Birthday Cards Are A Real Necessity

by Kyle C. on July 15, 2013

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I have been a small business owner for 27 years now. I know a few things about ups and downs and how to deal with them. Like many people out there, I have never experienced a “down” as bad as the past 5 years. I went from a thriving business to struggling to just pay the bills. I am the type of owner who puts his employees first and while I have had to cut costs, I have not laid anyone off. I take pride in this and I know my employees appreciate it as well. While they aren’t happy I had to get rid of Bagel Friday and summer trips to Great Adventure, they understood the reasoning behind the decisions. I only had one cost cutting idea backfire on me, and it was definitely not the one I expected. Every year I would give my employees a birthday card with a very nice personal message in it thanking them for their hard work. While the birthday cards aren’t overly expensive, I figured why not save a few bucks? I did not foresee the disappointment following this decision.

Birthday Cards

A long time employee’s birthday happened to be the first one to come after this decision. He was actually upset and thought that I had forgotten his birthday. The mix up was quickly cleared up but I could tell he was still disappointed he didn’t get a card. I got similar reactions from other employees as well. Everyone seemed to be ok with losing the impersonal events like Bagel Friday but not getting  business birthday cards really seemed to affect morale. They truly appreciate the personal touch I gave to their birthday. Needless to say I began spending the extra money again to get those wonderful birthday cards. I even wrote out cards for those birthdays that I had missed. Even after 27 years of owning a business I am still learning new lessons every day.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Marla P July 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

People need to feel appreciated. I can understand your employees being okay with giving up the bagels on friday. But giving up the birthday cards will definitely lower morale. It’s an inexpensive gesture but the payoff is immeasurable.

Luke S. July 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I love getting birthday cards at work – I can understand your employees’ disappointment! I’m glad you re-instituted the tradition. For the small amount you spend they mean so much!

Olivia L July 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm

If you look at the plethora of studies they have done on what factors contributed most to job satisfaction, you will find that appreciation for a job well done often rates higher than wage. Hard to believe but true. A personal touch like sending birthday cards to your employees is a good way to show appreciaiton for a job well done.

Maura July 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

It seems like such a small thing, but here in my office we make a big deal for someone’s birthday. Everyone receives a card from their boss and co-workers. It makes coming to work a little bit nicer.

Helena K August 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm

You are a good boss. Most bosses would cut their staff. I’m sure your staff prefers doing away with bagel Fridays and the Great Adventure trip rather than doing away with their jobs. And the birthday cards are an inexpensive confirmation that you appreciate your staff.

Lana B. September 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Sending a Birthday card shows the utmost respect for a person. You spend alot of time with co-workers .What better way to show you care is to remember their special day!

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