworkers

Posted on 06/12/14 in Fun Gifts
Happy BirthdayIn the everyday office hustle and bustle, it can be easy to forget that our colleagues are human beings with feelings, families - and birthdays. No matter the size of your company, taking the time to recognize your coworkers' birthdays is a simple but gratifying way to show your appreciation for them. It also raises the morale of the entire office by allowing for some time off to enjoy tasty treats!

However, we've all stood around the conference room table, shoveling in cake while the birthday boy or girl stands sheepishly in the corner. When it comes to birthdays in the office, some people love to be recognized - and some would rather forget it's their birthday at all. Smart employers can spot the difference and act accordingly.

Tips for Managing Birthdays

Depending on the size of your organization, it may or may not be practical for one person to do all of the birthday planning. Some ways to spread around the "birthday burden" include:

  • Organize a task force. Ask for volunteers to keep track of employee birthdays and give them a budget for party coordination.
  • Set up a voluntary exchange. Have employees write their names, birthdates, and favorite treats on a piece of paper and throw them into a hat. Whoever selects that person's name will be responsible for arranging the festivities on that day.
  • Do it yourself! If you are extremely enthusiastic about celebrating your employees and have the time and resources to do so, then go for it - you'll be seen as the best boss ever.

Dos and Don'ts of Birthday Festivities
Birthday parties are supposed to be fun for the honoree. Therefore, it goes without saying that you should do everything in your power to ensure the enjoyment and prevent the discomfort of the man or woman of the hour.

Some things to pursue (and avoid) when planning an office birthday party include:

  • Do find out if the birthday person has any food allergies or aversions and make sure the cake or other foods don't contain those ingredients.
  • Do choose a party theme that fits the person's personality and interests.
  • Do take into account the recipient's disposition. For introverts, keep it low-key.
  • Don't allow any "shoptalk" during the party. What a buzzkill!
  • Don't make the birthday person cut the cake; the whole point is to give them a break from work.
  • Don't sing Happy Birthday. It's just as embarrassing for the honoree as it is for the people singing it.

By employing these simple strategies, you can demonstrate your appreciation for your employees on their special days and help ease the blow of growing another year older.

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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