Tropicalia by Creature ComfortsTropicalia by Creature Comforts


3 minutes

People First Approach to Celebrating Workplace Birthdays

The beauty of a truly People First culture is that you learn how to honor your people in a meaningful way. But it doesn’t always have to be serious. 

Andrew Osterday, Partner & Chief Strategy Officer, recently celebrated a major milestone birthday. (Legally, I don’t think we can share the actual number.) Andrew has a work ethic and passion for transforming companies that is unparalleled. The work he does is also not for the faint of heart. To unwind, he cruises on a paddle board and enjoys a few cans of his favorite beer: Tropicalia by Creature Comforts.

So to properly recognize this man who recognizes the best in all of us, we threw a Tropical(ia)-themed party, of course, keeping in mind these key takeaways. 

Personalize it – No matter if you’re part of a small or large company, there is space to celebrate a team member’s birthday by adding some personal touches. Figuring out what is specifically meaningful to them all starts with insight. Have you gathered enough information about your colleague to know what will bring a smile upon their face & create lasting memories? Culture is often built in-between meetings where we have the opportunity to get to know one another on a deeper level...which almost always leads to better work. 

It’s a Team Effort – Get the team involved to celebrate. For Andrew’s party, we had someone on food & bev duty, someone to set up decor, someone to keep him preoccupied while we set up, & so on. This allows for the excitement to be shared & memories to be created within the team, department, and/or company. 

Give it a Theme – Falling into the trap of routine when celebrating birthdays can look a little something like: order a cake, sign a card, maybe sing happy birthday, repeat. While the intentions of the gestures are typically in a good place, it lacks impact. Giving the celebration a theme that ties back to the employee you’re celebrating doesn’t have to be complicated, and it does create a unified vision that people can rally behind. 

Get Upper Management Involved – In this specific case, Andrew is part of upper management. Even then, Brooke & Neil – LOCAL’s other partners – were involved in the planning & execution. For employees or team members, having your company leaders recognize & celebrate individuals is a powerful behavior in building a People First culture. 

Tropicalia Birthday Party

During the party, each smart TV featured a rotating presentation of Andrew-fied Tropicalia content.

workplace birthday party

Somehow we were able to keep the entire party a secret from him. Andrew had been upstairs on client calls all day, so we were able to quickly get the ground floor party ready. As he walked down the stairs, we gave him a lei & quickly supplied him with Tropocalias. 

This non-Trop drink crashed the party. 

Tropicalia Birthday Party
Tropicalia Birthday Party

Even a little decor with everyone in their tropical outfits was enough to set the vibe. 

Our team enjoyed the Be Nice courtyard while celebrating Andrew.