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A retirement party is a great way to honor someone that is leaving the company and show that they will be missed. Retirement is a new chapter in a person’s life, so why not set up an event where you can look back at their work before wishing them well on their next adventure? Before planning a retirement party, keep a few things in consideration.
Retirement parties are not as easy as they seem, and there are some things to bear in mind before you go about organizing something like this. You do not want to make a mistake, so read on to find out the dos and don’ts of planning a retirement party.
Tips for Planning a Retirement Party
Do: Ask The Retiree If They Want A Party
The idea of surprising someone with a leaving party is a nice gesture in principle; however, a lot can go wrong with this approach. The person retiring will likely be experiencing a mix of emotions, and the thought of having to express those in public might not be ideal. Also, some people do not like being the center of attention. As we begin to understand more about mental health, we may come to realize that a large gathering of people isn’t the best environment for everyone.
If you do want to plan a surprise retirement party, perhaps you should ask the person’s spouse or someone they are close to whether the person would like this approach. Otherwise, you should always check with the retiree if they actually want a party.
Don’t: Ignore Management
If you are planning a retirement party for a fellow colleague, you may find it beneficial to ask your superior’s permission. Some retirement parties take place at the retiree’s place of work during business hours, and you don’t want to upset the business day with an unauthorized party. Most businesses will be able to accommodate your request, and they may even be able to help you plan. Just make sure you get the green light, so the party isn’t shut down unexpectedly.
What’s more, the people that run the business will have invested a lot of time in the person that is leaving. They too will want to offer their best wishes, so remember to invite the upper management team even if you aren’t that familiar with them.
Do: Make It A Happy Event
There is often a lot of confusion surrounding a retirement event. On the one hand, a person is leaving the company for good, and they will be missed. On the other hand, they are moving on to another phase of their life. Retirement is what they have been working toward, after all.
While the event is going to be sad for those that are staying on, it is important that you celebrate the achievements of the one leaving in a positive way. This is a happy time for them, and it is their party. Try to keep the atmosphere upbeat to send them off in the best way possible.
Don’t: Use Money As A Gift
Money is seen as a poor choice of gift for a retirement party for several reasons. One reason is that it is unnecessary. The person leaving the workplace is doing so because they have enough money so they do not have to work anymore. Secondly, it is an impersonal choice of gift, especially if you have worked alongside the person for a long time. Putting money in a card makes it seem like you haven’t put much thought into a present, and you don’t want that.
Instead, try to find a gift that is relevant to their retirement. If you are struggling with choosing a physical present, you can always give a voucher. There are a lot of companies that offer activity days and dining experiences for less than you may think. This style of gift shows that you have read the situations and that you care about them going forward.
Do: Plan For Every Outcome
The definition of a retirement party is expanding as we move further into the digital age. You can get together in a room and host a party, or it may be more appropriate to hold a virtual retirement party.
Some people will retire when they have enough money to live comfortably; however, there are those that stay on until they physically cannot do the job anymore. In cases like this, mobility issues may present themselves, and you do not want the retiree to be uncomfortable at their own party. Instead, you can bring the party to them with a virtual retirement party. Technology is at a state that allows us to do this without issue, and it is a great way to show you care. For more information on virtual retirement parties, check out Greenvelope.
Don’t: Expect Everyone To Get Involved
A party is a great place to meet new people or get to know colleagues that you are unfamiliar with. While it is acceptable to send invitations to everyone at the office, there are some parts of the retirement party that they should not get involved with.
An office whip-round is perfectly normal for those that worked closely with the retiree and the only acceptable way to gift them with money. However, it is best to keep the expectation of joint expenditures on presents between your department and just those that worked closely with them. A company can have hundreds of employees, many of which have never come into contact with the subject of the party. It is quite rude to ask these people for money or to get involved with planning things for someone they barely know. Try to keep the big jobs between a select group of people to avoid any ill-will gathering toward the party.
Conclusion: Planning a Retirement Party
Planning a retirement party shouldn’t be complicated, so make sure you don’t’ forget some of the crucial details. These tips will put you in good stead going forward, and hopefully, you can send your colleague off in style. What’s more, a successful retirement party could provide a template for every subsequent retiree going forward.
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