Fun Ways to Celebrate Office Birthdays at Startups & Small Businesses

Cheerful diverse team people workers students laughing at funny joke while eating pizza together, friendly multi-ethnic colleagues group talking enjoying having fun and corporate lunch in office room

Thinking of starting some new traditions at your workplace? Looking to jazz up office life a bit with some extra perks for your employees or coworkers? Celebrating office birthdays is a great way to add a little extra excitement to work life and show a little appreciation for your hard working colleagues.

And the best part? There are dozens of creative ways you can do so without breaking the bank!

If you’re an entrepreneur at a small business or startup looking for affordable ways to boost morale, read on! We have a handful of at-work birthday celebration ideas that will make your employees feel special and appreciated but won’t leave you stretched too thin budget-wise.

7 Morale-Boosting Ways to Celebrate Birthdays at Work

Company Lunches

Set aside the conference room for an hour once a month and host a company-wide lunch to celebrate the birthdays and milestones happening that month. Order a bunch of pizzas or takeout from a local restaurant, or set up a potluck-style buffet and recruit a bunch of your teammates to bring in their best dishes.

This inexpensive gesture is a great way to bring everyone together for a happy occasion and the perfect way to show employees a little bit of extra love during their birthday month.

Happy Hours

Gathering your coworkers together for an outing outside of the office can be a great way to enjoy a change of scenery and encourage everyone to socialize together. Plus, the promise of free appetizers and beverages can be a great incentive to get people to attend. Doing happy hours monthly or even quarterly can be a terrific way to celebrate employee birthdays and show your appreciation for your staff as a whole.

If covering the entire cost of periodic happy hours seems like too much for your budget to handle, consider planning a happy hour gathering and handing out drink tickets instead. This will help to keep costs down while still giving employees a ‘freebie’ to show your gratitude.

Looking for some great places in the Wakefield area to enjoy some beverages and appetizers with your team? Check out our list of popular local bars with happy hour specials here.

Social Media Shout Outs

In this day and age, social media has become a great way to give someone a “shout out” on a special occasion. For employee birthdays, this is a completely free way to show them some birthday love – and it can actually help to make your company seem more personable as well.

Consider doing birthday shoutouts for employees on your company social media pages. Share a picture of the employee along with some kind of friendly message, and then let your fans and followers show them some love! This can be a thoughtful way to show you’re thinking of your employees, plus it can give clients and customers an inside look at your company culture.

Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to get approval for your employees before doing this. Some people would rather not have a presence on social media, so it’s important to be respectful of that.

Email, Slack or Skype Acknowledgements

If you’d like to acknowledge company birthdays in a slightly less public way, try sending out a company-wide email or a message through Slack or another internal communication network. Most people will appreciate their day being recognized, plus it’s free and only takes a minute – and it lets your employees know you’re thinking of them.

Just make sure you don’t play favorites. If you send a birthday note around about one employee, make sure you do it for others as well. You don’t want anyone to feel left out.


Leaving a card on someone’s desk can be a subtle but meaningful way to acknowledge their birthday or another important milestone. Whether it’s from you as their supervisor, or it’s signed by the whole company, a thoughtful card is a kind gesture that is inexpensive and relatively effortless but can go a long way.


Coffee is one of the main elements that keeps small businesses and startups running, which makes coffee a great option when it comes to celebrating and acknowledging special occasions.

Bringing in coffee for the team periodically to acknowledge birthdays, or leaving a gift card for a local coffee shop on someone’s desk to celebrate their day can be a small yet thoughtful way to say thanks and let your employees know they are appreciated.

Baked Goods & Snacks

Break up the workday with a quick break for some baked goods in acknowledgement of a birthday or another special occasion. Whether you swing by a local bakery on your way into work, or you whip something up yourself the night before, in our experience baked goods are always appreciated and enjoyed!

Small Ways to Show Your Employees You Care

When it comes to boosting morale in the office, a little bit of effort can go a long way! Implementing any of these traditions – or even a combination of more than one – can help to strengthen your company culture and take your employee appreciation efforts to the next level.

Not keen on celebrating birthdays at the office? These thoughtful gestures can be a great way to celebrate other milestones as well, such as hiring anniversaries, work accomplishments and other professional achievements.

Looking for other ways to improve morale in your startup or organization? Check out the following resources for additional ideas!

Creative Ways to Show Employee Appreciation – We’ve put together a list of easy, fast, and convenient ways to show your team that you appreciate them.

Workplace Amenities Employees Actually Want – Get the scoop on amenities that employees view as added job perks.

8 Ways to Proactively Combat Low Morale – Think you have a morale issue brewing within your organization? We’ve got a handful of ways to help you nip it in the bud.