10 Tips for Celebrating an Employee’s Retirement

Your employees are the reason your business is successful. Without the right team, even the best-planned business could crumble. So when one of your best employees prepares for retirement, you’ll want to celebrate their journey with your company – and wish them well in the next phase of their life’s journey.

If you want to make the most of this occasion, you’ll need to celebrate that retirement in style.

Here’s how to do it.

Tips for Celebrating an Employee’s Retirement

Follow these strategies to celebrate an employee’s retirement in style:

1.Commemorate the occasion with a plaque.

First, invest in a retirement plaque to commemorate the occasion. The event itself will always be memorable, and you might have photos to immortalize it, but the day of retirement isn’t tangible – nor are the many years of work that led up to this moment. Instead, a plaque works as a permanent fixture and a visual reminder of all these experiences. It’s something the retiree can display with pride in their home or in their next venture. For an even bigger impact, consider personalizing the plaque with the person’s name, the dates during which they’ve worked for your organization, and other personal details. There are many shapes, sizes, and styles to choose from, so you can find the perfect fit for the retiree in question.

2.Set a date in advance.

When planning a retirement party, make sure you set the date as far in advance as possible. Most people retiring know when they’re going to retire years in advance, so there’s no excuse not to be prepared with a future date. Planning ahead helps you in many ways; for starters, it gives you more time to plan the party, which may include reserving a space or coordinating tables, chairs, and other items. Even more importantly, setting a date in advance gives the people in your organization more time to clear their schedules and prepare to turn out for this event – and you definitely want a packed house to make the biggest impact.

3.Let the whole team join.

Don’t make this a small celebration with just a handful of the longest-serving employees of your organization; instead, let the whole team join. A big turnout will add more grandeur and energy to the event, and make the retiree feel more special and more celebrated. Additionally, people from all departments and at all levels of seniority will get a chance to see how your company celebrates and rewards employee loyalty.

4.Consider ending the day early.

It’s common to plan a retirement ceremony on a weekend, so you don’t have to worry about work schedules overlapping. But it may be even better to end a workday early and celebrate in the evening. This way, it’s convenient for all your employees to join the festivities – and nobody will have an excuse that they already have plans. Plus, as an added bonus, everyone will get an hour or two off, which can be a major morale booster.

5.Prepare some anecdotes.

This isn’t just a casual get-together. This is your opportunity to discuss and celebrate the career of the person retiring. One of the best ways to do that is by preparing some anecdotes. What did this person bring to the organization? What are some of your fondest memories of them? What were their greatest accomplishments? Did something funny or embarrassing happen to them? Make sure to tell at least a few stories to showcase their personality and abilities as a professional.

6.Let everyone say something.

If you’re the one spearheading the retirement party, you can lead the charge with anecdotes and a description of the retiree’s accomplishments. But you shouldn’t be the only one making these statements. Give everyone in the organization a chance to say something (if they want). There may be people who barely knew the retiree, but there will certainly be some good friends and comrades who want to speak up.

7.Put together a video (or photo compilation).

If you want to go the extra mile, consider putting together a video compilation. If you have footage of this person throughout the years, you can include it. Otherwise, you can shoot mini interviews with employees to get their thoughts on what made the retiree so special. Otherwise, you could put together a collage of photos to celebrate their time with your company.

8.Consider a roast or a prank.

Not every retiree will appreciate this, but if they have a good sense of humor and a patient demeanor, consider roasting or pranking the retiree. It’s a way to liven up the atmosphere and give them an experience they’re unlikely to ever forget.

9.Bake a cake.

What kind of celebration would be complete without a cake? Consider baking a cake from scratch to inject a homemade, thoughtful sentiment to the party. Otherwise, consider having a cake made at a bakery – and personalize it so it’s perfect for the retiree.

10.Include a thoughtful gift.

Finally, consider sending the retiree off with a thoughtful gift. This shouldn’t be a gift that every retiree receives – it should be something that truly fits their personality and taste. Watches, coats, and personalized items are all good options, or you can get them something in line with their favorite hobby or a personal interest.

The Value of a Retirement Celebration

Celebrating a retirement isn’t just about the person who’s retiring – though they’ll greatly appreciate the effort. This is an opportunity for reflection for everyone in the company – especially the people who worked closely with the retiree. You can examine the career trajectory of the retiree, consider past accomplishments and events, and look forward to what’s coming next.

This also serves as a powerful demonstration to young up-and-comers in your organization. New team members, and those who have only been around for a few years, will see the value you place on employee loyalty – and see the perks of being with your organization for many years. It’s an indirect way to incentivize employees to stick with your organization and continue providing their best work.

Are you unsure what to get your retiring employee? Don’t worry. We’ve got a wide selection of different retirement gifts, including retirement awards, retirement plaques, and other trophies and commemorative items.