Saying a final goodbye to a beloved coworker can be difficult. You want to be happy for the person who has spent a lifetime in service to the company you both work for. At the same time, you feel a longing to keep that person beside you and enjoy their friendship. Creating a special sendoff for your retiring coworker is one way to honor his years of service and turn a bittersweet event into a happy occasion.
Compile a list of memorable moments from the career of the soon-to-be retiree. Incorporate these memories into the speech you give. You can also use those memories to create a keepsake book to give the retiree at the goodbye occasion.
Send an email to your coworkers and ask for their favorite memories and stories of the retiree. Ask each person to share those special memories at the farewell party.
Compile as many pictures as you can of your retiring coworker. Use those photographs to create a timeline that traces that person's history, from the first day on the job to the last.
Call the retiring worker's spouse and ask if she can attend the farewell party. Keep that visit a surprise until the party is underway.
Invite everyone to give the retiring coworker their personal contact information. Urge everyone to keep in touch after the party is over.
Give your retiring coworker farewell gifts that are both heartfelt and personal. A keepsake book containing those timeline photos is a good idea, as is a memory book in which everyone writes their well wishes and memories.
Create a themed retirement party based on your coworker's favorite sport or activity.