Does your office do the employee birthday “thing”? If so, here’s some things to keep in mind:
DO: Acknowledge an employee’s special day. If you are their boss, make sure you mention it, and maybe a long lunch would be nice. If you are a coworker and are close, a little card or token is acceptable – if you just know them from across the office dropping in and saying “Happy Birthday” is sufficient.
DON’T: Go over the top. It’s a workplace, not party central. The last thing everyone needs is a constant barrage of elaborate birthday parties. A singing telegram is the very last thing an employee wants – you have to work with them afterwards so don’t humiliate them!
DO: Let the office be involved appropriately. Having a cake each month to celebrate everyone’;s birthday that month is ideal for large offices. If you work in a smaller office, get the whole office to go out to lunch or drinks after work.
DON’T: Make it all about getting to booze it up at work. Keep the alcohol until after you’re done for the day. Arrange for a Happy Hour after work, so there’s nothing embarrassing going on on company property.
Does your company allow birthday celebrations, or encourage them at work? Tell us your stories!