When a long-term colleague or work mate decides to call it a day it is only right that you mark the occasion with an appropriate send-off. You will hopefully stay friends despite the fact that you no longer work together, but regardless of that, an official function that is both memorable and appropriate is important. It sends a message to the staff that stay behind that they are valued, and it sends a message to your departing colleague that his time, effort and loyalty were appreciated. But what is the best way to mark the occasion? What sort of activities are fitting? Will a few drinks and an engraved watch suffice? Here are a few ideas to help ensure that the farewell is both memorable and appropriate.
Take things up a notch
This is probably a solution that will work best in a male dominated or male-only environment, but consider a trip to a strip club, or getting an exotic dancer to visit the work place. Obviously, this is something that needs to fit with the vibe of the retiree. If it is something that will leave him horribly uncomfortable and cringing with embarrassment, then don’t go there. But, without a doubt if you are looking for memorable and out of the ordinary then this is a great place to start. A quick online search for something like ‘Melbourne female strippers’, will provide you with all the information you need to make it happen. It might just be the most memorable day of work that any of you have had!
Nothing wrong with some sentimentality
Play to the emotions. If the person who is retiring means a lot to you and they have meant a lot to other people at the company; both past and present, then get those people involved. Invite former employees to return, record speeches or messages and get other staff to recall highlights and meaningful moments. Play these all to the departing workmate. It is a big day in his life and it needs to be marked accordingly. It is okay if there are some tears – in fact, if there are not tears then you might be doing something wrong.
An appropriate gift
Any retirement needs to be marked with a gift. Ideally something that has been contributed to by the company and the staff. And the size of the gift needs to be commensurate with the contribution made by the retiree. And when we talk about the employee’s contribution it is not so much in what they brought to the bottom line, but what they gave of their time and their life. A janitor might retire after fifty years of service – his contribution would have been huge, in time and effort probably far bigger than a CEO who was there for five years. So, make sure that you mark the retirement accordingly. Always think how you would feel if it was you. If you had been in the same job for fifty years and you were allowed to walk out the door without the appropriate fanfare, it is almost as though your entire work life is invalidated. Don’t let that happen.