The corporate environment can be monotonous and the grind can be difficult. One thing that can drive us to head to work every day is the relationships formed with coworkers. The World Economic Forum found that relationships are a key factor in creating a happy workplace environment. We spend so much time developing these relationships and it can be difficult saying goodbye when either you are leaving a company or a colleague is leaving. It can be emotional and difficult to find the words or creative ways to wish your departing colleague farewell. If this is a concern for you, fear not! We have you covered!
Why a Farewell is Important
Sending a colleague off to their new adventure with a proper farewell is an important way to provide closure on their time at their current position. The American Psychological Association describes, “the concept of a well-rounded ending, defined as an ending marked by a sense of closure.” These well-rounded endings give the departing colleague a much higher probability of excelling at their next positions because “they feel that they have done everything they could have done, that they have completed something to the fullest, and that all loose ends are tied up.” We can help give our coworkers a sense of closure by sending them off with a proper farewell.
Another reason to send a departing colleague off with a proper farewell is that everyone likes to feel appreciated for the time they have spent with the company. It is human nature to want to be recognized for your hard work and for your specific contribution to the workplace in both the job itself and the culture of the company. Send your coworker off with a positive feeling that they have left their mark on you and the company.
Establishing a healthy professional work network is also another reason to send your coworker off in style. If either one of you is ever looking to move companies in the future, a goodbye message is always a great way to maintain a good network to reach out to. Networking is one of the most important parts of finding jobs in the future and it is a great idea to build up and maintain your network BEFORE you need to call upon it for help.
13 Unique Ways to Wish Farewell
There are so many ways to wish farewell to your departing colleague. They can be simple, or they can be complex! It is totally up to you and your company how you want to wish farewell to coworkers. One suggestion we will make is to keep it consistent among those leaving. If you plan a big party for one coworker, it may be offensive to simply send an email to another. It is ok to take into account tenure and impact, but be careful not to cause offense as that is the complete opposite of our goal in wishing our colleague farewell. With that said, here are some fun ways to wish your departing coworkers farewell.
- Surprise Party
It may seem trite, but who wouldn’t love to be surprised by their coworkers on their last day of work with a fun party? It could be a lunchtime surprise, or how about holding it at the end of the work day? Finish up work an hour early and take that time to celebrate your departing colleague. You can bring in treats or just take the time to exchange memories with the coworker. This is a fun and easy way to send someone off on a high note.
- Kudoboard Group ECard
Have your team or your company create a Kudoboard group farewell ecard to wish your co-worker farewell. Everyone can contribute to the card in their own personal way. Add some goodbye quotes, and farewell wishes and they will always have access to it. It is easy to use and convenient for everyone.
- Make a Poster
Posters are a fun way to express farewell wishes. You can make a giant one and hang it up in the office on their last day. One fun idea is to make the most out of a group e-card. Then you can send them the card digitally, and have it printed out as a poster to hang in the office. This is a surefire way to make someone feel special on their last day.
- Activity Party
Host a party with a fun activity involved. There are companies that you can hire to take care of the whole thing. They throw parties such as murder mystery parties, mini games, and the amazing race. They do them in person, or virtually if you have a remote working environment. Of course, you can plan a party yourself, it will just take more work. This could be a really fun option for a farewell party.
Email is definitely an easy way to shoot your coworker a message. Keep in mind that a goodbye email will need to be sent before they officially depart, as their work email will most likely be deactivated upon their departure.
A goodbye email is also a great method for sending a farewell message if you are the one departing. You can send one message to the whole company, your team, or to an individual coworker.
If you are struggling with what to say in an email, here are some ideas and inspiration to use. There are more suggestions later on in the article so be sure to have a look at those as well.
- Thank you for being a constant source of positivity and light in the office. Wish you all the best as you take the next step in your career.
- I have enjoyed getting to know you and working with you over the last few years. We will miss you here in the office, but I know you will go on to do great things.
- What in the world are we going to do without you? We have some big shoes to fill and will miss your presence. Good luck!
- I have learned so much from you during our time working together. You have really helped me grow as a person and in my job and for that I will be forever grateful. Best wishes as you take on your next adventure!
- Farewell Video
Make a video for your coworker to take with them and they can keep it forever. Record each of their colleagues sharing their favorite memories and well wishes and compile them all together. One option for doing this is to use this group ecard and have each person upload their own video to it. That makes it much less work and it has a nice format.
- Greeting Card
A good, old-fashioned greeting card is another great option for a farewell message. You can get one card and have the whole company sign it. You could also just personalize a card with a message from you individually. They have the added bonus of being fun to browse and pick out.
- Award or Certificate
Have management and their coworkers come up with some achievements or awards and share them at a company farewell meeting. It could be specific achievements or goals they have met, or it could be awards that describe their personality and work style. This is a great personalized way to help your departing colleague feel the love of the office and let them know they have been seen and noticed throughout their time there.
Who doesn’t love a gift? Have the whole team pitch in to get the departing colleague a group gift. It is also appropriate to give them a small gift from yourself. Remember to keep it professional and stay away from elaborate or overly expensive gifts. Staying professional is always important to maintain an appropriate working relationship.
- Team Dinner
This one is a bit outside of the box and would require colleagues to show up to an event outside of office hours, but host a team farewell dinner. Choose a nice restaurant and give your employees an opportunity to get dressed up and meet socially in order to say goodbye. Of course, it would be nice to pay for this dinner. If that is outside of the budget though, just make it clear beforehand.
- Start a Slack Thread
The week before a coworker is leaving, start a new Slack thread where coworker can share their favorite memories, offer compliments, and wish them luck on their new endeavors. This will go a long way towards sending that team member off on a high note and will build team unity for those remaining.
- Make a Team Address Book
Gather all of the team’s personal contact information and gift it to the departing colleague on their last day. This is a great way for the team to stay in contact after they are gone. You can have employees share whatever information they are comfortable with. It could include social media profiles, emails, phone numbers, etc. It can be given to the departing coworker digitally, or you could give them a physical book of contact information.
- Send them off with a Self Care Kit
Oftentimes, when someone leaves one job to pursue another, there is some time off in between. Send them home with a cute self-care kit to enjoy their time off and to help them recharge. It could be a massage gift card, a candle, a favorite snack, you name it. Customize it to the employee leaving and let them know you care.
Basic Farewell Pointers
When crafting a farewell message to coworkers, there are some basic tips that will help you in the process. It isn’t easy to know what to say or what is appropriate, so here are some tips that will help you through the process.
- Exchange phone numbers and personal email. Just because you no longer work together does not mean that you cannot stay in touch. If you have enjoyed working with a departing colleague and have gotten to know them on a personal level, stay in touch! You can start getting together socially. It is also a good idea to build a professional network of people for your future career endeavors.
- Use a positive attitude and be uplifting. This is certainly not the time to hash out old grudges. Simply wish someone well and let them know how they have positively impacted you or the workplace in general.
- Express gratitude. This is a great time to let the person know what you appreciate from them as a co-worker and as a friend. It could be for their positive attitude, or willingness to help out a colleague in need.
- There is no need to write the departing colleague a long and wordy farewell message. Keep it short and meaningful. A short goodbye message is ideal.
- Personalize it to the person who is leaving. Avoid sending template messages.
10 Farewell Messages
5 Messages to send a departing co-worker
Congratulations on the new job. You are going to do amazing things in your career to come. I can’t wait to follow your success.
There are big shoes to fill around here now. You have been invaluable to our company and I have no doubt you will be at your new endeavor!
Thank you for always bringing a positive attitude to work. You have always lightened the mood around here with your funny stories and jokes. You will be missed!
Thank you for being the first person to make me feel welcome here when I first joined. I will keep that in mind as I welcome our new employees. Good luck with your next adventure!
Working with you has truly been a highlight of my career. I have loved learning from you and developing a friendship over the years. I hope your new company knows how lucky they are to have you. Best of luck on your future endeavors!
5 Messages to send coworkers when you are leaving
I have enjoyed every moment of my tenure here at this company. Thank you all for making this an incredible experience. I will miss my time here and most of all, the incredible people and culture. Here is to your continued success!
I have had the honor of getting to know this team for the last 10 years. I would never have achieved any success without each and every one of you. Thank you for being the best team out there. I hope I find a team half as wonderful as you moving forward. Best wishes.
When I began my career here 5 years ago, I never could have imagined the growth this company would provide for my career. I have been pushed by my team in all the best ways to become better each day at my job and I will carry those lessons with me on to my next chapter. Thank you for this incredible experience.
Thank you for always helping me feel like an integral part of this team. The sense of belonging I have always felt here has not gone unnoticed. I will bring that with me as I seek to include others in my future endeavors.
I will always remember the safe space this company has created for expressing new ideas and thoughts. I have always felt free to express my opinions and that is invaluable in today’s workplace. As I take on a new leadership role at my new company, I will be working to instill that in their culture as well. Thank you.
A Final Parting Word
There are so many unique ways to wish farewell to your departing colleague. Pick something that is personalized for them and make sure that they feel the love on their last day. It does not have to be elaborate, but there is no rule against it either. Whether it is an email, party, farewell card, activity, or gift, wish your coworker farewell in whatever way works best. Remember it’s never goodbye, but until we meet again.