After someone has worked for many years and has decided to call it a day, it is customary for their current co-workers to throw a retirement party. These can be tricky because you want to find the right tone for the get together: you are sad to see them go, but also want to celebrate their accomplishments and their entering into a new phase of life.
Here are some ideas to help you plan a retirement party:
Ask people who have worked with and known the person for years to celebrate their achievements. While you should encourage the speakers to talk about whatever they like, it helps to have a good balance between the comedic and ones that genuinely laud the person’s accomplishments. A little genuine sentimentality can be nice, too.
There is nothing wrong with making reservations in a nice restaurant or booking a hall for the party. However, if you want to try something more ambitious, think of a theme for the party. For example, if the person loves golfing, arrange a day at a local golf course, followed by a meal and drinks in the club’s restaurant. Find out what the person really loves to do and then judge whether it is do-able from a cost and planning standpoint.
Go for a Broad List of Attendees
Don’t just invite people from work. Reach out to the person’s friends and family and encourage some of them to be among the speakers. This way, everyone gets a broad overview of the person’s life and accomplishments, and not just how they performed on the job.
Provide a Way to Stay in Touch
People often lose touch with old work colleagues. Make sure that everyone has the person’s contact info. You can also set up a social media account for them and encourage the attendees to “friend” it.