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There are so many ways to celebrate a birthday. People go wild; people have parades; people celebrate in the quiet of their homes; and, sometimes, people mourn or don’t celebrate at all.

BUT.

Companies have the means to ensure birthdays are celebrated and remembered fondly (or anonymously if that’s how the employee likes it).

1) Start off with a birthday survey.

Collect the following information on the survey.

  • Please enter your first and last name.
  • What is your month and day of birth?
  • Do not get the year to avoid people knowing how old someone is. This can bring about negative feelings for some.
  • What is your favorite flavor of (insert special treat you’d be willing to get for the office to share, such as cupcakes)?
  • Please list all of your known food allergies.
  • Do you want your birthday to be celebrated in the office or kept hidden from public knowledge?

This simple survey can be sent to each employee upon being hired. Then, this can allow the HR department to move into the next step for celebrating employees’ birthdays.

2) Send out a monthly birthday email.

At the beginning of each month, send out an email, stating there are treats in the breakroom/kitchen for all to enjoy, including the flavor of treats for all birthdays celebrated that month (including the non-celebrated birthdays’ favorite flavors). Also include in the email whose birthdays are being celebrated that month and on what day. Again, do not include their year of birth. Encourage people to write a birthday note and pin it on the birthday board that can be hung in the breakroom/kitchen. Keep reading for information on all these various pieces of this celebration-practice in the office.

3) Provide birthday treats for everyone in the office to enjoy.

Provide the flavors of treats the people with birthdays that month stated were their favorite and a couple of traditional flavors. This means all can enjoy in the celebration, as well as the birthday people! This will also encourage people to partake in the next step.

4) Encourage people to post an appropriate birthday wish on the birthday board.

This Birthday Board can be hung in the breakroom/kitchen near the birthday treats. A cork board usually will do the trick, as they are not too expensive. Put out markers and fun colored papers for people to write notes. Each month, post a picture of the birthday people on the board with their full name above their picture and birth month and day. People can then pin their wishes near the pictures for each person. At the end of the month, gather the notes for each person in an envelope and leave them on that person’s desk or in their mailbox, whichever is company policy.

5) Send out an email first thing in the morning on the last week day of the month.

Tell people that today is the last day to celebrate office birthdays for the month of (fill in the blank). This will encourage any last minute people to post nice notes for the birthday people before they are taken down.

Repeat this for each month for all the workplace birthdays! This keeps things clear, concise, fun, and cost effective for the company to celebrate employee birthdays.