Most of us celebrate our birthdays with a dinner or party surrounded by friends and families. It gets a little trickier when your coworkers want to celebrate your birthday in the office. This seemingly simple idea can be surprisingly controversial. Below are our tips for ensuring successful and work-appropriate birthday celebrations.
Create A Policy
In order to avoid one employee having a day-long event and one being forgotten about entirely, a birthday policy should be decided upon in advance. In a bigger office, you may want to group birthdays together by month, having only one party to celebrate a number of people. Other companies, usually smaller, may opt for a break room celebration for each employee. Do you buy a whole cake or just a cupcake? Is it bring your own lunch or are you providing the catering? Is there a gift or a card? Some companies even offer the birthday boy or girl a free day of PTO to take as they choose. These are all things that need to be decided and then implemented for each and every birthday celebrated in the office.
Include Their Work Friends
Who knows the employee you’re planning a party for better than their friends in the office? Not only will they probably want to be involved with the planning, they will have some additional tips. They will know if their friend is on a diet (in which case, instead of getting cake you can get fruit) or if they are hitting a milestone birthday that they would rather not have acknowledged at work.
Confirm Their Preferences
This may come as a surprise, but many people don’t like to be the center of attention – including at their own birthday party. Before you print out the event flyer, talk to the employee first. Maybe they would rather have a small team lunch instead of a larger group party. Some companies are starting to ask employees on their new-hire forms questions about their birthday preferences. If yours does not do this yet, you can simply ask the employee before the planning begins. You should also get their cake preference (it is their birthday after all) as well as any food allergies to be aware of.
Make Their Day Special
Having a birthday party at work is just a little way to show your employee that you appreciate their hard work. Passing around a birthday card for everyone to sign, decorating their desk and pitching in to get them a gift card to their favorite coffee shop are just some small ways to show them that you care.
As you can see, by simply putting in a little forethought you can ensure that each and every one of your employees has the birthday they want and deserve.