Is a co-worker or employee’s birthday coming up and you’re not sure what to give them? A birthday is a special day in someone’s personal life, and you don’t want to put them in an embarrassing or uncomfortable situation by giving them an inappropriate gift for the workplace.

It’s even more important to choose your gift with care if the recipient will be opening it in front of their colleagues.

Why you should give co-workers and employees a birthday gift?

Giving your co-workers and employees a birthday gift isn’t just a nice thing to do—it can also keep them happy. Creating happiness and goodwill in the workplace can result in increased productivity, greater employee engagement, and increased employee tenure.

What’s more, giving a co-worker or employee a gift on their birthday shows your gratitude and that you appreciate their work. You can also give birthday gifts to develop or maintain a closer business relationship with your team.

What gifts are appropriate to give?

To help you choose the right gift, we’ve put together seven appropriate birthday gifts to give to your co-workers and employees

Birthday gift hampers

Birthday gift hampers are a great option and will mean more to your recipient if it contains something they like, so consider personalizing a gift hamper. For example, find out whether or not they drink alcohol, if they prefer tea over coffee, whether they love chocolates more than cheese, etc. These items are popular choices for gift hampers so be sure to ask around. Also, find out if the birthday girl or boy has any allergies or dietary conditions.

Gift cards and gift certificates

Gift cards and gift certificates can also be given as gifts in the workplace. If the birthday person drinks coffee, you can buy them a gift card for Starbucks. If they love listening to music, an iTunes gift card is a sure bet. Or if you know that they buy things from Amazon, an Amazon gift card would make the perfect present.

On the other hand, you can give them a gift certificate to their favorite lunch spot, restaurant, or coffeehouse; recognizing their best-loved place is sure to resonate with them.

Office-related gifts

You can also give gifts that are relevant to your co-worker’s or employee’s job like pens, business card holders, name plates, and passport holders. Other stationery-based items you can give are picture frames, calendars, journals, and datebooks that are tailored to the recipient’s interests.

Traditional gifts

Traditional gifts like dinnerware, glassware, and other kitchen tools are appropriate gifts as well, so long as they’re not too expensive as that may be inappropriate for the occasion. Consider giving them a ceramic to-go cup (such as KeepCup) which are good for the environment and a practical gift—it’s a win-win situation.

Sporting gifts

Sporting gifts are also considered acceptable if the birthday person loves a particular sport. For example, you could get them a tennis racket, spectator chairs, volleyball nets, or golf gear. Or if they always talk about their favorite sports team, give them some paraphernalia.

Hobby-related gifts

Other appropriate birthday gifts you can give to a co-worker or employee are gifts related to their hobbies. For example:

  • If they love reading, buy them an e-reader, a bestselling book, or a bookmark, based on your budget.
  • If they listen to Michael Bublé, give them his concert DVD.
  • If they enjoy canvas painting, get them a new brush set.

D.I.Y. gifts

Birthday gifts that are really appreciated by the recipient are those with personal touches like D.I.Y. gifts. So you might want to give freshly baked cookies or brownies, a homemade card, a personalized mug, or something similar.

Final remarks

There are many different types of gifts you can give to your co-workers and employees on their birthday. But most importantly, make sure you are not neglecting this important day as this could result in higher levels of employee turnover and less productivity.