15 Office Birthday Ideas to Celebrate Employees (2023)

HR

Annie Shapiro 04.01.22

Celebrating employee birthdays never gets old. Between the confetti, balloons, and cake, office birthday parties offer employees a brief respite from their day-to-day, not to mention an opportunity to appreciate peers.


With early autumn accounting for the majority of birthdays—Namely’s database shows that September 14 is the most popular birthday date—what better time to unwrap how companies are celebrating? We asked professionals across different industries how they celebrated birthdays in the office:

(Video) How to Celebrate Employee Birthdays in the Workplace? by #SamMoments

1. Enjoy a Team Lunch

“We celebrate each employee’s birthday with lunch at the office (from the place of their choice) and dessert. We decorate the conference room and give the honoree a birthday card signed by everyone in the office. During lunch, we talk about the honoree’s birthday plans and enjoy each other’s company.”

— Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders


2. Remember Remote Workers

“Each month, our offices have monthly birthday parties to celebrate those who had a birthday that month. However, we also have a number of home-based workers who we aren’t able to celebrate in the office. We do something extra special for them to ensure they know they are loved and made to feel special on their birthday. Each of our home-based employees is sent a custom mug with a hand-illustrated portrait and card wishing them a happy birthday. While we know it’s not the same as being able to celebrate their special day with others, we hope it makes them feel a little more part of our Inuvo family.”

— Amanda Hughes Propst, Inuvo


3. Recognize Employees at All-Hands

“Our company has a monthly all-hands meeting in our common area. We go over exciting things happening, have a different department present what they’re working on, and [cover] the usual housekeeping stuff. At the end of each meeting, our CEO reads off a list of everyone with a birthday that month and has them come to the front of the room. As a group they’re sung to and everyone enjoys some kind of company-provided treat. With 130+ employees, we’re just big enough to keep it fun and still make sure it’s a little awkward for those being sung to.”

— Heather Mercier, ExpertVoice

4. Be Creative

“I like to surprise my contractors with something creative...The latest present [I gave] was a spa package for one of my writers. She’s a mom that works from home, and I thought she could use some me time. It really meant a lot to her that I made the extra effort to think of something she might like. With so many options online, there's really no excuse. Nowadays, you can send a SendOutCard, a gift basket, flowers, movie passes, even legendary pizza from Chicago or New York (I'm planning on doing that this Christmas)...it's really endless.”

James Heidebrecht, Policy Architects

(Video) How to celebrate employee birthdays and other workplace occasions


5. Give Extra Time-Off

"At our digital marketing agency, birthdays are acknowledged by giving a free day of paid vacation within your birthday month. Although the office doesn't do a group event or celebration, it enables our staff to spend their birthday doing whatever they like most!"

— Christine Kilbride,Majux Marketing


6. Go for the Gifs

“At Aceable, one team member will realize it's another team members birthday and will call it out in a Slack channel. Then, all employees will proceed to share a birthday or celebration themed gif based on the birthday honoree's personal likes and interests (or just the weirdest gif we can find).”

— Amanda Hagley, Aceable


7. Host a Cake Day

At Trupanion, there are more than 500 employees (not to mention 300 dogs and a few brave cats that come into the office). With so many team members, we celebrate employee birthdays once a month with a highly anticipated Cake Day. Imagine, once a month a lunchroom is filled with 20-30 cakes of all shapes, sizes and varieties – carrot cake, ice cream cake, chocolate cake, cheesecake, fudge cake, Boston cream pie, coconut cake and more. We also make sure to have a few vegan cakes on hand!

We also list all the employees who have birthdays during that particular month in a company-wide email so if people spot them they can give them a birthday high five as they go grab a piece of cake.”

— Michael Nank, Trupanion


8. Personalize a Thoughtful Note

“At Blueboard, we love recognizing top employees, so we make a big deal out of birthdays and anniversaries. Because we're still a growing company (~50 employees), we have the ability make each one personalized. Volunteer Culture Crews across our main offices are tasked with gathering submissions for a shared Kudoboard, dedicated to the birthday guy or gal (an interactive birthday card where anyone can post notes, videos, gifs, or photos), as well as organize a gathering break centered around the employee's favorite food or snack. We'll unveil the Kudoboard as we gather to sing happy birthday, and give the employee time to read through the wall of notes.

(Video) BOSS Birthday Celebration| CEO Birthday Party Celebration with Employees | Mayank Sir Birthday Bash

— Morgan Chaney, Blueboard


9. Offer a Birthday Breakfast

“Our birthday tradition is largely breakfast-based. The birthday boy or girl gets to choose what they want for breakfast and the whole office benefits. This usually takes the form of bagels or donuts—though I don't think there is a requirement that the food be round and holey. If that wasn't enough, someone usually queues up the heavy metal happy birthday song unique to the name of the special person for the Sonos.”

— Sean Flannigan, coolblueweb


10. Give a Customizable Gift

“Our birthday tradition is two-fold! On our birthday the entire team goes out to lunch at the restaurant of our choice! The second part (my favorite) is a $150 credit towards shoes. Last month for my birthday I got to design some custom Nike's that I'd been eyeing for months.”

— Devin Stagg, Pupford


11. Involve Senior Management

“We like to make our employees feel special on their birthdays by sending a personalized birthday card. For each employee, a member of our senior management writes a personalized note—either the CEO, COO or CTO—to indicate how important they are to the team. The rest of the team in the office signs as well.”

— Lindsay Lutz, TenantBase

12. Decorate Desks

"Our team members celebrate birthdays in the office by decorating desks for the occasion. They cover the computer screens with taped on, cut out memes, add a 'happy birthday!' banner, and include fun accessories like flowers and little sweet treats all around their keypads."

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— Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com

13. Other Local Treats

The day before the employee’s birthday, we order cookies from a legendary local cookie chain here in Austin called Tiff’s Treats. It’s something everyone in the office looks forward to and is a fun way to celebrate birthdays with a really awesome local treat to break up the day in the middle of the afternoon.”

— Kris Hughes, ProjectManager.com

14. Group Birthdays by Month

“When we were small, celebrating birthdays was pretty easy, but as we grew we had to figure out a scalable way to recognize everybody. I got an idea from reading the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg—she talks about how at Facebook, as they scaled, the company adopted a monthly birthday party with a sheet cake with a square with everybody’s name on it. We started doing that this year, and it’s turned out to be a great way to recognize everybody on their birthday month—without wearing everybody out with multiple birthday parties every day.”

— Zach Hendrix, GreenPal


15. Make a Charitable Donation

“At GoodHire, each location has its own traditions, but celebration and recognition are important. At the Bay Area office, we have a monthly celebration of birthdays and anniversaries with cake and snacks. We also decorate the team members’ workspace on their birthday (and anniversary) with balloons and such, and they receive a greeting card and a small donation to a charity they support.”

— Marielle Smith, GoodHire


And if those fifteen ideas don’t inspire you, one of our favorite traditions comes from across the pond—Alistair Dodds of Smoking Chili Media in the UK shared that every company he’s worked for flips the equation: “It's always up to the employee whose birthday it is to bring in cakes for the rest of the office! I've always found it rather bemusing, but it’s what employees and the team expect, so I'm happy to go along with it… ‘Happy birthday! Now where's our cake?!!’”

(Video) 100 Office Gifts for Work Colleagues | Gifts for Boss | Birthday Gift Ideas for Coworker Men & Women


Want to easily track employee birthdays on your own? Namely’s HR software allows teams to easily track and celebrate important milestones like work anniversaries and birthdays. See it in action by watching our product video here.

FAQs

Why is it important to celebrate employee birthdays? ›

A morale-booster

Seeking joy and finding reasons to celebrate, such as a birthday, also has the valuable business benefit of increasing morale. It makes people feel appreciated and brings staff together, both of which help to form deeper relationships between team members and across the organisation.

What do you give an employee for his birthday? ›

Employee Birthday Gifts Ideas :
  • A Great Self-Care Kit. Every hardworking employee will love a chance to take a break and relax. ...
  • Give the Gift of Saftey. ...
  • Plants That Brighten a Room. ...
  • Everything They Need to Work At Home. ...
  • Create the Perfect Coffee Bar. ...
  • Help Them Sleep Easy. ...
  • Delicious Treats. ...
  • Personalized Stationery.
27 Jan 2022

How do you respond to birthday wishes in office group? ›

Thank You Messages for Coworkers
  1. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! ...
  2. Thank you to all of my coworkers for the birthday wishes. ...
  3. I love all of the birthday wishes I got from my coworkers. ...
  4. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes! ...
  5. Seeing the birthday wishes from my coworkers has made me so happy.
11 Mar 2022

How do you celebrate employees at work? ›

13 Employee Appreciation Ideas That Don't Suck
  1. Surprise them. Did someone from sales land a big client? ...
  2. Show them the money. ...
  3. Shout it from the rooftops. ...
  4. Get them out of the office. ...
  5. Say thank you. ...
  6. Dedicate time in your next one on one meeting to discuss. ...
  7. Let them learn. ...
  8. Give extra vacation time.
16 Feb 2021

How do you celebrate your colleagues? ›

11 Ways to Celebrate your Coworkers
  1. Just Celebrate it in the moment. Say It!
  2. Shout It Out to the Team.
  3. Send a Celebration Email.
  4. Post the Celebration on Social Media.
  5. Celebrate with Snacks and Candy.
  6. Decorate their Workspace.
  7. Order Lunch to Celebrate.
  8. Surprise Coffee Break.
25 Jun 2019

How do you celebrate happiness at work? ›

5 tips to celebrate International Day of Happiness in the office
  1. Greet co-workers with a smile. ...
  2. Praise the efforts of colleagues. ...
  3. Surprise with kindness. ...
  4. Host a happiness event. ...
  5. Make the world a better place.
2 Mar 2019

Why is it important to celebrate your employees? ›

Celebrating team accomplishments and having workplace celebrations gives employees a chance to bond and get to know each other. Personal connections help people work together better. The break from a day to day work day helps to recharge the staff and keep them focused and better able to focus when they return to work.

Why you should celebrate your employees? ›

Employees feel appreciated when they're recognized for their hard work and achievements. Employee recognition plays a large part in employee satisfaction, and employers who celebrate success in the workplace can improve morale, strengthen teamwork and make work a much happier place.

What is the best quotes for birthday? ›

Short & Sweet Birthday Messages
  • “Hope all your birthday wishes come true!”
  • “It's your special day — get out there and celebrate!”
  • “Wishing you the biggest slice of happy today.”
  • “I hope your celebration gives you many happy memories!”
  • “Our age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying us!”
7 Jan 2022

What gifts do employees like the most? ›

Unique employee appreciation gift ideas
  • Educational classes or learning experiences. ...
  • Personal vacation budget. ...
  • Funded company clubs. ...
  • Mini company retreat. ...
  • Extra vacation day. ...
  • Personalized consultation with an expert. ...
  • Better working hours. ...
  • Personal gratitude budget.
21 Sept 2022

What do you give an employee for appreciation? ›

Inexpensive Employee Appreciation Ideas
  • Give everyone on your team a small allowance for a few desk or work-from-home upgrades. ...
  • Show your appreciation by prioritizing the health of your employees. ...
  • Treat everyone to a fun company activity. ...
  • Survey employees to learn their favorite self-care products or services.
1 Mar 2022

How do you thank a group of people for their wishes? ›

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for all the thoughtful words and amazing messages you have given me on my birthday. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends.

How do you thank everyone in a group? ›

Great Ways to Thank the Whole Group
  1. "Thank you for being there for me. ...
  2. "Thank you for your support. ...
  3. "Thank you for your friendship. ...
  4. "Thank you for always being there for me. ...
  5. "Thank you for your kindness. ...
  6. "You are so generous! ...
  7. "Thank you, everyone for your thoughtfulness. ...
  8. "Thank you for making me laugh.

What is best reply for birthday? ›

Reply to everyone in one go on social media
  • “Thanks to everyone for the lovely birthday wishes! You guys all rock!”
  • “It made my day to wake up to so many lovely messages. ...
  • “It would take my entire birthday to thank you all for the messages, but I read them all and am so grateful for all the kind words.”
6 Jul 2022

How do I surprise and delight an employee? ›

Send your employees an unexpected(but meaningful) gift for no reason at all. Gifting your employees a coveted item of swag, that is typically reserved for customers like a fine writing instrument, or a more personalized item can be the perfect way to surprise and delight your team.

How do you show your employees you value them? ›

How to make employees feel valued
  1. Offer good compensation packages. ...
  2. Provide meaningful work. ...
  3. Prioritize a work-life balance. ...
  4. Start an employee recognition program. ...
  5. Celebrate achievements. ...
  6. Offer professional development and learning opportunities. ...
  7. Hire internally. ...
  8. Have performance pay or bonuses.

How do you wish someone a happy birthday in office? ›

Quick & Simple Employee Birthday Wishes

Wishing you the best on your birthday and everything good in the year ahead.” “Hope your day is filled with happiness.” “Wishing you a happy birthday and a wonderful year.” “Our whole team is wishing you the happiest of birthdays.”

How do businesses celebrate birthdays? ›

10 Ways To Celebrate Company Birthdays
  1. Hold a competition - internal or external! ...
  2. Set up a birthday gift redemption site - vouchers/coupons with codes sent via email to clients and staff to choose from a selection of branded birthday gifts. ...
  3. Send personalised, limited-edition thank you gifts to clients.
27 Jul 2022

Can you share employee birthdays? ›

Answer. There's no law against it, but some employees may feel that announcing their birthday violates their privacy. While it's great that you want to recognize your employees and celebrate with them, I recommend not announcing an employee's birthday without first getting their permission.

How can I celebrate my boss's birthday in office? ›

30 birthday gift ideas for your boss
  1. Gift card. A gift card is a great way to provide a thoughtful gift to your boss while remaining within reason. ...
  2. Gift basket. ...
  3. Mug or drink holder. ...
  4. Desk toy. ...
  5. Specialty coffee or tea. ...
  6. Office plant and planter. ...
  7. Business card holder. ...
  8. Notebook set.

What is the best short message for birthday? ›

Short & Sweet Birthday Messages
  • “The day is all yours — have fun!”
  • “Happy birthday to my ride or die. ...
  • “Thinking of you on your birthday and wishing you everything happy.”
  • “Best wishes on your birthday – may you have many, many more.”
  • “Cheers to you for another trip around the sun!”
  • “Today is about you. ...
  • “Happy birthday!
7 Jan 2022

How do you say happy birthday in simple way? ›

How to Say Happy Birthday 50 Different Ways
  1. You sustained one more year. Congrats!
  2. I wish you a happier birthday than anyone else has wished you.
  3. Didn't we just celebrate this like a year ago?
  4. Happy birthday, champ.
  5. Don't count the candles, enjoy your day.
  6. Happy you day.
  7. Age is just a number.
  8. I'm glad you were born.
8 Oct 2022

How do businesses celebrate 15 years? ›

Here are some fantastic work anniversary ideas that your employees will love.
  1. Customized Company Swag. ...
  2. Create A Service Award Program. ...
  3. Give Them A Shout Out On Social Media (LinkedIn) ...
  4. Check Something Off Their Bucket List. ...
  5. Create A Commemorative Video For Them. ...
  6. Offer To Pay For An Online Course To Learn A New Skill.

How do you celebrate your birthday innovative? ›

Play silly party games, share special snacks and wind down the fun with a special movie. Make the presents extra fun with a gift scavenger hunt – Craft some creative clues and send the birthday child on a hunt for their presents!

Should HR share birthdays? ›

While HR should certainly be aware that the year of birth should never be shared, many managers may not realize that this could lead to age discrimination issues. HR should ensure managers understand this easily missed detail and never mention the employee's actual age on announcements or have it iced onto cakes.

Videos

1. Fun Office Birthday Ideas | My Birthday Celebration
(Sheela Shares)
2. Boss Birthday Surprise || Office Birthday Decoration idea || sb event
(Shree Balaji Event And Decorations)
3. Jim & Dwight's Party Planning - The Office US
(The Office)
4. This is what makes employees happy at work | The Way We Work, a TED series
(TED)
5. Stop Beginning Your Speeches with Good Morning and Thank You and Start with This Instead
(Deborah Grayson Riegel)
6. Oct. 19, 2022 - House of Assembly Proceedings
(Nova Scotia Legislature)
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