To win in the marketplace, you have to win in the workplace first. Every moment from the hiring process to retirement is a chance to strengthen relationships and build loyalty.
Naturally, companies put a lot of thought and effort into employee satisfaction while employees are still in the office and around the workplace. It makes sense, right? The company sees something obvious to be gained by investing in their actively employed team members.
But what about the employees and coworkers getting ready to call it a career?
“Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.” — Betty White
When your coworker is ready to hang it up, you want to be sure that you help them finish their amazing career on a high note. The greatest gift you can give them is a happy memory to close out this chapter of their life. One of the best ways to make the transition smooth and easy is to throw them a retirement party.
Retirement parties have a few key benefits, including:
- Eliminating hard feelings from the sensation of being pushed aside
- Building rapport between coworkers
- Sending a message to current coworkers and employees that nobody is dispensable and everyone is valued as a human
So what does a great retirement party idea actually look like?
Well, let’s jump right in, so you can see for yourself.
Check out this list of the coolest company retirement party ideas to send your coworker off in style!
Retirement Party Games & Activities For Work
A great retirement party game manages to honor the departing coworker while also celebrating them in the present and, ultimately, having a blast doing it as a team.
In-Person Retirement Games & Activities For Work
1. Plan A Retirement-Themed Office Event
“For the gregarious”
Outback’s In-Person Events are expertly coordinated to guarantee fun for everyone in the workplace. These team building activities feature game show trivia, a murder mystery, code breaking, corporate escape rooms, cardboard boat building, custom events, and much, much more. Outback’s events are available 365 days per year all throughout North America!
2. Toast To Retirement…With Beer
“For beer lovers”
City Brew Beer Tours is a brilliant retirement activity to celebrate that last hoorah. These all-inclusive, beer-focused tours combine beer knowledge, history, transportation, incredible food, and total access to the top breweries in 11 different major cities. Additionally, City Brew Beer Tours offers online experiences, so not even a pandemic or remote work can keep your team completely apart!
3. Try Out An Escape Room
“For the clever ones”
Escape Room is an hour-long adrenaline-packed adventure! You can choose from a variety of themes such as a classic art heist or prison in deep space, then start solving puzzles and complete the objective in less than an hour. The other great thing about the Escape Room is that the areas are disinfected between games, all forms are contactless, and contact is generally minimized to keep everyone safe.
4. Get The Whole Office Involved With The Go Game
“For serious gamers”
The Go Game is a chance for retirees to go out with a team building bang! Whether you have ten people or ten-thousand, this hybrid of America’s Funniest Home Videos and Cranium will keep them entertained and united. Most of the in-person events are held outdoors, which makes them perfect for social distancing.
5. Toast To Retirement… With A Cocktail You Invented!
“For the inventors”
Sourced Craft Cocktails’ Shaken & Stirred event is a Chopped-style cocktail competition where a professional mixologist teaches participants the fundamentals of creating a great tasting cocktail before getting put to the test. After a brief introduction and cocktail education, your group will be split into smaller teams to work together to create their own cocktail concoctions.
Each team will then present their final creation to be judged by the onsite mixologist on taste, presentation, originality, and use of the “mystery ingredient” to decide the ultimate winner!
6. Scavenger Hunt Madness
“For clue hounds”
The Scavenger Hunt is one of many experiences by Let’s Roam, which extends to more than 400 cities across the planet. In addition to the Scavenger Hunt, you can take the retirement party up a notch with Ghost Tours, Bar Hunts, and more.
Virtual Retirement Games & Activities For Work
7. Take A Trip To Paris
Trip To Paris is the virtual trip to the City of Lights. Whether your team is still virtual, in-person, or hybrid, every member is going to be able to enjoy wine and cheese tastings, French stereotype trivia, team building activities, icebreakers, French vocabulary, and live bike ride tours from the streets of Paris. This internationally-themed remote trip is a fun, silly way to bid your beloved retiree adieu.
8. Test Your Coworkers
“For the office competitor”
This retirement party game is the Family Feud-style challenge that pits contestants against each other through a series of rounds, plus a lightning round. The team with the most points wins the competition. Of course, you can still give your guest of honor a retirement gift even if they aren’t on the winning squad.
9. Guess Who [Virtually]
“For a way to remember everyone”
Virtual Guess Who starts with the Confetti team collecting photos and answers from participants. Every employee provides, for example, photos of pets, baby photos, facts about themselves, and hobbies. After all of the submissions are compiled, Confetti turns them into an interactive quiz about the team!
The Guess Who Game is hosted by a Confetti member, who will direct the quiz and provide answers when needed. At the event’s opening, everyone guesses which anonymous photos belong to which coworkers based on the clues. The team to get the most correct is the winner!
10. Escape Quest
“For puzzle lovers”
The Virtual Escape Quest is a team building scavenger hunt designed to boost leadership and rapport. At this point in their career, your soon-to-be retired coworker is probably the ultimate leader with all that experience, so they should fare well in this retirement party activity.
The 2-5 person teams follow the game’s quest instructions and backstory to solve the puzzle and gain access to the next clue. In the end, the aim is to solve the mystery and return to the main room.
Bonus: Virtual Magic & Mentalism Show
“For retirees in search of magic”
Virtual Magic & Mentalism Show is the interactive retirement party idea your coworkers need to be left in awe and wonder. This live magic show is conducted over Zoom by a magician or illusionist who performs a variety of mesmerizing magic tricks and optical illusions. Simply plug in or mirror your computer to a big screen and join via Zoom link!
Retirement Party Ideas For Work
The best retirement party ideas for work bring everyone closer together. The spotlight shines the brightest on the soon-to-be retired coworker, but the team builds rapport during the celebration.
In-Person Retirement Ideas For Work
11. Send Them On A Trip
“For the jet-setter”
A Memorable Trip is the experiential in-person retirement idea designed to create a lasting memory. Instead of giving a material gift, you can give your employees or coworkers a moment in time. Between the Mickey Mouse Experience, Hawaii, Wyoming, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, the Northern Lights, Broadway, and a Southern Hospitality Experience, there’s a trip to suit their passions.
12. Team Lunch At Their Favorite Local Restaurant
“For the foodie”
Team Lunch At Their Local Restaurant lives up to its name. Figure out what your coworker’s favorite local restaurant is and spoil the heck out of them. Considering they only get one retirement office party, don’t hesitate to spend a lot on this meal. If they mention a few restaurants they love, make sure to take the team to the one they might not usually get the chance to go to. Also, be sure to pay attention to allergies and dietary restrictions.
13. Bring In The Experts
“For a person of many interests”
Outback Team Building offers more than 60 activities to help you throw the perfect retirement party. Start by selecting a location, group size, and budget to get a custom idea or browse through pre-set options like trivia, clue murder mystery, game shows, code-breaking, a wild goose chase, corporate escape rooms, charity drives, and much, much more.
14. Bring In Their Favorite Speaker
“For motivation heading into the next chapter”
If you happen to know your retiring coworker’s favorite speaker, there’s a chance they’ll be open to speaking at the retirement party. Of course, more than likely the company will need to be willing to pay their fee. But this could be an experience your coworker will never forget and it’s going to feel deeply personal.
15. Office-Wide Tournament
“For the office Michael Jordan”
Start an office-wide tournament! With employee engagement so important to the success of your business, taking the time to set up some fun games can go a long way to boosting team morale after the retirement party. Some common in-person office games include ping pong, Mario Kart, mini basketball, and non-alcoholic beer pong. This is the definition of working hard, playing harder. At the end of the games, hand out a prize to the winner or the winning teams. But here’s the kicker: Name the prize after your coworker who’s entering retirement to honor them in an extra special way.
Virtual Retirement Ideas For Work
16. Buy A DoorDash Credit
“For at-home delivery”
Who doesn’t love to eat? A DoorDash Credit is more personal than a gift card, but it gives them the flexibility to really get what they want. DoorDash offers tons of great food delivered straight to their door. Of course, now that they’ll be spending extra time at home, they’ll find themselves craving DoorDash.
17. AirBnB On You
“For an endless vacation from work”
Did you ever hear your coworker mention their dream vacation? To celebrate their time with the company in an extra special way, send your coworker off to Bali, Cabo San Lucas, the Grand Canyon, or wherever it is that tickles their fancy. AirBnB is affordable, convenient, and reliable.
18. Pay For A MasterClass
“For all that extra time”
You’ve probably been around your coworker long enough to have learned their passions. One of the coolest things you can do to reward all the hard work they put in is to pay for a MasterClass in an area of interest. Maybe they love golf, maybe they love cooking. No matter what it is that makes them feel truly alive, there’s a masterclass to match.
19. 1 Year Pass of Sports
“For the total sports fanatic”
Sports fans rejoice! Get your coworker a year-long sports pass for Direct TV, Spectrum, or another provider. Perhaps they like UFC? You can also cover a few PPV events. In any fashion, they’re going to love it!
20. Give Them A Spa Day
“For a five star coworker”
A spa day is an excellent idea to let your soon-to-be retired coworker relax after all the hard work they have put in. The Five Star Spa Package is a curated experience by the expert team at BlueBoard. Now that your retiree friend is leaving the office, they can go ice caving, voyaging to Thailand, trekking through Mongolia on horseback, fulfilling Greek Island fantasies, sunbathing in the French Riviera, or roaming the Gold Coast of Australia.
Retirement Party Themes For Work
While you may not necessarily want to get a specific retirement party game or set up a retirement bash activity for your coworker, you can go a bit broader by choosing a fun retirement party theme!
In-Person Retirement Themes For Work
A casino night is always a blast. You can pack the office with fun by bringing music, blackjack, poker, a photo booth, and several other cool games. In typical Vegas style, you could even hire a performer in honor of the special coworker and give our party favors!
22. Bon Voyage
Send your retiring coworker on a bucket list-worthy voyage around Paris. Woyago offers online tours around the City of Lights as well as several in-person options like a food tasting of Paris’ best flavors!
Retirement almost begs to visit Hawaii, doesn’t it? Nothing says relax and take it easy quite like a Luau. Encourage the team to wear Hawaiian shirts, crank up the ukulele or make a tropical playlist, prep that island cuisine, and if you’re feeling extra, hire a few fire dancers for the night.
Rent out a country club and have a ball! If your coworker likes a laidback sport, this might just be the move. If golf is their favorite hobby, then this is definitely the move.
A beach retirement party theme combines the best of the Hawaii theme with the freedom to explore other places around the world. You could even hire a steel pan drummer if you want to simulate the vibes of the warm, breezy Caribbean. During a beach-themed event, don’t worry about a thing — it’s going to be a magical time.
Virtual Retirement Themes For Work
26. Vintage Wine
For a memorable time — with perhaps a little fuzz around the edges — set up a wine night for your retiree coworker. Hook them up with a virtual wine tasting to treat them to world-class wines and amazing tasting experiences.
A safari-themed retirement party is the perfectly wild way send-off for your fantastic coworker. You could rent out a zoo for the night, hire out a traveling petting zoo, or invite your coworkers to dress their pets as whatever animals they’d like. Besides, what’s cuter than a doggy dressed as a lion? For the virtual twist, however, you can simply invite them on a virtual safari.
For a classy virtual retirement-themed party, get everyone on a video call and raise a toast to the person of the hour. Dress in your finest attire!
You can almost see the tumbleweeds rolling by, can’t you? This virtual retirement party idea is perfect for anyone who loves the oft-romanticized Wild West.
30. Disney / Superhero
They’re never too old to play pretend. Get the team to dress up like their favorite superhero or Disney character and celebrate the retirement of the office hero. You could even suggest that everyone wears DIY costumes and is welcome to invite friends and family.
People Also Ask These Questions About Company Retirement Parties
Q: What do you say at a retirement party?
- A: The most important things you can say at a retirement party is anything that is honest and kind. You always want to be sure that the focus remains on the individual heading into retirement. You could, for instance, talk about your favorite memories of them.
Q: How can I throw a memorable corporate retirement party?
- A: Throwing a memorable corporate retirement party takes knowing facts about the person you’re throwing it for. What are their interests? After you have that information, plan accordingly and they’re pretty much guaranteed to have an unforgettable retirement celebration.
Q: What makes a great retirement party activity?
- A: A great retirement party activity gets everyone in the office involved. Once the entire team is included, the mood and energy will go through the roof!
Q: How do you plan a retirement party for work?
- A: Generally, it’s good to plan around a particular retirement party theme for work. However, you could also pay for a company that specializes party planning for virtual and in-person events and activities.
Q: What do you wear to a company retirement party?
- A: Retirement parties tend to be more formal than regular events, but you should dress according to the theme if there is one.