There were probably at least a few of us who watched The Office when Steve Carell played the character of Michael Scott and hilariously blundered his way through his head management position at Dunder Mifflin. And if you watched the show, you probably remember that painfully funny episode when they celebrated Meredith’s birthday. If you’re looking for some better alternatives for celebrating employee birthdays at your office, here are some suggestions we hope you’ll enjoy.
Decorate their desk area. Get something that will spring out of their drawer when they open it. Send them on a birthday scavenger hunt all over the office to retrieve the stuff that’s missing from their desk drawers. And hey, it’s never a bad idea to create a HAPPY BIRTHDAY screen saver that will be the first thing they see when they turn their computer on in the morning.
Stuff their voicemail. Get all of your employees to leave a voicemail and call on their private work line as soon as they’ve gone home the day before. And rather than just saying the standard, “Happy Birthday,” have them share a favorite memory with that person. Maybe it’s the time they replied to the phone with the wrong phrase because they were imagining something else, or the laugh that was shared after a really awkward interview. It may be as easy as being the only person who saw them eat it on their way back in from lunch one day. Whatever it is, sharing fond memories will be something that’s sure to brighten their day.
Provide them five paid hours, for FREE! On the week that their birthday falls, allow them to come in an hour later than normal. Instead of having to be there at 8:00, allow them to come in at 9:00, but pay them for that extra hour anyway.
Write it down. In today’s world, people seldom take the time to prepare something with a pen anymore. Normally our communications are over text or email, or we might send a simple e-card. Say that you care by having everyone in the office write their birthday greetings down, and then find a fun way to compile the wishes.
Get a bite to eat. Find out what their favorite breakfast joint is, or the place they always select lunch. You can close down the office and take everyone out to eat, or just purchase takeout and have everyone come to the break room to enjoy some downtime. Don’t forget to order a cake, too.
Have some fun. Everybody cooperates, but it isn’t very frequently that people get to disconnect from the norm and be familiar with each other a little more informally. Get a coach with us and have everybody for an activity: go bowling, mini golfing, to the movie, or just out to eat.
Get some of their favorite treats. Give them a gift certificate to the best local steak house. Get some movie tickets.
Next time you’re seeking to celebrate birthdays in your office, we hope these concepts will help you eliminate repeating something akin to Michael’s class act. And hey, we hope they offer some fun and laughter, too.