Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Office celebrations can be great for employee recognition and morale. They can also be the subject of lawsuits, like the case in Kentucky where an employee asked the company not to celebrate his birthday and they decided to do it anyway. That’s what today’s reader note is about – birthdays.
I feel like this would be a good topic for an article by the HR Bartender.
Picking out birthday cards for coworkers who you consider friends, but not actual “real friends” is a minefield rife with easy missteps if you don’t want a plain, boring “wishing you the best” kind of card. Especially if the coworker is a woman and you’re a single, straight man.
This might be a tremendously unpopular opinion, but I’m not a big celebrator of birthdays. Personally, my birthday falls near a holiday, so it often gets lumped into the holiday celebration. Which is fine by me. But honestly, I don’t really want a big celebration or a card. A simple, “Have a nice birthday.” is great. I’m also totally fine if you didn’t remember my birthday until Facebook reminded you. LOL! If you don’t remember my birthday, it’s not the end of the world.
Since my point of view
might not be isn’t very helpful in this situation, I wanted to bring in some other views – yours. We haven’t done one of our one-question polls in a while, so I hope you’ll take a moment to answer this one about office birthday celebrations. And please don’t let my POV sway you, this is a completely anonymous poll.
So, please take a moment and answer the poll. As always, I’ll share the results in a couple of weeks. Thanks!
This poll might not show up in the subscriber email so I hope you will link through and take the poll online. My apologies if there’s not an exact match to your birthday preference. I tried to cover what I thought might be the top responses.
And if you’re saying to yourself, “How does this answer the reader’s question?” Well, it will be interesting to see if the poll results show people prefer to receive birthday cards. I also wonder if views about workplace birthday celebrations could be changing in light of hybrid and remote work. I think the reader’s question is great and the best way to offer some insight is with the views of many, not just me.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Austin, TX24
Renee Pile says
This is interesting. I would have said (and a lot of my coworkers say), I want nothing! Forget the birthday! The less that reminds me how fast time goes by would be lovely! 🙂 I wonder if there are generational differences that may play into this too. It would be interesting to see how Boomers, X, Mill and Z feel in particular.
Sharlyn Lauby says
Thanks for the comment Renee. It would be interesting to see if our views about birthdays change over time.
I publish the employee news letter and include employee birthdays each month Always with permission. In past years, we mailed Birthday Cards to home addresses. Any B’day celebrations are done within departments and teams. Managers have been instructed to ask for permission before any public celebration. This has worked well.
Sharlyn Lauby says
Hi Kimberly. Thanks for sharing.