What’s more fun than an office birthday party! Send around an e-mail sign-up, we’ll have a pot luck and put up some decorations around the honoree’s desk. We’ll pick out some business birthday cards and have everyone sign. Offices are like families. We never really know how true this is. The reality is, sometimes the staff is all the family a coworker has. So we dive in with relish and happily proclaim the day (making sure the timing is okay with the boss!). Here are some ideas:
- About a month ahead of the date ask the person about their favorite treat or snacks. This also gives them a heads-up because not everyone enjoys a surprise and not everyone comes in to work on their birthday. It doesn’t have to be a frosted cake. A pie, brownies, cookies, bagels with toppings, or fruit and veggies for the health-conscious are always appropriate. Everyone loves chips and dip, or an ice cream cake can also provide a unique touch. Birthday cards signed by all top off your mini-party presentation.
- Try a theme approach. There is nothing more enjoyable than a luau day at work or using simple place settings that look like an outdoor picnic. Try a western chili birthday contest for lunch (bringing in your favorite recipe from home). Everyone looks forward to it and the chance to wear something related to the theme that expresses their unique personality.
- A time saver is to combine birthday celebrations for the month and take care of several birthdays at once. If in-the-office parties are not encouraged go out to lunch as a group for a pizza or share a six-foot sub.
- Home-made decorations are fine. Or decorate with individually wrapped candies so the birthday person can share with others throughout the day. Even M&Ms can be personalized as a special treat.
And from the management perspective:
- Allow a dress down day for the occasion.
- Order take-out for your employee to enjoy themselves or share with others.
- Let them go home early for the day.
The point from both perspectives is recognition and team-building. We all want to be acknowledged and valued for just being who we are. No one is unimportant.