As more baby boomers are quickly approaching the standard retirement age of 65, businesses will be seeing big changes in their offices. A retirement is bittersweet – there will need to be some adjustments in the office, but you’ll ultimately be excited for the positive changes to come in your employees’ lives. The change can be difficult for the person retiring, too. No longer will he or she see the same people every day, and it may be sad to leave the place they worked so hard to get to. As an employer, you can make the transition easier by celebrating the retirement with a gift, party or by recognizing the many achievements the employee has made. Here are some tips to throwing a successful retirement celebration at the office:
Give a greeting card
Have everyone in the office sign congratulations cards for the retiring employee. The card itself may be able to provide some thoughtful words, and collecting everyone’s signature is an easy way to incorporate the entire office into saying goodbye. If there’s room between everyone’s signatures in the card, offer your own warm wishes for a happy and successful future.
Throw a party
If you choose to throw a party for the retiree, make sure it aligns with his or her interests. For example, you wouldn’t want to throw a company-wide party for someone who gets embarrassed when they are the center of attention. On the other hand, a simple thank you email might not suffice for someone who has been with the company for over 30 years. You want to strike a balance between what is and is not appropriate for a retirement party, and that might mean asking about the employee’s preferences. Does he or she want a celebration? Should you invite the family? Figure out these details, so the party can be enjoyable for everyone.
Send out invitations
There’s nothing more discouraging than having zero attendees at a celebration, so make sure you spread the word about the party. Emails tend to get lost in employees’ overloaded inboxes, so make the announcement a little more meaningful. Create personalized invitations for the retirement party and hand them out to everyone in the office. Not only will this increase the chances for attendance, it will show the retiring employee that you took the time to plan this event for him or her.
Give a gift
A gift is a great option for honoring retiring employees who don’t want a huge celebration. However, it can also be presented at the party as an extra way to say thank you for your former employee’s years of service. One gift option is for everyone to get their own, but that may cause confusion. A more collaborative, organized alternative is to pool money from employees and purchase a few nice gifts for the retiring worker. Make sure employees know that contributions are voluntary. That way, no one feels pressured to pitch in and retirement parties can be stress free for everyone.
As far as selecting the gift, think about the retiree’s personality. Does that person have a hobby or a favorite sports team? Get the employee something he or she will really love rather than something generic. By putting sincere thought and consideration into planning a retirement celebration, you can effectively demonstrate your gratitude and cultivate a lasting relationship with your retiring employees.