Goodbye Gift Ideas for Departing Coworkers and Bosses
Discover farewell gifts that are the perfect way to say thanks and bye. So your coworker is leaving the company soon, he/she could be retiring or leaving for other opportunities. One way or another, it’s time to say goodbye. It would be nice if you can get a small but meaningful parting gift for your coworker to wish them the best of luck.
If you are looking for ideas on what to get for a coworker who is leaving for other company or coworker who is retiring, check out the list of gift ideas below. In addition to being awesome, these presents are very affordable (read: cheap!).
Best Farewell Gifts: 18 Ideas to Bid Farewell to a Parting Coworker
While the recommendations below are made for a coworker who is leaving the workplace in mind, most of them work for other occasions too. Don’t forget to check out this gift guide if you’re looking for a Christmas gift or an appreciation gift for your boss.
- 1. Thank You Candle
- 2. A Bouquet of Flowers
- 3. Willow Tree Thank You Figurine
- 4. Skincare Set
- 5. Retirement Mug
- 6. “My Therapy” Wine Glass
- 7. Sushi Pushpins
- 8. Chopstick Pens Set
- 9. Knock Knock It’s All Good Sticky Note Pack
- 10. Funny Box Sign
- 11. Deluxe Desktop Zen Garden
- 12. Green Cactus Desktop Organizer
- 13. A Good Book
- 14. Poker Bottle Opener
- 15. GODIVA Chocolatier Classic Gold Ballotin
- 16. Gift Card
- 17. Farewell Card
- 18. Photo Frame
Candles are wonderful gifts. Especially when it’s a candle that carries your message or wishes to its recipient. It says Thank You on both the candle’s glass container and the little box it comes in — perfect for showing appreciation for your parting colleague. When lit, the candle gives off the aroma of vanilla and roasted chestnuts, just the perfect kind of scents that will help them to relax and wind down. I’m sure they’ll love this candle.
2. A Bouquet of Flowers
No, artificial flowers just won’t do for this special occasion — especially when it’s a retirement party! Fresh flowers only! Book it ahead of time with the local florist. Yes, ordering from one of those national chains could seem convenient, but always try your best to support a local business. What kinds of flowers should you get for the leaving team member? Well, there isn’t really a hard rule for this, but personally, I think flowers like sunflowers, lilies, and orchids are excellent retirement flowers. Of course, they are great for people who are leaving for other jobs too. When you’re going with roses, I suggest that you stay away from colors that are traditionally associated with romance (unless you have a thing or two for the person leaving). So you might want to avoid a bouquet full of passionate red roses. Pink roses, purple roses, or a combination of roses of different colors — accentuated with baby’s breath should work wonder.
A fresh bouquet is an excellent gift but it’s doesn’t last most than a week. Plastic flowers last virtually forever but is a big no-no for a gift. Consider the following recommendation instead — a lively flower bouquet made entirely of natural wood and with it comes an elegant presenter. The presenter is a graceful lady in an all-white long dress. The way she presents the flowers and her posture indicates gratitude and appreciation. This lovely wooden figurine is designed by artist Susan Lordi from Kansas City. It is well crafted with fine details and pretty colors.
4. Skincare Set
This Raspberry-themed skincare set from Philosophy consists of a beautiful container that you can later up-cycle, a bottle of 3-in-1 shower gel, and a lip gloss. Good for both retiring work friends and coworkers who are moving to a new job, but it is especially thoughtful for someone who is getting a new job in an office. As you know, prolonged exposure to the dry, air-conditioned air in the office is the main cause for unhealthy skin and lips. The moisturizing 3-in-1 raspberry shower gel works wonder in keeping your skin moisturized and fresh. And of course, there’s also the raspberry lip shine that prevents your lips from cracking in the harsh office air condition. One thing that we find lacking in this skincare set is a moisturizing lotion. While we mostly recommend this skincare product for a female colleague, this item could work for a male colleague too, if you know that he is someone who takes skin health seriously.
Coffee mugs are well-loved and tried gift ideas. For one, it is super practical. I have yet to hear anyone complaining that they have too many coffee mugs. Also, they’re environmentally friendly because you can easily up-cycle them by using them as a pot or as a pencil holder. So mugs are awesome in general, this mug that we’re showing below has something more. Tons of dedication must have been put into designing this mug that celebrates retirement. The mug features an elegant floral design with flowers and leaves in various shapes and sizes that are very eye-pleasing. Against the floral backdrop, is a somewhat sentimental saying that reads, “Retirement… it’s your time to enjoy what you’ve been working so hard for”. Made of ceramic, it can hold 17 ounces of your favorite beverage. The inside of the ceramic is painted in mint green which is a color that calms the mind. The retiree will be enjoying their holiday called retirement even more as they sip their morning coffee out of this lovely mug.
One of the factors in choosing the perfect parting gift is the dynamics of your relationship. What is that one word that you’d use to describe the relationship between you and the departing colleague? It could be a noun or an adjective, it doesn’t matter. Some examples are professional, acquaintances, mentor, boss, and friend. For someone who has actually become your friend over the years of working in the same office, consider getting them a funny gift instead — because why so serious? Chances are you’ll be meeting him or her again next Friday night for a couple of drinks. Anyway, this humorous wine glass features a stick man holding a wine glass, doing his “therapy”, and by therapy, it really means drink lots of wine.
Gag gifts are fun and stress-free. Some gag gifts are purely for the fun, but not this sushi below. Don’t be fooled by its appearance, this gankan maki (name of this sushi) is something that belongs to your work desk, not your dining table. The flying fish roes are the heads of many pushpins — yes the kind of pins that you use to hang important information and reminders on the board. If a cheap but funny idea is what you’re looking for, you will want to take a look at this food-inspired piece of stationery.
Referring to the previous idea, the sushi pushpins, the sushi experience is not complete without chopsticks (also soy sauce and wasabi). This pair of chopsticks looks exquisite thanks to its china-inspired exterior — white overall with floral patterns in blue. It comes in an equally cool looking box. But before you use this pair of chopsticks to eat your ramen noodles, let me tell you right now that this is, in fact, a duo of ball pens that have disguised themselves as chopsticks. Again, if a gag gift is what you’re looking for this could be a good choice. But just between you and me, the sushi pushpins are my favorite.
The invention of sticky notes happened by accident many decades ago at a little company called 3M. Since it’s inception, it has become one of the most helpful things for people who are looking for a quick way to jot down an idea or put up a reminder for something important (and something not so important). Its role remains strong even in this age of smart gadgets and there’s-an-app-for-that. And it’s easy to understand why, sticky notes are straightforward and location-specific and it don’t require charging. Anyway, you get the idea that these small notes with adhesive are awesome… but the truth is, the plain vanilla ones aren’t impressive gifts. That’s why we recommend the following sticky notes that are actually fun and motivational. In this pack, you get sticky notes in six unique designs. Each of the design has its own color and heading. You can choose the theme you like based on the content that you plan to write on it or just follow your heart. There are 40 sheets for each design, which is generous for even the most obsessive note taker.
10. Funny Box Sign
This wood sign is an excellent gift for a coworker who is leaving for another company. Give the man (or woman) a bit of an advice as he pursues a different path. The hilarious message on this sign will definitely make everybody laugh. On the sign is a funny sentence that says, “If you ever get caught sleeping at work, just slowly raise your head and say ‘In Jesus’ name I pray'”. As you can see, the joke slightly touches on the topic of religion, so make sure that the recipient is not a religious conservative. The box sign features a vintage design with some pretty cool distress effects.
A workplace can be a boring place sometimes. Especially your own little cubicle (I hope you don’t work in one of those open offices… the number of interruptions you get must be horrendous), the default setting could be soul crushing. You know what I’m talking about — gray wall, gray tabletop, gray everything. Tabletop with nothing but a mess of documents and stationery. Stained coffee mug. A well-decorated, personalized workspace helps you to feel more refreshed and happy when you’re working. And when your mood is good, you’re more likely to be productive and creative. So help your beloved coworker to perform better in her new job by getting her this superb tabletop decoration kit — the zen garden kit. With this kit, you can build your own miniature Zen garden kit. The kit is complete with sand, stones, and a rake that you can use to move the sands in different directions and patterns. Aside from being a decor piece, it is also a great way of releasing stress on a busy day. You can clear up your cluttered mind by raking the sand mindfully.
Sometimes, colors are what we need to bring in a different mix of energy into our work area. What kind of colors? Preferably sharp, saturated colors that are strong contrast to the existing (perhaps boring) cubicle color scheme. And since we’re bringing different colors into the workplace, why don’t we do that in the form of a cactus. And that’s what this desktop organizer is — green cactus that rightfully belongs to the desert. This desert plant is going to help you keep your desktop organized, by giving a home to your pens and pencils and paper clips. The cactus is magnetic, so you can stick your clips on it. If your coworker hates cactus for whatever reason, consider getting her a pencil holder that is equally outlandish.
13. A Good Book
When it comes to presenting a book as a gift, a physical book that you can hold and touch with your hands is the way to go. E-books, for all its contribution on saving trees and reducing carbon footprint, just don’t carry that much of weight (literally and figuratively). So what kind of books should you get for the leaving coworker? Unless you know him well, I suggest that you go with a non-fiction book, perhaps some inspirational self-help book that makes you feel learned and motivated after reading it. That will appeal to most people. Now if you know what kinds of books he’s into, you have the advantage of choosing the books that fall into his preferred genre. That could be sci-fi, or leadership, or management, or biography. A good book helps you to experience life differently.
A bottle opener is essential to everyone’s kitchen. It is even more essential to someone who enjoys a bottle of beer (or a dozen) every now and then. This special opener features a playing card design, specifically the ace of spades. With this unique bottle opener, you can pop caps in style. Made of heavy-duty stainless steel. Holding it in your hand feels strangely gratifying. It is slim but powerful. Given its playing card inspired design, it is the perfect companion for a beer-fused poker night.
It’s no secret that everyone loves chocolate. I personally can make a chocolate bar disappear in half an hour (it doesn’t sound very impressive when I type it out). And one of the people’s favorite chocolate brand is Godiva. Founded in 1926 in Brussels, Belgium, the chocolatier is known for it’s rich and flavorful Belgium chocolate. In its classic gold ballotin collection (shown below) you get an assortment of high-quality Belgian dark, milk and white chocolates. Each of these heavenly nuggets of chocolate comes in different shapes and patterns which adds an additional layer of impressiveness on top of its irresistible taste and subtle chocolaty aroma that makes your heart beats faster. The chocolate is packed in an exquisite golden box that is accentuated with a champagne ribbon. When you’re getting Godiva chocolate, you’re getting more than just chocolate, you’re getting a satisfying experience. Everything from the brand to packaging to shape and taste of the chocolate are flawless — it’s chocolate perfection.
16. Gift Card
Personally, I love gift cards, both on the giving and the receiving end. Sure, receiving a gift card doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy, but it sure feels great when you can buy grocery or a venti Latte from Starbucks (see below for Starbucks gift card) without having to pay from your own pocket. Despite being a little boring, the bottom line is gift cards are a conservative gift choice that has a very good base performance. That’s literally no way you could go wrong with this gift.
17. Farewell Card
Sometimes the best leaving gift is the one that is the cheapest. Have you thought about getting her a farewell card? You can buy one online or at the local store. If you are good at doing crafts, you could consider making a DIY farewell card. Whether you’re buying or making it yourself, pass the card around for everyone to sign write their wishes for the departing colleague. The wishes and signatures make the card truly unique — it’s the only one in the world — the sentimental value of this is off the chart. Alongside this gift, you can also organize a goodbye party to reinforce the card’s impact and close this period together with a celebration.
However, with working from home becoming the new normal, it might be hard to pass the card around to gather all the signatures. That’s why we need to modernize and do things remotely. We recommend Kudoboard — an online farewell card-making tool for the group that allows users to invite everyone in the office to participate, personalize their own content, and deliver it online. Your team members can contribute their own messages, photos, and videos to make this board a memorable parting gift. Plus, you can also download your Kudoboard and print it out as a poster.
18. Photo Frame
So this is a gift that me and my team members have given my previous boss. To be frank, all I did was contributing to the fund and be there when they gave the photo frame (with photos) to my ex-boss. But it was uber effective and the memories that the photos brought up made her shed tears in front of us. It’s a very powerful, very sentimental gift. For this idea, you need to first buy a photo frame. It can be a conventional frame or a more high-tech digital frame. Personally, I prefer the traditional frame — because it doesn’t require electricity to work and it doesn’t emit blue light that is known to cause insomnia. But both are equally effective (not in terms of cost). Collect and curate photos of your team members, select the best photos that highlight the time you all spend together. Then print them out and put them in the photo frame. If this alone feels somewhat incomplete, throw in a signed farewell card (see the previous idea).
There are many reasons why a coworker leaves the company. Whatever the reason is, show them some love with a little gift that says thanks and good luck. This simple gesture makes the person leaving feels special which could one day be beneficial to you professionally or personally. You know the saying “never burn the bridges”? Well, it’s equally important to burn more bridges.
With that said, I hope you managed to find something useful from the list above. That concludes our list of farewell gifts for your colleagues. Thanks for reading!
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- You know sometimes two people who are in love have to be separated for one reason or another? Maybe for work or school. Whether you two decide to stay together or not, get him a proper parting gift to wish him the best of luck.