Studies show that we spend more time during the workweek with our colleagues than we do with friends and family. The people we work with, naturally, become very close to us as we spend so much time together. Additionally, jobs that are high pressure or stressful amplify the closeness of our relationships in the workplace, making our colleagues more like family members. Needless to say, when a workplace birthday rolls around we would like to make it as special as we can.
Some workplaces celebrate birthdays with cake and balloons; some have a celebratory brunch or an after-hours outing. But nearly all workplaces, regardless of the other celebrations that may or may not ensure, have a birthday card that colleagues sign for the happy birthday honouree.
Certainly, you can just add your name here on the card, but sometimes that may not feel like enough. There are times when the need to add something extra for a co-worker may arise. Cards must be work-appropriate but should also reflect the friendship that workers who spend a lot of time together can share.
Here are some ideas of different types of notes that you can add to a card when it is time for a colleague to celebrate their birthday.
If everyone else in your office is only signing their name, adding a simple few words may be enough to emphasise your friendship:
- Hope your day is extra special.
- Wishing you the best on your birthday.
- Wishing you a happy and successful year ahead.
- Hoping the next year brings nothing but happiness.
- May your day be filled with joy.
- Enjoy your special day.
- Have the best birthday ever.
- This is your day, have fun.
Sometimes the friendship that you share with your colleague is so centred on work that you would like to be sure your message reflects your best wishes for their career. In that case, consider notes like these for inside their card:
- Wishing you a successful year ahead.
- Thanks for all your hard work this year.
- It is a pleasure to work with you every day.
- You make work feel like fun.
- Hoping this year brings nothing but success.
- Celebrating your accomplishments over the past year.
- So glad you are part of our team.
- You make our office a happy place to be.
Work Project Teammate
Perhaps the colleague you are celebrating is not on your regular team but is someone you completed a special project with. These messages may be a better fit for you:
- You have been great to work with.
- I appreciate all your hard work on our shared project.
- Your hard work helped our project to be a success.
- Thanks for being someone I could count on.
- I am grateful that we had the opportunity to work together.
- Working together has been terrific.
- I have enjoyed working with you this year.
- I’m so glad we got the chance to work on a project together.
Work Mentor or Supervisor
When your work mentor or supervisor has a birthday it can be a delicate task to sound e=celebratory without sounding too flattering. Try some of these phrases to strike the right note of happiness and gratitude:
- I’m grateful to have you here at our company.
- I’m lucky to work with you.
- I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned this year.
- Thank you for believing in my abilities.
- Thanks for your support and friendship.
- I appreciate our friendship. Thanks for being there.
- I’m so grateful to benefit from your expertise. Thanks for everything.
- Thank you for your counsel this year.
Writing a heartfelt note in a colleague’s birthday card is a way to let them know you appreciate them and to build the happy type of work environment you look forward to spending time in.