Employee Birthday Gifts
Jack is a busy guy. Not only does he juggle working for your company but he has 3 kids and a wife at home. Whether he is working at the office or at home, he doesn’t get much attention. But one day every year is his day – his birthday. Your office sings the song and cuts the cake, Jack feels like a million bucks.
Think about giving an employee birthday gift.
For the Budget Conscious – Have a Pot Luck!
So let’s say you don’t get your budget from the C-Suite to throw the best party. Don’t worry about it, enlist the help of your staff. We do this at our office and it works out great. Jake brings his sausage balls, Jennifer brings her salsa and Jerry brings store bought sugar cookies (not homemade but we still appreciate the effort). We have a sign up to make sure everything is covered, and we never get through it all. So, leftovers sit out and are picked at throughout the day.
This kind of party is good because it engages the staff to throw it, rather than just attend it. People love Jake’s sausage balls! They expect it now and are disappointed if he doesn’t bring them. This makes Jake feel great and even though it’s not his birthday he in turn becomes better engaged with the team from it.
Theme Parties – Get Creative!
No one wants to attend the same birthday party over and over again. Sure cake never gets old but the party can if you don’t mix it up from time to time. Think about some of the interests of the people who you are throwing the party for. You can take one interest for each person you are celebrating and combine into a completely unique fusion. You are throwing a party for Mary, Matt and Mike. Mary is a Celine Dion fan, Matt loves Marvel movies and Mike is a Star Wars fan. The theme could be Superheroes vs Jedi’s set to the Titanic soundtrack. You can also have a trivia competition with prizes on theme. “What is Captain America’s real name?” Keep in mind that it is not even how well a theme works that is important. It is the effort that goes noticed and thus appreciated. Mary knows you can’t stand Celine Dion, but you sat with her, ate some cake and listened to the music with her for 15 minutes.
Engage the Outside World – Document It!
People are generally happy at a birthday party, so it’s a great opportunity to take pictures of your employees smiling. Post it all over social media and email out to the rest of the company. Let others see how much fun you are having. Don’t be ashamed to show off the efforts you took for your employees. By posting it on LinkedIn or Facebook and emailing out to the rest of the company, you are also inviting others to wish them a happy birthday. This effort brings the company a little closer. It also creates an archive to pull from for end of the year events. If you don’t have pictures or videos from the year, how can any kind of recap video be made for your team?
Sing the Song!
Yes, that song is annoying. “Happy Birthday to you…” we’ve heard it a thousand times and for some reason we can never hit that one note. But regardless, you need to try, because its not about singing the song well, it’s about trying to sing the song. Sure, this song is an overused ritual for birthday parties, but it’s so ingrained in us that birthday parties don’t feel like one if you don’t sing it. It’s less than 30 seconds anyway. Just give your best shot even if you can’t hit that one note!
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Signed Card!
A card will suffice perfectly for someone celebrating their 31st birthday. Passing a card around and writing funny messages or just signing it, gives the recipient the feeling that everyone is involved with this recognition. Remember, employee engagement isn’t just the relationship between employee to employer, it’s also rooted in employees to other employees. They must be able to relate to the team. The best part about a signed card is that it doesn’t get thrown away. It stays on their desk and is a constant reminder of the team’s appreciation for that employee. Even if they don’t spend time looking at it, its mere presence gives the employee subconscious reinforcement that they belong on that team.
Sometimes Presents Are In Order
If someone is celebrating a particularly special year, you may want to go the extra step. Taking them out to lunch isn’t enough; give them something they can take home to their family whether it be something tangible or a gift card the whole family can use. If you give them a gift card to a restaurant, then not only is the employee thankful but their spouse and kids are too. This impression on the employee’s family has a major effect on how that employee views their company. You as an employer are facilitating family memories that will last way longer and be held closer in heart than the office party you threw for them by giving the employee birthday gift.