For most people, the thought of going to work on their birthday doesn’t exactly inspire tons of joy.
Well, it’s down to employers to prove otherwise.
Let’s be honest. It’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of our daily routines at work. So when an employee’s birthday rolls around, many businesses do the bare minimum of gifting some vague £20 voucher or bottle of wine coupled with a card signed by the group.
After an additional awkward minute of wrestling the collective fear of singing Happy Birthday, it’s back to work as normal.
For any organisation hellbent on improving employee engagement to the absolute maximum, that just isn’t good enough. Birthdays are important, even to the people who claim they are not. They present the perfect opportunity to recognise individuals, establish ongoing rituals and allowing everybody to share in the celebration.
Here’s a few ideas on how to do it right.
Step right up to the ‘mystery chest’
Never underestimate the power of rituals, especially in a workplace context. While employees should feel they are given special treatment on their birthday, it’s important that everybody gets a fair and equal experience.
One nifty idea is to set up a mystery chest in the office, and stock it full of random gifts. It doesn’t have to break the bank either. Do your research and scout out awesome, quirky ideas on dedicated gift websites. Nobody is going to argue with a portable speaker or desktop xylophone.
Make it a lunch to remember
Okay, so while a birthday cake isn’t exactly the most original of ideas idea, it’s still a surefire way to get everybody bonding over a slice of something chocolatey. Bonus points for putting up a sparkly banner or two.
If you want to take it a step further, make it a full-blown birthday lunch! Most companies will have their fair share of takeout options that are only a phone call away. It’s amazing how far the gesture of a few free slices of pizza will go to get everybody talking and socialising in a way that feels completely natural.
Don’t just give people the day off!
On the face of it, following this advice may seem a tad Scrooge-like. After all, isn’t an extra day off the ultimate gift for any member of staff?
Well, not exactly. Not for those who are engaged with their duties and actually enjoy the environment and culture in which they work. Giving staff the day off effectively destroys any opportunity to celebrate collectively as a team. You’re denying the chance for everybody to enjoy a day in the office that’s just a little bit more special than usual.
That said, if you know an employee has a big milestone coming up and they would love the day off to be with family or recover from a hangover, then by all means you can engage them by offering that option as a personal gesture. It’s all about choice and working out what’s best for your people overall.
Once you’ve established your own set of birthday rituals then employees will look forward to the prospect of sharing their special day with their friends at work.
And cake, of course. Don’t forget the cake.
Looking for expert tips on how to boost engagement in your own business? Give us a quick call on 0161 883 1149 to talk through your needs.