Sunday, March 21, 2010

Novel ideas for organising a coworker’s going-away party

When it’s time to saw goodbye to a coworker, often nobody’s sure what to do or what to get.  They’re probably not your best buddy, but you’ve spent a lot of time with them and you want to show that you care and that you respect them in a friendly kind of way, too.  Often someone will arrange a going-away party, and everyone trundles along not knowing quite what to expect.

Here are some ideas for the person who arranges the party.  Why not get some personalised chocolates printed up with a funny photo of the coworker who is leaving?  No doubt there will be a moment that got photographed; even one of those “photos taken for the staff newsletter column” might be hilarious if paired with the right caption.  These could be handed out at the party, to get everyone to loosen up and have a giggle and a bite of chocolate to eat because let’s face it, we all feel awkward sometimes with coworkers outside of the regular work setting.

Another idea is to get personalised balloons printed and hung up, or even just get balloons and do fun things with them like play the game where you see how many balloons you can stuff under a table with the whole group standing on it.  Trust me, it sounds silly, but it can be great fun - it tends to get everyone laughing because inevitably, some of the balloons pop and the table will tip, causing everyone on it to crack up as they try to scramble off it in laughter!  you can also play the game with the balloons where you take turns drawing a face of someone in the group on a balloon, and the person who guesses who it is who’s being drawn first, gets a little prize.

Don’t forget that after the fun and games is after it is a considerate and nice gesture to give a big card to the leaver of the group, and it’s all part of the fun to have the card written up on the night while everyone’s at the party - it’s almost a game in itself to try and hide the card from the recipient while you all take turns signing it with a little message or a joke each.  It’s a good chance to let the leaving coworker know that you always liked their hairstyle, their smile, their sense of humour, their shoes, their patience, etc.  Everyone likes to know that they are appreciated and sometimes when it’s hard to say something to someone’s face, it’s easier to write it down, so encourage others to take this opportunity.  Even if you really couldn’t stand working with that person, surely there’s something nice about them that you can mention in your short farewell note.  Think what you’d like to receive yourself if you were leaving, and try not to put remarks in the card that will sting, no matter how witty they might be - a sting is a sting.

Anyway enough morals for today, because this was mostly about a few novel ideas for your coworker’s going-away party.  So - personalised chocolates and balloons - goofy but simple and time-tested - they’re my ideas for you today.

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