Employers Who Give Birthday Gifts Have Higher Company Morale and Employee Retention, According to Snappy’s 2023 Birthday Study

Long-standing birthday traditions–like gifting and sending cards–are here to stay; Most Americans report an overall dislike for one tradition, having others sing “Happy Birthday” to them

Nine in 10 Americans report they enjoy celebrating their birthday, but when celebrating at work, the majority of Americans (67.1%) report they prefer to receive private acknowledgment

NEW YORK, NY, AUGUST 7, 2023 Today, Snappy, the award-winning gifting company for both business gifting and personal gifting, releases findings from Unwrapped: Snappy’s 2023 Birthday Study, an in-depth report examining how Americans want to celebrate and be celebrated each year. 

The study, released in celebration 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 current trends and preferences in birthday celebrations, including traditions like cake, cards, and gifting, expectations around average gift spends, and more.

The majority of Americans surveyed report they enjoy celebrating their birthday each year (89.4%), with nearly 1 in 10 Americans sharing that they celebrate their birthday for a full week or more (8.2%). While most Americans enjoy celebrating their birthdays in general, when it comes to celebrating at work they say they prefer recognizing coworkers' birthdays more than their own (91.8%). Two out of 3 American workers (67.1%) report they would prefer their birthday moments at work be done through private acknowledgment such as sharing a personal message, card, or gift, versus a company-wide announcement or celebration. The desire for private acknowledgment is in line with the study finding that the majority (58.4%) of Americans do not enjoy when others – friends, family, coworkers, or anyone in between – sing the “Happy Birthday” song to them.

Celebrating birthdays has a big impact on both personal and professional relationships: more than half of Americans (55.5%) agree that when people forget about or do not acknowledge their birthdays it makes them sad. The majority of working Americans agree that “if employers celebrated personal milestones such as birthdays, employee morale would be higher in the workplace” (80.8%), as would employee retention (74.6%).

Unwrapped: Snappy’s 2023 Birthday Gifting and Celebrations Study explores how Americans are thinking about, anticipating, and actually prefer celebrating their annual day of birth, both among personal friends and family, as well as professional colleagues.


  • 89.4% of Americans report they enjoy celebrating their birthday
  • 90.1% of Americans report that “receiving birthday gifts makes me feel valued and loved”
  • The most impactful and meaningful actions friends, family, and loved ones can take to celebrate a birthday include: 
  • Calling on the phone (68.7%)
  • Sending a text message (63.2%)
  • Mailing a birthday card (56.6%)
  • Buying a gift (46.9%)
  • The majority of working Americans (91.8%) report enjoying celebrating coworker's birthdays at the office
  • The top 3 reasons employees feel are the most important times to receive gifts from an employer, in order of importance are:

1. It’s their birthday

2. They just got married (wedding)

3. They recently welcomed home a newborn child (pregnancy/adoption)

  • The majority of Americans agree, “if employers celebrated personal milestones such as birthdays, employee morale would be higher in the workplace” (80.8%), as would employee retention (74.6%).
  • When it comes to receiving birthday gifts, the average amount of money Americans report they believe is appropriate for others to spend on them based on their relationship is:
  • $64.09 - From their company
  • $58.90 - From their boss
  • $57.85 - From their significant other
  • $50.87 - From their parent(s)/guardians/people who raised them
  • $45.57 - From their sibling(s)
  • $43.27 - From a close friend
  • When it comes to sending birthday gifts to others, the average amount of money Americans report they believe is appropriate to spend on gifts based on their relationship is:
  • $76.93 - For my significant other
  • $72.39 - For my child
  • $64.42 - For my parents/guardians/people who raised me
  • $54.04 - For a close friend
  • $51.09 - For my sibling(s)
  • $47.01 - For my boss


LONG-STANDING BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS ARE HERE TO STAY, LEAVING A LASTING IMPRESSION AND BIG IMPACT: GIFTING, CAKE, CARDS, AND COMMUNICATION. Receiving birthday cards and gifts, and eating sweet treats in celebration of a birthday are traditions that Americans continue to rank among the top ways they most enjoy celebrating their birthdays. The top way to celebrate a birthday, according to the study, is by eating cake or another sweet treat (67.2%). And while Americans love their birthday cakes, birthday messages and communication will never go out of style, with phone calls (67.1%), text messages (66.8%), and birthday cards in the mail (58.6%) still remaining highly sought after and impactful.

Receiving gifts is among the most important ways to celebrate birthdays in America, with 64% of Americans reporting receiving a gift is an important tradition in their birthday celebrations. When it comes down to who is actually sending birthday gifts, women are the most likely to send birthday gifts (62.7%), as are your friends who are part of the Millennial and Gen Z generations, with 80.7% of 25-34-year-olds, 78.7% of 35-44-year-olds, and 78% of 18-24-year-olds self-reporting they prioritize sending gifts to friends, family, and coworkers on their birthdays.

THE BIRTHDAY SONG IS ONE TRADITION THAT CAN GO… Among all the ways Americans typically celebrate birthdays, only 4 in 10 Americans (41.6%) report actually enjoying when people sing “Happy Birthday” to them. The remaining 58.4% of Americans report they believe the “Happy Birthday” song can be retired as a birthday tradition.

CALENDARS ARE ESSENTIAL IN REMEMBERING AND ACKNOWLEDGING BIRTHDAYS. The first step to celebrating a birthday is by remembering it. The top three ways Americans report remembering birthdays is through their natural memory (48.5%), Facebook (47.8%), and digital calendars, such as Google Calendar or the Apple calendar app (34.7%). Nearly 1 in 5 Americans (16.8%) admit “I usually forget people’s birthdays” and more than half of all Americans (55.5%) agree, when people forget about or do not acknowledge their birthdays it makes them sad. 

FEELING CELEBRATED ON YOUR BIRTHDAY MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN WORKPLACE MORALE AND JOB SATISFACTION. Americans place great value on celebrating birthdays, with working Americans ranking receiving birthday gifts as having greater importance than receiving gifts for other life milestones including weddings and welcoming home a newborn child (pregnancy, adoption, etc). 

The majority of Americans agree, “if employers celebrated personal milestones such as birthdays, employee morale would be higher in the workplace” (80.8%), as would employee retention (74.6%). And 2 out of 3 working Americans (67.5%) also agree that “if I received a birthday gift from my employer, I would be more likely to have improved job satisfaction.”

COWORKERS AND EMPLOYERS WANT TO CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS…  Overwhelmingly (91.8%), Americans report enjoying celebrating their coworker's birthdays at the office. Interestingly, when it comes to celebrating their own birthday at work, 2 out of 3 Americans (67.1%) are shy, preferring to receive private acknowledgment of their birthday, versus any pubic shoutouts or celebrations.

Companies are generous when it comes to celebrating employee birthdays, with 3 in 4 working Americans (76.8%) reporting they receive a gift from an employer on their birthday each year. Snappy makes setting up birthday gifting automations easy through the Snappy client dashboard or simple tech integrations with leading HRIS and CRM systems, where users can seamlessly use their data to upload employee or client names for gifting, birth dates, set their gifting budgets, and select from any of Snappy’s award-winning gift collections, including a proprietary “Birthday” gift collection, to send to their employees. Each gift send is always accompanied by a personalized greeting, letting the gift recipient know just how much you care. 

AMERICAN WORKERS EXPECT MORE FROM EMPLOYERS THAN FRIENDS OR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS. Snappy asked Americans to determine a price point they felt was appropriate for others to spend on them for birthday gifts, and the results might surprise you: Americans believe, of all their personal and professional relationships, the company they work for and their direct boss should be the highest spenders on birthday gifts, giving gifts that cost an average of $64.09 and $58.90, respectively. Men report an average price point for gifts ($81.82) twice as high as women ($39.48) for gift bought for them by their boss, and from their company (men: $88.23, women: $43.17). 

For personal gifting, Americans believe, on average, their significant others should spend $57.85 on a birthday gift for them, while they simultaneously report they believe an appropriate amont to spend on their significant others birthday gift when they are the gift sender is $76.93, on average.

When buying gifts for their own child, Americans report spending an average of $72.39 on birthday gifts. As for close friends, siblings, and parents/guardians, Americans are opting to spend an average of $54.04, $51.09 and $64.42, respectively, on the birthday gifts they send. When asked what they believe their close friends, siblings, and parents/guardians should spend on birthday gifts for them, Americans reported $43.27, $45.57, and $50.87, respectively. These average price points showcase that when it comes to birthday gifting, Americans tend to want to give more than they care about receiving. 

For more information, and to start sharing delightful gifting experiences that deliver gratitude and joy, visit Snappy.com now for your business gifting solutions and SnappyGifts.com for all your personal gifting needs.

Survey Methodology

Unwrapped: Snappy’s 2023 Birthday Gifting and Celebrations Study captured responses from 1,526 Americans between June 8, 2023, and June 22, 2023; respondents were recruited via an online sample by Propeller Insights, a third-party market research company. Respondents represent a diverse variety of ethnic, education, and income levels, and are geographically dispersed across the United States.

About Snappy

Snappy is the award-winning, all-in-one gifting company that spreads joy, shares gratitude, and takes the guesswork out of gifting. 

Founded in 2015, Snappy was named one of Inc.’s fastest-growing companies in the Northeast in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Snappy is the trusted gifting partner to over 43% of Fortune 100 companies as well as thousands of individuals who use Snappy for personal gifting. Snappy has sent more than three million gifts worldwide.

Snappy thrives on connecting people and cultivating meaningful relationships through the power of gratitude and gifting. Our recipient-picks experience ensures gift-givers send the perfect gift every time, for everyone, on every occasion.

Snappy has been featured on Fortune’s "Best Small & Medium Workplaces," “Best Workplace for Millennials,” and “Best Workplace in Tech” lists.