It is always sad to watch a beloved coworker retire, but how about sending them off in style with a fitting farewell party? Traditions and rules for retirement parties are different in each company, but what stays common is the idea of showing gratitude to a departing coworker.
The highlight of the hour stays constant and depending on their personality, you need to plan a night/party unique to them and their interests. Of course you would want to present them with memories of their time in the company, but most importantly you need to show them how valuable they were to the company as well as other employees.
Here are some ideas that will help you throw a memorable office retirement party:
If the employees of your organisation are a tight-knit group, then find people who would love to share their favourite stories and memories in honour of the person retiring. There are certain companies that like a ‘roast format’ where each person tells a story at the retiree’s expense. If you feel like keeping the event more formal, go with appreciation stories and not the roast format.
Collecting 20-40 pictures of the retiree might seem like a task at first, but the memories, smiles and laughs that would follow during the slideshow will make it worth the effort. Collect pictures of them from their first day of work, with different employees and at different events. It is worthy to show the current generation how things were done back then and it will also be a walk down the memory lane for the honouree. If you are running short on pictures, search for a few images in company event album. You might also come across an old brochure or advertisement featuring them or their work which could bring back some good old memories.
Hosting several games during your event will keep the party moving. You can have indoor or outdoor events at the party. Make a slideshow of games with pictures of pop culture references that go back to when the retiree was first hired.
Split your employees into teams and engage them in pit stop challenges. This way the retiree would get to be a part of a team event for the last time. You can also have games that involve reading quotes, stories and phrases said by the retiree and ask others to guess when and where they must have said it.
If you are planning a video collaboration, ask someone from the office to shoot the messages on their phone. Ask your employees to create a 2-minute video bidding farewell to their fellow co-worker.
There must be someone in the company who is savvy with these new tools. You can ask them to compile all these videos messages in a single video and add some background music and transition.
Lastly, play the video during the main event. The best part about this is that the retiree gets to keep the video as a memory of everyone they have worked with after they leave.
Invite Old Friends
Since retirement parties are about looking back on the retiree’s career, you can invite a former employee who was with them during the start of their career. Invite as many people as you can remember who were closely related with the retiree.
You can also ask their spouse and children to attend the party (if the family is close to the company). Just remember, not all employees leave the company on good terms, so invite the ones who you think are comfortable, thus avoiding awkward situations.
One of the best ways to buy a retirement gift is to have everyone donate an amount of their choice to a general fund. Once the amount is collected, depending on the total, you can buy something memorable. The choices are endless for what you can gift, but in reality the gift should be something they remember the company by. If you cannot decide on a single large gift, buy couple of small different gifts.
Ultimately, we suggest you to keep the tone of the retirement party as casual. You certainly don’t want the retiree to feel old. Some retirees would rather want to deflect the fact that they are growing older and move on to something more entertaining. So make sure that you tailor your plans accordingly.