Saying Goodbye to Employees
Everyone has that one long-term employee they dread to finally let go. You might find yourself having to say goodbye to an employee of ten years. He’s already talked to you about his plans for leaving the company. You expect his resignation letter in a little over a week.
How do you respond so that you end the relationship on good terms?
Everyone Will Leave Their Job Someday
Sooner or later, everyone leaves their jobs.
Studies have shown that the average amount of time an employee spends in a company is about 4.6 years. Gone are the days when employees stayed a lot longer – some even as long as 20 years and beyond.
As a manager, you’re going to see a lot of new faces come and a lot of old faces go. It’s really part of the circle of life.
One of the hardest things is wishing your employees farewell. You might or might not know why they are leaving, but there’s already a bond between you two that’s hard to shrug off. Regardless of your feeling, as their manager you have an important role to play at the end of their stay with you.
In the same way that you helped your employees find their way around your company, you’re going to have to end the relationship without burning any bridges.
Tips to End an Employee Relationship Well
1. Consider what’s needed from your end
What do you have to settle once your employee sends in their resignation letter?
You might need to sort out some papers or documents. Review your contracts, your employee’s final paycheck, or any unsettled benefits and agreements you’ve made in the past.
Some employees might be too shy to bring these up on their own. Your company can maintain a great reputation by settling these loose ends yourself.
2. Agree on their last working date
You and your employee can discuss when their last day at your company will be. Decide what their last project should be or what deadlines need to be met.
It’s also nice to throw a get-together on your employees’ last day. Doing so shows that you are happy for your employee’s next endeavors in life, whatever they might be.
3. Conduct an exit interview
Talk to your employees before they leave. These exit interviews cover topics from the employee’s experiences at the company to any improvements the company can implement.
Explain to your employee why this discussion is important to you, since it can also benefit them. The interview might give them insights that they might not have had while working for you.
4. Settle all deliverables
Be sure to tie up every loose end on your employee’s last day. Have all the paperwork and certifications ready. Hand them their paycheck. Settle what you owe for annual leaves.
It would be best not to send your employee back for any to-follow deliverables. You want to have all these ready in advance. This is so your employee’s last day becomes a smooth and pleasant experience.
5. Wish them well with sincerity and grace
Some employees are afraid of leaving their companies because they fear what their bosses or co-workers will think of them.
Dispel that fear by wishing them all the best in their future endeavors. Keep a positive relationship, even outside the workplace if you are still connected. All this will reflect positively your company’s reputation in the long run.
Be genuinely happy for your employee. Some might be leaving for other reasons, such as medical or family reasons. Let them know they are in everyone’s thoughts and prayers regardless of the situation.
6. End with a formal resignation acceptance letter
You might also want to practice the art of sending a formal resignation acceptance letter.
There are many different ways to write these kinds of letters, depending on your personality. These letters generally contain the following elements:
1) Acknowledgment that they are leaving
2) Acceptance of their filing for resignation
3) Words of praise or value
4) Well wishes for the future.
We have here a sample resignation acceptance letter for you to tweak and use as you wish.
Dear [employee name],
I was surprised that you would be leaving our company this [resignation date]. With a heavy heart, this is to acknowledge and accept your resignation.
It’s difficult to come across great and hardworking employees like you. Given all your contributions to [company name], I’m certain you will be a valuable asset to your future employers, as you have been to us.
If there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask. I am happy to answer any questions or provide a reference if requested.
Thank you for all your years of hard work, optimism, and valuable contributions. We will surely miss you.
All the best,
YOUR COMPLETE NAME