How to Respond to a Farewell Message

During all of the time you spend at the office, you do more than get the job done. You spend that time getting to know your coworkers and developing friendships. Those relationships are important to you. According to Revise Sociology, we spend 29.4% of our waking hours during a 50-year full-time career at work. That is a major chunk of your life and it makes complete sense that it is difficult when one of your coworkers announces that they are leaving, or if you are leaving yourself. You will receive many farewell messages during your corporate career. Let’s talk about how to respond to a farewell message. Let’s dig in. 

What is a Farewell Message  

A farewell message is a message that someone writes to announce they are leaving a company. The message can come from the employees themselves, or it can be written for them. A farewell message is used to let the company or team know they are leaving and they usually express their appreciation for their time spent with the company. Farewell messages are important because they give both sides a sense of closure, show gratitude for the experience, help maintain a professional network, and they are professional courtesy. 

It is always important to respond to goodbye emails in a meaningful and professional manner. Responses to farewell messages can take two forms. There are responses to a coworker when they have sent a message saying they are leaving, and there are responses when your company or coworkers send you a farewell message after you announce you are leaving. 

Tips for Responding to Farewell Messages

Responding to farewell messages can feel difficult because you want to make sure you use the right tone and say the right thing. A response to a farewell message is more than saying thank you and goodbye. Your response to the farewell email should be thoughtful and personal. Here are some tips to consider when writing a response to a farewell message. 

  • Exchange personal contact information such as email and phone numbers. This shows your departing coworker that you genuinely care about them and want to stay in touch moving forward. This is also a great way to grow your professional network. 
  • Keep it uplifting and positive. Now is not the time to air your dirty laundry. Keep it light and let them know what you think they are great at. 
  • Express gratitude to them. As your coworkers move forward in their careers, let them know that you are grateful to have had a working experience with them. Be specific and let them know what they have done for you. Thank them for being a part of your team.  
  • Explain why you are going to miss them! Make it personal and specific. Let your colleagues know exactly what it is that you will miss about working with them.
  • Give them feedback on their work! Keep it positive though. Especially if you have worked on a team with them or as their manager, let them know what they do well and what they should definitely carry with them on their next endeavor. 
  • Use good grammar. This will help your coworker know that this message means something to you and that you didn’t just type and hit send as quickly as possible. It is also much more professional. 
  • Use a length that is appropriate to your relationship. If you barely knew the colleague, keep it short and sweet. If you have a more in-depth working relationship with them, feel free to make it a bit longer. Your response to their farewell message should be proportionate to your working relationship with the departing colleague.  

8 Ways to Respond to Farewell Messages from Coworkers

Whenever one of your coworkers decides to leave the company, they will most likely send a farewell message. It will either be directly to you, or to the whole team. It could also come from a manager. In any of these scenarios, it is the right choice to respond to the farewell message. Here are some ideas of ways to respond to a farewell message. 

  1. Thank you for being a great coworker. I have enjoyed our friendship over the years. Your constant positive attitude and support have not gone unnoticed. I hope you leave with the knowledge of how you have made a positive impact on my life and that I am grateful for all of our memories. I wish you all the best as you start your next chapter. 
  2. I have truly enjoyed working with you throughout the years. It has been great getting to know you and I wish you all the best as you move forward. I hope we meet again on our professional paths. Please keep in touch and I look forward to seeing your success! Best Wishes!
  3. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you for all the guidance you have given me. You have been a joy to work with, and I will always be grateful for your helpfulness. I’m sad that you are leaving us, but I look forward to staying in touch. Best Wishes!
  4. I cannot imagine the office without you moving forward. I know that you will be a blessing in your new environment. You have been such a great colleague and mentor and you will be missed. You have been an example of success and I have always looked up to you. As you start your next adventure, I hope you know you will always be remembered and you have made a great impact here. Good luck on your next adventure!
  5. Wow, it’s the end of a truly great era. However, it marks the beginning of a fresh start for you and I am happy for you. You have played such a big role in my life and career and I have learned so much from you. I will definitely miss working with you and collaborating. Please know that you have my full support as you move on. I’m excited to see what the future holds for you and I know it will be successful. 
  6. Balancing professionalism and friendship is not always easy, but you have mastered the art. I hope you feel the love as you depart and know how much we all admire and love you. You are so smart, kind, and compassionate. You have been an example to us all as to how to treat our colleagues in the workplace. Thank you for leaving your mark on the office. Please keep in touch! You always have a friend in me and I look forward to hearing from you. 
  7. Oh my goodness I am so sad to hear you are leaving! What are we going to do without you? We have shared so many memories and laughs and the office will not be the same without you. Thank you for being a great friend and for lending a helping hand as I started my career. You are leaving a gaping hole in our office and we wish you all the best on your next chapter. 
  8. I am so happy that I have had the chance to work with you for the last few years. You have been a constant source of support as I began my career here years ago. You have inspired me to reach out and help others feel included in the team, and that is something to be so proud of. Your new coworkers are so lucky to have you. Please keep in touch and I wish you all the best!

8 Ways to Respond to Farewell Messages When You Are Leaving

  1. Thank you so much for your kind words to my announcement of my leaving. It has been such a pleasure working with you over the years. Your positive attitude has meant the world to me. We have developed a true friendship and I am grateful for that and all of the memories we have created. Thank you for your encouragement and support, they mean the world. Here is my personal contact information. I would love to continue our friendship. Keep killing it here and I am rooting for you!
  2. I am so humbled by your kind words and heartfelt farewell wishes. You and all of my colleagues have been so supportive and made my time here nothing short of amazing. You are all so dedicated and I have learned so much from each of you. As I say goodbye, I want you to know that the friendships and lessons I have learned here will stay with me throughout my life. I will miss all of you and I wish you the best in your career and in your personal life. Good luck with your future endeavors!
  3. Thank you so much for your kind response to my farewell message. I have enjoyed every minute I have spent here at this company. It has been such a joy and I appreciate each and every one of you. You have truly set the bar high for my future professional relationships. I have seen what a great working environment is and I can only hope to find another great working home. Best wishes and good luck!
  4. I absolutely am shocked that it is time to close this chapter of my life. I have had such a great time working with each and every one of you here and I plan to bring what I have learned from you into my next position. Thank you so much for your kind parting words. Here is my personal email address to stay in touch.  Good luck and I wish you continued success. 
  5. Bidding farewell is so difficult. It has truly been an honor to get to know you as such an awesome colleague and this team for the last few years. I would never have achieved any success, or have this new role if it weren’t for this entire team. Thank you for your farewell card and all your support over the year. I hope to find a team half as good as this one. Best wishes and I will miss you. 
  6. Thank you so much for your farewell wishes, they have truly touched my heart. I am emotional as I work my final days here. I am so grateful for the relationship we have developed over the years. Thank you for being willing to answer all of my questions and never making me feel like a nuisance. I know great things are in store for you and feel free to reach out any time! Good luck with your future endeavors!
  7. I just want to thank you for taking the time to write such a kind farewell message. You are so talented at your job and it has been a pleasure working with such an awesome colleague. Your excellent performance at your job has always been appreciated. As I approach this transition, I hope to bring what I have learned here with me. Please reach out in the future. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Best regards. 
  8. Thank you for your kind words in my farewell message as I take on a new opportunity. You have been such a great boss and have created such a safe space for different people and opinions at this company. That is invaluable and something I have always been so grateful for. I am truly proud to have spent time at this company. Wishing you all the best and I know there are great things in store for you. 

All The Best

When responding to a farewell message, express gratitude and personalize your message. When people take the time to send you a farewell message, it is nice to respond promptly and with heart. The end of one working relationship does not have to be the end of your relationship entirely. You could burn bridges by not responding to a farewell message. That is surely not something you want to do. Do not avoid goodbyes. Face them head-on with the respect that a working relationship deserves. Let your colleagues know the lasting impression they have made on you.

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