If your idea of a good time synonymous with a store-bought cake, half-hearted and off-key singing from your co-workers, then it’s bound to be a happy birthday indeed.
However, if you're someone who cringes at the thought of being the center of attention or needing to announce your age in front of your colleagues, then the undeniable awkwardness of office birthday celebrations might be enough to have you calling in sick on your big day.
Whether you love them or hate them, birthday traditions have been a longstanding fixture in offices. With all the emphasis on cultivating culture and the numerous stats that highlight the importance of recognition for increasing employee engagement, these mid-day get-togethers are unlikely to retire soon.
Similarly, as an employer, you would want your employees to look forward to these conference room soiree and not dread it. Hence, here are 10 expert tips on throwing the best office birthday party ever in 2020!
If you have more than just a handful of employees in your office, chances are that the birthday celebrations can quickly snowball. Unless your full-time job is celebrating birthdays, there is absolutely no way in which you can throw everyone an individual birthday party.
By combining the birthdays for a certain month into one larger-scale celebration, it would keep the time spent on the events to a minimum and take pressure off everyone in the office. In addition, it gives the opportunity to do something grander and ultimately more enjoyable than just a cake in the conference room; such as a neon laser tag party.
Employees will still feel appreciated and special while fostering stronger camaraderie amongst themselves.
However, let’s face it; a monthly celebration can often feel like a generic way to get all of those birthdays out of the way in one swoop. Hence, in order to kick things up a notch, try incorporating some special touches that make each month different from the next and avoid making employees feel like another cog in the wheel.
Perhaps you could shuffle things off your plate a little by having each monthly grouping plan the following month’s celebrations; January birthdays arrange the celebration for February’s honorees.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate birthdays in your workplace, it is crucial to remember the meaning behind the gesture; to make employees feel valued and appreciated by their employer. One of the best ways to do this? Get someone from the upper management to send along some birthday wishes.
A note or email from the CEO will always be appreciated, but why not take the fun up a level by having the upper management agree to some sort of ridiculous fun birthday tradition?
Maybe he or she has to do a ludicrous “happy birthday” dance in front of the entire office. Getting the higher-ups in on the fun will only add to the entire celebration.
Birthday parties should be lighthearted and fun; not stiff and predictable that make employees feel as though they are just another number.
Incorporating some humor or unique office tradition is an excellent way to kick the fun up a notch.
As silly as these antics might seem, a hilarious birthday routine can go far in making employees; big days that much more special. After all, who doesn’t want a good laugh on their birthday? What’s better is that a routine simplifies and streamlines things for all birthdays; which means there will be less planning for you!
Adding some personal touches to the birthday celebration can be an excellent way to make someone feel appreciated.
This, however, does not have to be anything overly complex or involved; it can be as simple as passing around a card for everyone to sign on and write a friendly birthday message, or even letting the birthday person have some say in what treat is shared.
After all, these personal touches make the recognition that much more special; it will start to feel more like a celebration and less like an obligation.
As much as you may be tempted to gracefully blow out of an office birthday celebration, it’s really best if you just grit your teeth and bear it. Realize that this is part of the deal in being part of a team, where building relationships with others in your office is an important aspect of your success at work.
Take a few bites of that cake, plaster on a smile, and remind yourself that you only need to be here for half an hour or so. Who knows, you might end up enjoying yourself there and actually stay longer than intended.
Often times, the birthday boy or girl might be faced with the dreaded “How old are you?”
Be it young or old, many people are just uncomfortable announcing their age to the people they work with.
If the thought of that question makes you break out into a sweat, what more your employees?
Try to make it a rule that no one should ask such a question unless the birthday boy or girl is comfortable in revealing their age on their own accord.
As direct as it might feel, it’s more copacetic to be open with your colleagues about any dietary restrictions that they might have; ideally ahead of their birthday.
Not only will that save you the embarrassment of being declined by your employee, but it’s also a handy trivia for you and your co-workers to know for any future potlucks or celebrations.
Your whole team heads into the conference room at 3 p.m., sing the song, grabs a slice of cake, and then watches the guest of honor open a generic card with a $50 gift card inside. It’s the same party for everybody. Sound familiar?
While this cookie-cutter approach makes planning celebrations easy, and you assume that the sheer act of recognizing a milestone is enough to keep employees engaged and happy; turns out, this could be having the opposite effect.
This is because expected rewards are far less effective than those that are unexpected. Basically, when an employee knows exactly what their birthday celebration will look like, it can actually be disheartening; which isn’t the result you’re aiming for.
Even further, doing the exact same thing for everybody would make comparison far too easy. Employees can match up everything, from the quality of the cake to the number of attendees; which can breed some hostility and hurt feelings.
So, if you have the time and resources, consider doing something spontaneous or personal for your employees’ birthdays. Keeping people guessing will make the celebrations that much more fun and exciting for everybody.
Who says you’re obliged to celebrating employee birthdays only after lunch? The morning can actually be a more suitable time to light the candles.
Bring something in for breakfast on the day of the employee’s birthday, so everyone can celebrate quickly and then move onto the workday.
From bagels to donuts and cupcakes, people are sure to appreciate the morning treat as well as the opportunity to ease their days with something more casual and lighthearted.
The best, or at the very least, most tolerable birthday events, will be the ones that employees feel somewhat involved in.
It is important to be thoughtful of employees and ask for their suggestions at the next staff meeting.
Get your co-workers’ opinions on what they want the birthday celebrations to look like, and you'll significantly decrease the number of eye-rolls you get in response.
If you wish to take your office birthday party celebrations to a whole new level, then try throwing a birthday party out of the office! Rent a party space to host the celebration and surprise your employees!
Hyperspace is a top recommendation from our experts, for hosting and throwing birthday celebrations. This is because the cozy space offers a wide variety of amenities in a futuristic setting. Furthermore, you can make an appointment to host a series of fun activities there; such as Combat Archery Tag and Neon Laser Tag.
You and your employees will be in for a treat at this versatile and intimate party venue. So hurry up and secure your booking now!
Visit https://www.hyperspace.sg/ for more information.