When an employee is leaving your company, letting the rest of your staff know isn’t just a courtesy; it’s a necessity. You should typically give the employee a chance to let their team know first, then alert the rest of your employees as soon as possible. Read on to learn how to craft an employee departure announcement and why it’s important to keep your team informed.
An employee leaving their position could impact their team, the department’s workflow and your company’s operations. A thoughtful announcement makes the transition easier. A sudden departure may leave other employees confused, anxious or even concerned about their own job security. Plus, team members often want a chance to say goodbye to their co-worker. You may even want to plan a farewell event, especially for someone who has worked at the company for a long time.
It’s also important to announce an employee’s departure as soon as possible so that the rest of the department has time to prepare for any changes. Perhaps you’ve already found a replacement, or are beginning to conduct interviews. Maybe the position will no longer exist and another employee will absorb the job’s responsibilities. No matter what the situation, the rest of the team should know what to expect, especially if their workflow will change. Anyone inheriting a portion of the workload should have ample time to prepare and ask questions.
If anyone reports directly to the departing employee, the transition may feel especially stressful. Direct reports should know who to go to with concerns.
Fortunately, you could minimize stress and maintain morale by communicating with the department in a timely manner about the upcoming staffing changes.
You should announce an employee’s departure for several key social and practical reasons, including planning farewell events and preparing for workload changes.
The most effective and efficient way to announce that an employee is leaving your company is to send an email to appropriate parties with all the key information about the change. This email should include who the 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.
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:
If your entire organization knows the employee who is leaving, you could address the announcement to the whole company. 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.
Avoid opening your announcement with vague, flowery sentences. Instead, clearly explain who will be leaving the company. Be sure to include the employee’s exact departure date.
If your employee gives you permission to share what’s next for them, feel free to do so. However, you shouldn’t mention if an employee is being laid off or fired.
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 remaining employees. If so, mention how long they’ll have to manage the workload.
If you’re hosting any sort of farewell event for the employee, like a lunch, party or meeting, detail it in your announcement email. Include a calendar invite or the time, date and location of the event.
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. Invite your colleagues to do the same. By showing your gratitude, you can let the rest of your team know you notice their work too and that you don’t take them for granted.
Make your employee departure email official by signing your name and title at the bottom. Inserting your official signature is an important formality.
Research suggests that employees are more likely to leave their workplace after someone on their team leaves the company. This is especially true on smaller teams and after someone leaves voluntarily (instead of being fired or laid off). Proactive steps could help managers retain employees after a change and address turnover.
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. If you’d like, you could also make changes to match your typical tone and writing style.
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 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 temporary 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 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 their [insert a few skills and personality traits, such as professionalism, meticulousness or empathy], but we’re excited for their next steps.
When an employee leaves, your team’s morale may take a hit. In addition to your departure announcement, make sure employees know where to turn with questions. You may want to set up meetings with some employees if they have specific concerns or new responsibilities. In any case, clear communication about changes to your staff builds trust and commitment on your team.
Cailin Potami contributed to this article.