Birthdays. Like them or not, they keep coming back year after year. While some people choose to forgo birthday celebrations when their special day rolls around, others relish in the fanfare and extra attention.
In the workplace, birthdays are often overlooked, or not fairly recognized across teams. While that may not seem like a big deal — we are all adults after all — there are benefits to recognizing the day for every employee.
Saying ‘Happy Birthday’ — the benefits:
It’s a chance to recognize someone for more than just being an employee
Whether we realize it or not, we all like to feel seen, recognized, and appreciated. While recognition should happen often — like when someone does a good job at work — there are other opportunities to acknowledge your team members or coworkers and to make them feel appreciated. Their birthday is a perfect time to do just that. It’s a day that’s just for them and it’s a chance to thank them simply for being who they are (not just for being an employee).
It offers stress relief
Rituals, such as celebrating a birthday, helps to break away from a stressful routine. It’s a chance for individuals to accept and receive positive attention and affirmation from their friends, family, coworkers, and boss.
It helps to further employee engagement
It’s important to recognize birthdays because employees spend the majority of their waking lives at work. As a people leader, or as an organization, it’s important to use birthdays as an opportunity to show your genuine appreciation for the hard work your employees do each day. Doing so has the potential to increase an employee’s sense of value within the organization, pride in what they do, and overall engagement in their work and with their team — all key factors in nurturing better performance.
Ways to celebrate:
At The West Egg Group, we send employees a personalized birthday e-card to acknowledge their birthday. It’s a chance to pause to celebrate them and to tell them that they matter to us and to the business.
In addition to e-cards, we encourage our people leaders to verbally acknowledge their team members’ birthdays. Even something as simple as wishing someone a ‘Happy Birthday’ goes a long way.
And for teams working remotely, why not pause at the beginning of your Zoom meeting to call-out a coworker’s birthday and to publicly share your well-wishes?
When we’re all back in the office and able to celebrate as we used to, having treats in the breakroom to celebrate a birthday is a fun way to get everyone involved. For larger organizations, consider making it a monthly event where you order a cake and celebrate all employees who had a birthday that month.
It’s these small moments of recognition that mean the most. It helps employees to feel more welcome and appreciated, and has lasting positive impacts on their performance (and you business’ bottom line).