Retirement is a big deal. Retirement marks the end of a career or the start of a new one. A retirement is a life event that changes everyday that the retiring employee experiences. And, retirement changes relationships and co-worker interactions. You can make your co-worker’s retirement memorable, for the co-worker and the employees who remain.
Plan and implement retirement memories for your co-worker. Knowing your co-worker and his or her tastes will help you select relevant events and opportunities that your co-worker will most appreciate as he or she approaches retirement.
Plan a party
A low-key event in the late afternoon or evening, or even at lunch, should reflect your co-worker’s wishes. Ask, don’t surprise. Maybe a lunch with co-workers will please while a dinner is over the top. If you know your co-worker well, you will know how the individual will react to an event planned to recognize their retirement.
Give a retirement card
A card is always appropriate – just make sure the card is signed by everyone in the office. The card will bring memories and allows everyone, even co-workers who don’t know the individual well, to participate in saying goodbye.
Plan a retirement gift
Co-workers can purchase their own gifts, although you might want to coordinate to avoid purchasing duplicate gifts. You can also pool your money to offer the retiring co-worker a couple of memorable presents. Gifts related to travel and co-worker’s favourite hobbies are always appreciated.
Personalized a retirement gift
If time allows, in addition to any other retirement gift, create a memory book or scrapbook with pictures of co-workers over the years, paraphernalia from company events and activities, and written thoughts and memories from co-workers. Each co-worker can make their own page or approach the retirement project like an autograph book.
Film a retirement video
Film the events that you hold for your co-worker’s retirement party. The video will provide one more memory of the time spent with valued co-workers at the office.
In all of the above suggestions about shepherding a valued co-worker into retirement, a common theme emerges. Know your co-worker. Some might want a huge party, another may prefer a quiet lunch. Another may want to invite the whole company to a career celebration; another may prefer a small gathering with close friends and colleagues from own department.
Don’t let your valued co-worker just fade away. Retirement opens another chapter in the life of an individual. Plan appropriate celebrations and events to honour the retirement and the employee’s career. Know your co-worker and plan events that our co-worker will tuck into his or her memory bag with joy.
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