Workplace Birthdays: To Celebrate Or Not to Celebrate
You might assume that every employee would like having a birthday party for him or her. You could be wrong, and in fact, you could find yourself accused of harassment.
Celebrating birthdays of employees is a challenging issue for many businesses. Some businesses have a policy that involves a special birthday party, complete with cake, and party hats, for the birthday boy or girl. Other offices simply avoid the celebrations because they don’t want to be seen as favoring any particular employee, and because of the risk of other complications that are not necessary in an office environment.
If you are wondering what to do about birthday celebrations in your office, consider this. Many employees do not even want a birthday celebration. In fact, while some employees may enjoy having a birthday cake, other employees may actually be annoyed or irritated at all the fuss. Also consider that many people don’t want others to know exactly how old they are. Think about the embarrassment, when they have a celebration with a specified number of candles on the cake.
There are also issues about the gift. Many businesses collect a certain amount of money from each individual employee, which goes towards buying the birthday honoree a special gift. Take into consideration that not every employee will be happy donating money for the birthday gift. Some businesses get employees to take turns to bake a birthday cake for the celebration. Not all employees will be happy with that, either.
So what do you do when you want to mark a birthday, but do not want to ruffle any feathers, or cause employees unnecessary hardship? You can choose to mark all the birthdays of a single month on a single day. For instance, you may mark the birthdays of everybody born in the month of August on one specific day in August.
Before the birthday celebration, ask the birthday honorees if they are comfortable with the idea of having their birthday celebrated in the workplace. Some employees don’t want to have a fuss made about their birthday. Instead of having a celebration, you can also ask everybody to sign a single birthday card that is presented to the birthday honoree.