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When celebrating employee birthdays at work, we often fall short of party ideas that aren’t awkward and cringe-worthy.

Let's look at some unique employee birthday recognition and celebration ideas that will make your employees' birthday memorable.

The celebration of one’s journey around the sun only happens once a year and, yes, it calls for a birthday celebration. Spending most of our time at work causes us to develop lifelong friendships and bonds with our colleagues and employees.

The cherry on the cake here is for employees to celebrate their birthdays in the workplace with the people they see every day.

Even for those who aren’t that big on birthdays, being surprised at work with a surprising office birthday celebration, treats and gifts is a welcoming gesture that makes them feel appreciated.

Celebrating employee birthdays in the workplace is a must. Not only to make them feel appreciated but to create a better, more inclusive work culture.

Importance of employee birthday celebration in office

Believe it or not, birthdays are one of the days employees are most likely to quit their jobs.

We all have our lousy workdays when everything feels like a drag, so there’s a real need for employees to feel appreciated - even more so on their special day.

For this reason, office birthday celebrations can go a long way for employee retention.

Another reason to have an employee birthday celebration in the workplace is to enhance employee engagement, which, in turn, boosts productivity.

When an employee feels rewarded and recognized, it increases their company loyalty and morale, making them want to work harder and do a good job. Nowadays, more people seek job fulfillment rather than just a paycheck.

This means that employees focus more on finding an enjoyable job and work environment. So, your company’s employee engagement strategy is more critical than ever.

It’s therefore crucial that you create a positive work culture in which your employees can feel appreciated.

Seven unique ideas to celebrate employee birthdays in the office

Now that we know why it’s so important to celebrate employee birthdays, here are some ways to celebrate birthdays in the office.

These are some of the best ideas for celebrating employee birthdays in the office.

1. Treats, treats and more treats

Even if you’re not a cake or sweets person, for many, this is the one day where they’ll eat whatever they like - irrespective of whether it’s sweet or savory.

It’s the one day where people reward themselves with something tasty to eat, like a delicious birthday cake.

If you want to go the extra mile, enlist the help of some of your other colleagues to find out what your employee’s favorite treats are and then surprise them with these goodies.

This helps get everyone involved in the birthday celebration and is bound to make your employee feel valued.

2. Give them a note to remember

Words have a unique way of creeping into people's hearts, and the lovely thing about letters is that they can be kept and reread.

There’s the option of interactive birthday cards, photos (wallpics), videos, and who doesn’t love a good Gif on the office’s messaging channel?

You can even turn this into a game and get the birthday employee to guess who wrote the note. If they think correctly, they can hand over a small gift or treat.

3. Pay it forward

If you know that your employee is passionate about a specific cause, why not make it more memorable by donating to a charity on their behalf?

Alternatively, work it in as part of corporate social responsibility and dedicate some time to doing something right as a way of giving back.

This is the perfect way of contributing, which makes individuals feel like they’ve done something meaningful on their special day.

4. What’s better than a day off?

Another best idea for celebrating employee birthdays is to provide them with a “free” day off that they can redeem on their actual birthday or save it for another day in that month.

This allows them to do something that they enjoy on their special day and, if they choose their actual birthday, you can still arrange for a small celebration the next day or perhaps the day before.

5. Decorate!

Decorating your employee’s workstation, desk, or even the breakroom to show some birthday spirit is an easy and effective way to show your employees that you’re thinking about them.

You can get all your colleagues involved, making it a fun team-building exercise. You can hang fun images, balloons, and cards around the birthday employee’s desk and leave a small gift.

You could all work together to decorate the break room and have a quick party with some cake during lunch hour to take it a step further. This is a classic way to make your employees feel special on birthdays.

6. Show your gratitude with a thoughtful gift

Here’s an opportunity to go wild, provided that you know the individual well. Make it memorable by choosing unique, thoughtful gifts that don’t break the bank.

Often, with gifts, it’s the thought that counts, and there are very few people who don’t appreciate receiving gifts.

7. Celebrate remote workers

With changes in the work landscape and more people working from home, it can be a bit overwhelming at first.

What better way to make colleagues feel special on their birthday by remembering that, although you might not be able to gather physically to celebrate, you can still host an online celebration.

Schedule a “meeting” that might lead them to think you’ve forgotten, and then surprise them with a birthday video, or team members could each have an opportunity to give a little speech to wish them well.

Go forth and celebrate!

The truth is that we all want to spend most of our lives feeling appreciated, and a lot of that time is spent at work with our colleagues.

Think about it.

Some employees may not even celebrate birthdays at home or don’t have the luxury of someone spoiling them on their special day.

So, an office birthday celebration might be precisely what they need to feel valued.

Put the spotlight on them, make it memorable, and create a lasting memory that will cause them to look forward to spending their birthday at work the following year.

Now, let’s pop the champagne and bring out the cake!

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Rani Joseph

Rani Joseph LinkedIn

Rani Joseph comes with a decade-long experience across the value chain of content and brand marketing. She currently is the Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Xoxoday.