How Are Birthday Gifts Linked to Employee Morale?

In today's fast-paced corporate landscape, where the war for talent is more competitive than ever, companies are constantly seeking innovative strategies to attract and retain top-tier employees. While salary packages, benefits, and growth opportunities remain essential components of a comprehensive retention strategy, it's the seemingly small gestures, like celebrating birthdays and thoughtful gifting, that can have a significant impact on employee loyalty and overall job satisfaction.

The findings from Unwrapped: Snappy's 2023 Birthday Study reveal that the majority of Americans (64%) say that receiving a gift is an important tradition in their birthday celebrations.

Celebrating birthdays significantly influences both personal and professional connections. Namely, more than half of Americans (55%) report that when people forget about or do not acknowledge their birthdays, it negatively impacts their mood.

On the other hand, the majority of Americans agree that "if employers celebrated personal milestones such as birthdays, employee morale would be higher in the workplace" (81%), and so would employee retention (75%).

Feeling celebrated boosts job satisfaction

Working Americans report that birthday gifts are much more important than gifts for any other life milestones, such as weddings or welcoming a newborn.

According to 67% of respondents, birthday gifts from employers would likely improve job satisfaction. American workers also expect more from employers than friends or significant others when it comes to birthday gifts. When asked about a price point they felt was appropriate for others to spend on them for birthday gifts, the employers would be the highest spenders with an average gift cost of $64.

Interestingly, men report an average price point for gifts ($82) twice as high as women ($40) for gifts bought for them by their boss and from their company (men: $88, women: $43).

When it comes to celebrating birthdays at work, most respondents (91%) prefer celebrating other coworkers' birthdays more than their own. However, 58% of Americans do not enjoy it when others sing the "Happy Birthday" song to them. 67% prefer private acknowledgments like sharing a personal message, card, or gift rather than a company-wide announcement.

The study, released in honor of the most popular birth months in the United States – August and September, according to data sourced from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Social Security Administration – surveyed more than 1,500 Americans to understand gifting trends and preferences.