Birthdays are those milestones which people either love or loathe... so, if someone in your team's special day falls during the working week, the chances are they'll be spending a large chunk of it in the office, so why not make them feel the love? With that in mind, the question all employers shouldn't be "should we celebrate birthdays or not?", it should rather be "how should we celebrate birthdays?"...
By recognising and celebrating birthdays in a fun, meaningful way says a lot about a company. Talk about company culture! Employee recognition shouldn't only mean recognising a job well done, it should extend to acknowledging your employees as individuals and their milestones. You want your employees to be happy and proud of where they work and they should enjoy coming to the office everyday.
Celebrating birthdays (and anniversaries for that matter) is great for employee engagement. Often by investing in your employees, results in your employees investing in your company. It also reduces staff turnover, as employees love working for a company that cares about them. According to Harvard Business Review, 12% of employees start their job hunt just before their birthdays as birthdays are often a reflective period where people assess where they are in their lives and if they're happy, and a job is always high up on the priority list.
With all this in mind, below are five easy, effective and fun ways to celebrate your employees' birthdays in the office:
1. Desk decor
Go all out on the birthday decor. It doesn't have to break the bank for every birthday. Purchase items tailored to your office. Have birthday mascots and items which can be reused per birthday. Then bulk it up with balloons, streamers, signs, confetti and the likes. For example you could have an office spot light and let it shine down on the birthday person's desk all day like the Oscars. But remember, timing is key - ensure all decor is set up the night before, or early before your employee arrives at work.
2. (Alternate) cakes and goodies
Birthday's don't have to be all about supermarket cakes with the cheesy frosted icing and candles. Why not think about the individual and get them / make them something more personal? How about buying different cheeses and stacking them up to make a cheesecake. Or how about a fruit cake in the summer with their favourite seasonal fruits? Think out the box. If they are from a different country, why not buy some sweet goods from their home town? The time and effort surely does go a long way in making one feel that much more special.
3. A lottery ticket
How about giving your employee a signed birthday card from the team with a lottery ticket enclosed. It's a cheap gift, however the potential is eternal. You never know, it could be a winning ticket, even if it's just hundreds or thousands of pounds. This will certainly make it a birthday not to be forgotten, as well as a company always to be remembered.
4. Office karaoke
In every office there are the singers and wanna-be singers, right? So birthdays are the perfect time to let those voices shine. Let volunteering team members not only sing the traditional happy birthday, but have birthday playlist including Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday, The Beatles' Birthday, 50 Cents' Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday and more. This will engage and bring all the team together, making it a birthday to remember.
5. Time out of the office
Encourage your employee to take a day off out of the office to do something they love. As an employer, you could offer them free cinema tickets or tickets to their favourite attraction. Or why not give them a small donation and let them spend a day at their charity of choice doing something meaningful, and giving a nice donation? Make them feel loved and give them the opportunity to enjoy their birthday in a way which benefits them most.
The benefits of rightly celebrating far outweighs any small costs. Be that company that cares, despite if you are a SME or a large corporate. You want to be known as an employer of choice, you want your employees to love where they work, so this is one perfect opportunity to go full steam ahead.
Staff Treats is a leading Employee Benefits provider offering over 3,000 exclusive employee benefits and perks which are brilliant for engagement. If you'd like to find out how we can contribute to making your employees feel looked after, speak to one of our Engagement Consultants.