In a post-lockdown world, employee resignations have become more common. Known as the “Great Resignation,” this phenomenon has seen employees in all fields opting for career changes based on what’s most important to them, rather than simply what makes them the most money. This has raised important issues for employers — how do you deal with resignations, and how do you inform the rest of your workforce of what is going on when an important colleague decides to leave?
Resignations can take several forms, from retirement, to relocation, to a role at a rival company, or even a complete career change. However, the ways in which you as an employer deal with a resignation should remain as consistent as possible. With this in mind, in this guide, we’ll outline the best practices for informing your team of employee resignations, including a professional email template that you can use to announce a resignation.
Why you should announce an employee departure
Informing your team about unexpected changes to the workplace may feel uncomfortable. However, it’s better to take charge of the situation when the employee’s resignation date is confirmed instead of shying away from the news. You’ll find that there are multiple reasons to announce the departure in advance. We take a look at these below.
Announcements can lower the emotional toll on your team
Professional relationships organically form in the workplace, so there will likely be members of your team who care for their colleagues on a personal level. Providing advanced notice of the employee’s departure will give people time to emotionally prepare for the change, which may lessen the impact that the resignation has on the organization’s morale.
Staying transparent can reduce the spread of rumors
It’s a good idea to be transparent when employees resign to prevent the creation of false narratives. Team members might misinterpret the departure as something negative, resulting in unwanted rumors spreading throughout the company. Making an announcement to your staff will ensure the departing employee can leave in a dignified manner and help maintain a desirable workplace culture in the organization.
Addressing departures helps with handling the upcoming vacancy
The loss of an employee means there will be duties that need to be taken care of until the organization hires a new professional for the open role. Letting your team know about the departure in advance will allow for better coordination between employees and their superiors on how to handle these tasks. For example, your staff may have an opportunity to request extra hours or responsibilities in advance, if needed, or may themselves want to internally apply for the new vacancy.
How to announce a resignation to your staff
When appropriate, employee departures should be formally addressed in the workplace. This is preferable to simply informally bringing up the departure to a select few team members. There are several methods you may use to let people know when an employee resigns. These are as follows:
Announce the resignation during a group meeting
Organizations that regularly hold group meetings can incorporate the news of a team member’s departure on the meeting’s agenda to inform their workforce about the resignation. You may want to talk to the departing employee ahead of time to see if they feel comfortable with discussing their resignation in-person.
Use your organization’s instant messaging applications
Companies that use instant messaging applications such as Google Chat, Slack or Microsoft Teams can announce the departure of employees via group chat. Addressing the resignation virtually will save time and put less pressure on the resignee compared to being in a face-to-face meeting. Instant messaging services can also let employees send casual farewells to their colleagues.
Send emails to your workforce
Another method for announcing a professional’s resignation is to send an email to your team to share the news. Emails allow employees to read the notice at their convenience without feeling obligated to react immediately to the information. Resignees who aren’t comfortable being the center of attention may appreciate this professional yet subtle approach to the announcement.
Email template to announce a resignation
Below we have outlined what a professional resignation announcement email can look like. This can be used as a basic template for your organization’s needs.
Dear [Company name] team,
I am writing to let you know that [Employee full name] will depart from our company on [Date of departure]. [Employee name] is leaving [Company name] to [Insert reason for departure here. Ask for permission from the resignee before adding details to this section. If the employee wishes to not disclose their reason for leaving, then skip this part of the template.].
After [Employee name] departs, please direct their calls and emails to [Replacement contact name] until the vacant position is filled. Those in [Department name of resigning employee] will be contacted later to discuss how [Employee name]‘s tasks will be handled until a replacement is hired. [If the company doesn’t intend on hiring a replacement, then exclude the latter part of the sentence.]
We at [Company name] respectfully honor [Employee name]‘s decision to resign from their position. Thank you, [Employee name], for your contributions to the team. A farewell event for [Employee name] will be held at [Location of party] on [Date of party]. All employees are encouraged to attend to help honor [Employee name] before [he/she/they] depart[s] from the company.
[Your name and job title]
The resignation of a team member can be an undesirable situation to share with your workforce, though knowing how to properly announce their departure will help make the news easier to process. Resignation announcements can turn potentially uncomfortable scenarios into bittersweet endings for resignees, allowing them to leave the organization on a positive note.