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10 Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate Employee’s Birthday

Appreciation of an employee with an office birthday celebration is always a great idea. Here are some great tips for an awesome and inexpensive office birthday celebration.


Celebrating employee birthdays on office premises never gets old. It shows that an organization value employee’s milestones and achievements too. It also helps in creating happiness and motivation and what can be a more effective way than to have a wonderful birthday celebration on their special day?

Secretly, we all expect to get recognition at work during our birthdays. It is our special day, and we want to get more attention than usual and when it comes to celebrating employee birthdays at work, we often fall short of unique and budget-friendly party ideas.

Let us look at some Inexpensive and unique birthday celebration ideas that will make employee’s birthdays memorable.

1. Surprise Desk Decoration

Office desk space is a crucial part of an employee’s working environment. They spend a lot of time working on their desk, how about decorating an employee’s desk without them knowing it?

This is one of the easiest and inexpensive ways to make an employee’s day special. One can use rainbow-colored balloons, some origami decorations, chocolates, and a big banner with “Happy Birthday” written on it. Place them on the table before the employee login for the day.

2. Thoughtful notes from the whole team

Birthdays are a great time to show how much an employee means to the organization and to the team he/she is working for.

Instead of using digital birthday cards, colleagues can write a few sentences about the employees and what they like most about working with that person. The HR team can combine all thoughtful notes in a card and present that as a birthday present to the employee.

It does not take much to put a smile on an employee’s face on his or her birthday; just a sentence or two on an employee’s birthday card can make all the difference!

3. Gift one day off

Some employees may be interested in celebrating their special day with their families or friends. Or an employee might just need a day off to relax & revive. Whatever the case, offering a personal day off on this once-a-year event is something employees will surely appreciate.

In case they do not want to take an off, consider one day off as a birthday present that they can redeem on any day of the year as per their need.

It does not take much to put a smile on an employee’s face on his or her birthday; just a sentence or two on an employee’s birthday card can make all the difference!

4. Hold a Surprise meeting

Another way of celebrating an employee’s birthday is to hold a surprise meeting for an employee.

One can make it unexpected, so it seems like a regular team meeting. Let everyone join well in advance before the birthday boy/girl, so that when the employee (Birthday boy/girl) enters the meeting room, they will be having a huge smile on their face instantly.

Make sure you switch your birthday celebration strategy now and then so they will not automatically expect a “meeting” like this on their special day.

5. A custom video from the Team

Sending personalized video from the team can be very special for anyone, ask everyone to film 15-20 seconds video on their phone or camera to keep it a secret.

It can be anything from cracking a joke, thanking them for personal or professional support, or simply sharing their honest best wishes. With the help of a video editor, put together all the footage you receive from your team add some special effects and show this video during the meeting so that everyone can enjoy it.

6. Cake Break

Cakes play an important role in birthday occasions.

Make sure you find out what employee likes in cake, whether it is chocolate chip, fruit, or red velvet cake. One can also send cakes and sweets to employee’s homes if they are working remotely.

7. Video call celebration for remote employees

If we can’t celebrate employee’s birthdays in the office, there are many alternate ways to make them feel special.

Gather all team members together and wish birthday boy/girl online with the help of group chat software.

This activity can also help in team bonding and give some space to talk on a personal level, which eventually makes the birthday boy/girl feel special in the spotlight given by the team.

8. Personalized gifts

Select some personalized gifts for an employee that will be memorable and useful at the same time.

From Desk Stationery, Custom water bottles, or even Personalized pens. One can also DIY gifts to make it more personalized, such as:

  • Goodie bag with snacks or exclusive gourmet ingredients for foodies
  • Mini collection of potted plants

for flower lovers

  • Handmade candles

9. Favorite treat

Eating together is a simple way to build stronger team bonds, and being able to celebrate your employee at the same time is the cherry on top.

Make sure you know about their favorite cuisine or snacks. Have them order in the office or you can also plan to go out with the team as per their availability.

10. A Gift Card

A gift card or voucher makes sure that an employee can have exactly what they want, it can be tailored to an employee’s Wishlist or interest.

 A week before their birthday, ask them to make a few choices from a gift card list, such as gift cards from Starbucks, Groupon, nearby, Myntra, etc. the employee will appreciate the gesture. Just make sure it is something they are interested in first before you buy a gift card for them. An easy way to do that is by talking to your employees directly.

Written By
Nidhi pandey
Chief Happiness Officer
peer reviewed By
JAsjit Chopra
chief executive officer
Graphics designed By
sanika sanaye
Creative Design Director
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