Things to consider about Employee Birthday Celebrations at Work

An overview: Recognizing an employee’s birthday at work can be a tricky task.  Spend too much and embarrass the recipient.  Ignore it and tick them off.  Give something too personal and it looks funny and is probably politically incorrect.  To avoid these downsides of recognizing your employees and co-workers, we at suggest having at the ready a stash of our personalized employee birthday chocolate bars, Hershey’s minis or our Sweet and Dainty Box. Here’s what Glenda, one of our customers, had to say on the subject:

“Just the right touch to let someone know you were thinking of them. I gave these out at the office where I work. All of the responses were, Oh how sweet!!”

Budget & Cost 

From Celebrating birthdays at work lets employees know they are more than just a number. Simple recognition of the day can improve morale around the office. Work birthday celebrations don’t have to cost a fortune. Several inexpensive or free options are just as effective as more expensive birthday options. For more savings, hold one monthly birthday celebration to honor all birthdays at once.

Tradition and Corporate Culture


  • corporate_chocolate_giftsIt’s fine to wish a colleague a Happy Birthday. It’s also fine to accept Happy Birthday wishes.
  • If your office has a tradition of celebrating birthdays, then it’s fine to go along with that tradition or to decline from that tradition citing your birthday as a personal day that you prefer to celebrate at home or not at all.
  • Office birthday celebrations that are tradition should be set for a regular time of day. Lunch time or the last half hour before the office closes are good times. Presents should not be exchanged at work. A cake may be shared. The idea of an office birthday policy is to simply celebrate a colleague’s birthday in the same way that all birthdays are celebrated so as not to show favoritism.

Motivation and Recognition

From HRDirect: According to many researchers, one of the most powerful motivators for employees is recognition. Although money is important, it’s only a motivator when employees feel underpaid. And once a raise or bonus is received, the motivational effect passes very quickly. Recognition, on the other hand, has a longer lasting and more noticeable effect on employee motivation.


  • Keep it simple
  • Be consistent (however you can spoil friends, just do that outside the office)
  • Always have a favorite goodie
  • Assign this duty to the same person, for sake of consistency I guess.
  • Everyone needs to sign the card and they should write something endearing
  • Always try to surprise them. Light the candle, gather the other employees and go to the birthday boy/girl and sing happy birthday
  • Be creative and if you can come up with a good joke to play on the person all the much better.

Choose unique and thoughtful gifts for your employees like our item CB16 Birthday Surprise.