9 Best Gifts to Give an Employee on Their Birthday

When an employee’s birthday rolls around, it can be easy to get frazzled and anxious about forgetting to bring a gift to celebrate their birthday.

Maybe you’re the one who remembers everyone’s birthday and always makes sure to float a personalized card around the office for everyone to sign before taking them out for lunch.

Change up the routine this year by gifting your employees some of these great gifts instead of the typical card and lunch!


Some plants function better in artificial light, especially succulents. Help your coworker spruce up their cubicle or office space by gifting them a snake plant or a spider plant, both of which are great to regulate air quality.

Adding some greenery to a desk can really make the place feel much more homey, especially since your coworkers are typically spending a majority of their day at their desk.

If your coworker isn’t the type of person to have a green thumb, you can create a terrarium of fake succulents for them to have in the corner of their cubicle.

It’ll still add something to the space without making your coworker feel guilty in six months when they’re faced with a dead plant.

coworker birthday celebrate


On the same token as a plant, if your coworker has the desk space and the knack for keeping things alive, a fish–such as a beta–is a great gift option!

Visit your local pet store for some assistance.

The whole office can pitch in: one coworker can purchase the fish food, another the decorations for the fishbowl.

Having a fish to take care of can be a great stress-reliever for some employees.

Even though they have the responsibility of making sure their fish is healthy and fed, it’s a great way for them to take a brief break to watch their fish swim around and play in the rocks of its tank.


Take special note of what your coworker likes to drink. You’ll want to find a unique personalized gift for them, so paying close attention to their likes and dislikes is important.

If they mention going to a brewery over the weekend every Monday when they come in, a personalized growler is a great gift option.

The same goes for wine or coffee.

Try to find something with a funny phrase or a monogram to make it even more personal. No one can have too much drinkware!

A Day Off:

If you can, give your employee the day off for their birthday! Email them the night before to let them know they don’t need to come in for their birthday.

If there’s an important meeting or training scheduled that day, then give them the Monday before or the Friday after off.

It’ll be a great, unexpected surprise for your employee to have! If they are unable to take the day off, you should still decorate their desk or cubicle to show your appreciation to their dedication for working on their birthday!

Gift Cards:

In the past, gift cards were considered the “easy way out” for gift giving.

However, when it comes to coworkers, you aren’t always best friends with the people you work with, so sometimes you just know their basic likes and dislikes–such as their favorite place to go out to eat.

That’s okay!

Gift cards have become much more acceptable gifts over the years, and your coworkers will be glad you have paid attention to their likes and dislikes, even if you don’t know them on a deeply personal level.

In fact, they’ll probably be excited you bothered to get them a gift at all!


If your coworker is the type of employee who is always taking notes, gift them a personalized notebook!

They make great personalized gifts for employees who are constantly in meetings because they make it easy to flip back and forth through notes.

They’ll love the unique stationery to add to their desk.

Company Merchandise:

What better way to show your appreciation for their hard work and dedication than gifting them merchandise from the company?

Make sure you include items that differ from the gift bags given out at the annual company picnic.

The goal is to surprise your employee, not make them think you took the easy way out. Sweatshirts or t-shirts are great, simple options.

A Gift Basket

A Gift Basket:

Gift baskets are great because you can fill them with many different items! Have everyone in the office pitch in, with each person responsible for one item in the basket.

Make it themed based off your coworker’s interests, such as golfing, hiking or travelling.

Include some crinkle paper in their favorite colors, and make sure the basket is interesting! You could even make it humorous and fill the basket with gag gifts.

Candy or snack bouquets are an innovative option if you always see your coworker snacking on specific foods during the day.

Massage or Spa Treatment:

If you know that your employee has been under a lot of stress lately–or even if they haven’t shown it–gift them a relaxation experience for their birthday this year!

You can either have someone come set up and do the massage on-site during the workday or you can give them a gift certificate to use the weekend after their birthday.

The gift certificate might work best if you think your employee will want to use other services as well, like facials or mud baths.

If you’re still struggling to choose a birthday gift for your employee, just keep it personal! Think about your employee, the things they like to do and what items you can find to represent those activities.

You can also suggest that the office pitch in on a group gift and take suggestions! That way, everyone exercises some more teamwork when deciding on an employee gift.

Don’t forget a card with handwritten notes from each employee inside to go along with the gift!