Celebrating birthdays is a great way to honor employees and bring a little celebration into the work day. This practice gives you and your team a chance to stop and enjoy each other’s company on a more personal level throughout the year and not just at the Christmas party.
To keep things smooth around the workplace during these commemorations, however, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind:
DO Acknowledge Their Special Day
While of course you can’t remember every birthday in your company, you at least can keep track of your direct reports, boss and department members’ special days. Say “Happy Birthday” and consider sending them a card or small gift, if you’re close. A birthday treat is also a “sweet” way to show you appreciate them.
DO Involve the Rest of the Office
Some large companies celebrate monthly birthdays all at one time, choosing one occasion to gather everyone for cake and conversation. It gives another chance for departments who don’t work together often to meet and get to know one another beyond their cubicle workstations. Smaller companies may even take out the recipient for a special lunch, giving the whole office or department a treat in their honor.
DO Keep Your Birthday Wishes Balanced
Remember that regardless of the occasion, it is still a work day. Allow for an amount of time to give your congratulations but don’t go too far or draw attention by loud singing, asking them their plans, or pestering them to reveal their age.
DO Respect Individual Preferences
When honoring a person’s birthday, it is truly about them and what they want. Be respectful of their requests and try to celebrate them in the way that they wish – even if that is very little or not at all.
DO Avoid Alcohol
Even though many office holiday parties will serve alcohol, it’s best not to drink when celebrating birthdays in the middle of a work day. Attend a happy hour with coworkers after the day is over and you’ll keep from embarrassing yourself in the office itself.
DO Remember Everyone
Try to keep your office birthday celebrations as equivalent as you can. What you do for one person should be something that can be replicated, if necessary, for the other members of your team so that no one feels left out or slighted.
A person’s birthday is a personal celebration of themselves and another way to show you value the people you work with. Plus it’s an opportunity for office festivities as well, boosting the morale of the well wishers and the well wished. Be sure to keep things professional and in proper proportion to make people feel most appreciated.