People leave their jobs for many reasons: new opportunities, retirement, layoffs, health issues, or getting fired. When an employee leaves, it’s up to management or human resources to announce the departure.
Besides relaying the basic fact that someone will no longer be around, the announcement is necessary because it gives everyone time to prepare for the change. You can’t have a seamless transition after the departure if you don’t do it right.
Who are you telling?
You may technically address the announcement to the entire staff, but if one department is going to be affected more than the rest, you may need to tailor your message to that group specifically. If the departing employee had direct reports, you may need to write or say something specifically for those employees.
If the departing employee worked closely with clients, you may have to tell them, as well as going through the details of how the company will communicate with them going forward. Sometimes departing employees are tasked with this responsibility themselves, but some companies always choose to take on this duty, and circumstances — like an abrupt or unfriendly end of the business relationship — may mean you don’t have a choice.
What to tell people about the departure
Though the announcement may be more personalized for smaller organizations or clients who have worked closely with the departing employee, you always have to include certain elements. These should be included regardless of who it’s addressed to or why the employee is leaving.
- Name of the departing employee: Clearly state the name and job title of the departing employee.
- Reason for departure: If the employee is leaving on good terms, it may be helpful (though it’s not always necessary) to include why they have chosen to move on. For example, they may be leaving to pursue a new career path, further their education, or move to a different part of the country.
- Transition details: Explain how the departure will change things for the people you’re addressing, including potential shifts in management, responsibilities, or communication. This can also include the next steps for hiring a replacement or to inform people that the position has been filled and by whom.
- Timing: State when the employee will be leaving, or if they’ve already left.
- Contact information: With the departing employee’s permission, include their updated contact information, including the phone number and email address, should employees or clients need to follow up on anything the company can’t handle itself.
- Farewell event: Are you going to celebrate the employee’s tenure coming to a close? This is a good place to mention it, or to promise that a time and place will be decided soon.
- Gratitude: Thank the departing employee for their service to the company, clients, and other employees.
The following examples offer inspiration for how to announce an employee departure in various circumstances. They work regardless of whether you need to address the entire company, direct reports of the departing employee, clients, or a specific department.