I love celebrating our team member’s birthdays and work anniversaries, but it’s difficult to keep track of everyone’s dates in gcal and I’m nervous about forgetting something. The automated posts are a great systematic approach to acknowledging everyone, and because these messages go to our #team Slack channel the rest of Sweat Equity Ventures can also join in on the celebrations.
When a new team member joins your company add their details by clicking the Add Team Member button. I recommend waiting until their second day so the bot does not confuse their Start Date with their Anniversary.
The Automations of the doc are set to post any messages at 8:00 am Pacific Time every day, but you can update the settings based on what works best for your organization.
What it looks like in Slack
Note: * designates that I would normally hide the column to clean up the look of the table
I recommend setting the column type to People so you can easily select team members. In this instance I have it as text so as not to share any team member’s contact details.
This is the person’s handle in Slack ー the @ mention will automatically tag them in Slack.
This is a concatenated formula that combines the Birthday Message, Handle, and an emoji. We have the Birthday Messages to all be the same (”Happy birthday, (person)! 🎉”), but you could personalize a message for each team member.
The standardized “Happy birthday, “ text that is pulled into the concatenated Birthday Post.
This is also a concatenated formula that combines the Anniversary Message, Handle, and an emoji. You can similarly personalize it.
The standardized “Happy X year(s) at (Company), “ text that is pulled into the concatenated Anniversary Post. It is written as an If formula, so if the person is celebrating their first work anniversary the “year” is singular, and if it’s >1 then “years” is plural.
A Date column that only includes the person’s DD/MM of their birthday.
A Date column that only includes the person’s DD/MM of their anniversary.
The year the person started working, in a Number format so it can be subtracted from This year.
The current year so it can be used in subtraction with Anniversary year.
The formula of (This year - Anniversary year) to get how many years the person has been working.
The Birthday button is integrated with the Slack Pack and will post the Birthday Post to the designated channel when pressed. I have it set up so it posts from my personal Slack account into the #team Slack channel.
The Anniversary button is integrated with the Slack Pack and will post the Anniversary Post to the designated channel when pressed. I have it set up so it posts from my personal Slack account into the #team Slack channel.
Edge Cases Not Accounted For
Duplicative Birthdays & Anniversaries
If someone shares the same birthday or work anniversary with someone else, the bot will post separate messages for each person.
While we don’t see this as a problem (our team only has a couple instances of shared birthdays and start dates), companies with many people on the same start dates or duplicative birthdays may want to build out the doc further so it posts something like “Happy birthday to X, Y, and Z! 🎉” instead of 3 separate messages.
We also actually prefer the separate messages because the team can post emojis or threaded messages with personalized reactions for each team member celebrating that date.
If someone’s birthday or anniversary falls on a weekend it is less likely the team will see the message and be able to share their celebratory reactions on that date.
You could build out the doc so it posts a message like “Happy (weekend!) birthday to @mention! 🎉” on the Friday before their celebration date, but it gets more complicated for birthdays that fall on holiday weekends or holiday breaks.
Because this Coda doc is not integrated with HRIS data it does not remove someone’s row in the table if they depart. To work around this I’ve added “Updating Birthday/Anniversary Bot” to my list of tasks to complete when someone leaves.
If you have any questions on implementing the Birthday and Anniversary Automations feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn!