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How to Announce an Employee Is Leaving

Max Freedman
Max Freedman

When an employee is leaving your company, it is best to send an email to the rest of your staff informing them of the news.

  • There are several social and business reasons to announce employee departures.
  • It's best to announce that an employee is leaving your company in a brief but informative email.
  • Some of the most important details to include in an employee departure email are the departure date, new workflow protocols and whether you're seeking a replacement.
  • This article is for new business owners and HR professionals who need to know how to announce that an employee is leaving the organization.

When an employee is leaving your company, it's more than just a nice gesture to let the rest of your team know; it's critical to the smooth continuation of your operations. In most instances, you should tell your staff about the departure as soon as possible, but only after the employee tells those who should know first. Read on to learn why it's important to send an employee departure announcement, how to announce that an employee is leaving and what templates to use to write the announcement.

Why an employee departure should be announced

There are a few reasons why it's important to announce that an employee is leaving the company. First, the departing employee's co-workers need ample time to say goodbye. They also need to know how to oversee the departing employee's tasks until a replacement is found. Finally, it's essential to announce an employee departure so your team can know exactly when the departing employee is leaving, what's next for the employee and whether there will be a farewell event.

Key takeaway: You should announce an employee's departure for several key social and business reasons, including farewell events and workload changes.

How to announce an employee is leaving

The most effective and efficient way to announce that an employee is leaving your company is to send an email with all of the key information. This email should include who the departing employee is, when they are leaving and who will be handling their responsibilities in the short and long term. Sending the announcement in an email allows you to avoid hosting one-on-one meetings with employees to tell them the news or holding a larger group meeting that would ultimately take everyone away from their work and put the departing employee on the spot.

Key takeaway: Sending an email to your staff is the best way to announce that an employee is leaving the company.

What should be included in an employee departure email?

There are several key details you should include in an employee departure email. Follow these steps to make sure you cover all of the important points:

1. Direct the announcement appropriately.

If your entire team knows the employee who is leaving, address the announcement to the whole team. If not, send the announcement only to the employee's department. Sending the news to a department that never interacts with the employee is distracting and unnecessary.

2. Get to the point.

Avoid starting the announcement with a few flowery sentences. Instead, immediately make it clear that this announcement is about an employee, whose name should be stated, who is leaving the company.

3. Include the departure date.

If you send an email announcing that an employee is leaving but you don't state when they are going, the employee is going to get a lot of questions about their departure date. Don't put them in an annoying situation. Instead, state the employee's departure date at the beginning of the announcement.

4. If appropriate, include the circumstances of the employee's departure.

If your employee permits you to say what's next for them, feel free to do so. If the employee is being fired or laid off, however, you should not mention that.

5. Discuss the next steps.

Let your team know whether you are looking for someone to fill the departing employee's position or have already hired a replacement. You should also discuss whether you'll need to delegate the employee's usual tasks to the remaining employees for the time being.

6. Invite your team to a farewell event, if applicable.

If you're hosting any sort of farewell event for the employee, such as a quick lunch or a larger event, detail it in your announcement email with the time, date and location of the event.

7. Show your gratitude.

Many employees feel underappreciated, so it's important to show your gratitude to the departing employee for all the work they've done for you and to invite your colleagues to do the same. In showing your gratitude, you imply to the rest of your team that you might be noticing and appreciating their work, too.

8. Sign off.

Make your employee departure email official by signing your name and title at the bottom. Inserting your official signature rather than just your typed name is an important formality.

Key takeaway: An employee departure email should include the employee's departure date, how their work will be handled in their absence, whether you're searching for a replacement and whether there will be a farewell event.

Templates for an email announcing an employee is leaving

Here is a template to help you get started on writing your announcement. Be sure to customize it by filling in the parts in brackets.

Dear [company name] team [or department name if not directed to the whole company], 

I am writing to inform you all that [employee name] is leaving the company on [departure date]. [Employee name] is departing to [describe their reason for leaving in at most 10 words if you have permission to do so; if not, do not write this sentence]. 

After [employee name] leaves, please direct all communications you would normally send to [him/her/them] to [interim contact name]. Once we hire a replacement for [employee name]'s position, I will reach out again to inform you of our new communications protocols [if you aren't replacing the employee, don't include this sentence]. I will also reach out to individual team members as needed to discuss the temporarily handling of [employee name]'s tasks until we hire a replacement [if you're not hiring a replacement, delete the words '"temporarily" and "until we hire a replacement." Additionally, if you're not hiring a replacement, state so in one final sentence: "At this time, we have no plans to hire a replacement."] 

Before [employee name] leaves, we invite you to join us at [time] on [date] at [location] for a farewell event [only if you're having one]. We're immensely grateful for all the contributions that [employee name] has made during [his/her/their] time here, and we hope you'll take the farewell event as an occasion to express similar sentiments. I speak for the entire company when I say, Best wishes, [employee name], on your next venture. We'll miss [his/her/their] [insert a few skills and personality traits, such as professionalism, meticulousness or empathy], but we're excited for [his/her/their] next steps. 

Sincerely,

[Your signature]

[Your name]

[Your title] 

If you are looking for more examples, here are three more templates you can check out. 

Key takeaway: To ensure your employee departure announcement is the right length and covers all of the key info with the proper tone, use a template like the one above.

Image Credit: YakobchukOlena / Getty Images
Max Freedman
Max Freedman,
Business News Daily Writer
Max Freedman is a freelance writer who covers best business practices for business.com and culture for publications including The A.V. Club, MTV, Paste, FLOOD, and Bandcamp. He lives in Philly and doesn't miss his native New York.