Retirements are a major, once in a lifetime event for any employee. Many employers choose to celebrate the occasion and show appreciation for the time served by presenting the retiring employee with a gift. These gifts can be as small or as large as the employer wants to give, but most retirement gifts for an employee are related to the act of retiring in some way.
One of the more traditional retirement gifts has been a gold watch. A finely crafted gold watch engraved with the employee's name, the company's name and the employee's start and end dates with the company is a classy way to thank an employee for their years of service.
Another common retirement gift is a plaque. Custom made plaques are engraved with any message the company wishes to convey, whether it's with a simple name and date or a longer, more personalized note thanking the employee for the years in her role and a summary of her career highlights. Depending on the industry your business is in, the plaque could possibly be made out of the company's product -- for example, a plaque made of sheet metal if you work for a sheet metal company.
Retiring employees no longer have to worry about punching clocks or scheduling meetings. Now they can relax. A conscientious employer can emphasize this fact with a gift that facilitates that relaxation. An all-expenses paid vacation or a gift certificate to a spa or resort are a couple of expensive options that are sure to be appreciated, though smaller relaxation-related gifts such as luggage or a comfy pair of slippers would be better ideas for companies on a budget.
Encourage a Hobby
If you're treating the retiring employee to a gift, she's probably worked for your company for years, and you've probably gotten to know her pretty well. If the employee has a hobby -- or wants to start a hobby -- now is the time to encourage it. Golf lessons, gardening gloves, a musical instrument, even a pottery wheel would be appreciated if it applies to the retiring employee's chosen hobby. It shows that you cared enough about her to pay attention to her likes.