A farewell letter is the eighth of the 15 must-do things you should do before you leave work. Team of the Layboard prepared some information about goodbye letters for you.
Traditionally, a goodbye letter is usually sent to a group of people via messenger or email, such as the team or others with whom you've had contact. You can write a handwritten letter when saying farewell to any special person.
Why do you have to write corporate goodbye letters?
A farewell letter to coworkers is written after notifying your supervisor of your termination and writing a statement to that effect.
There are at least three reasons for doing so:
It's a good tradition related to etiquette. We spend more than eight hours at work, and some colleagues become good pals. A farewell letter will be an opportunity to thank people for their time together. It's a good excuse to say "thank you" to everyone around you while you work. Also, colleagues can become part of your network of connections during your career - you can turn to them for advice or help.
A letter can help share information about your transition plan. For example, if you worked at a large company and didn't tell all of your colleagues that you were quitting, there may be rumors you don't want to hear. Letting you personally know where you will be working afterward will help combat misinformation.
If you worked in a management position, the contact information of the person replacing you would help employees. But, again, an email will be the key to help indicate what to do after you leave.
A farewell letter helps:
● tell everyone at once that you are leaving the company;
● inform them of your successor if they are already known;
● tell your side of the story, which will eliminate gossip, speculation, and innuendo;
● summarize objectively and briefly your performance in the company;
● highlight the good things that surrounded you at your workplace;
● express your gratitude to your coworkers and those with whom you have crossed paths in business matters;
maintain a positive relationship with former coworkers, which will help you maintain a warm relationship and, if necessary, make it easier to find common ground in joint projects, should such projects arise.
The benefit of writing a farewell letter is pronounced. But it is essential to compose it competently. Otherwise, a spectacular closing point can turn into shame, embarrassment, and negative memories of your person.
Do I have to write a goodbye letter?
It all depends on your desire and the traditions of the team. Sometimes employees who leave the company do not see the need for such a letter, avoiding writing it. But under pressure from management, they are forced to obey the general rules and maintain corporate traditions.
If leaving the company is associated with conflicts, arguments, mutual misunderstanding, and other unfavorable circumstances, the letter should be refused: no one is interested in wasting time with the resentments and recriminations of the dismissed colleague.
Sometimes management itself is against such farewell mailings. And it can even block the opportunity for ex-employees to communicate with the team.
There are also nuances. Formulating a heartfelt and friendly farewell letter will be difficult if you are leaving to work for a competitor. There is a high probability that your gratitude and hope for an early meeting, expressed in the text of the letter, will look ambiguous. Don't use the farewell letter as an opportunity to say one last thing and tell everyone about the unpleasant place you worked in.
How to write a goodbye letter?
You don't need to thank or say goodbye to everyone in your company. Just write to those people who have been involved in your development:
● your team (you can use a group email address);
● your colleagues who are not on your team (you can use a group email address);
● your supervisor (it's best to write an individual email if you have something to say. And then you can include your supervisor in the group email);
● company employees (particular email if you wish to compose a personal message or have them in a general group email);
● someone else you've had contact with whom you'd like to say goodbye or thank before your last day (individual letter).
What to include in a farewell thank you letter?
Below are some suggestions to include in your farewell letter:
● The date when you resign from your position.
● If you don't mind, where and what other employees will you be doing?
A farewell letter template can be in this format:
● Farewell words with best wishes;
● My last day of work (date);
● Contact information to contact you;
● Thank you.
Your message may include the following expressions:
● I look forward to our paths crossing again;
● I enjoyed working with you;
● Please stay in touch with me;
● It was a pleasure to work with you and I look forward to further cooperation.
Please provide more information in your thank you message. However, in letters to organizations, it is almost impossible. Therefore, gratitude can be of a general nature, which is normal in this case.
● Thank you very much.
● Thank you for your excellent work.
● The time spent with the team was invaluable to me.
● Social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
● Email address
● Phone number
● Link to website/blog.
What to include in your “Thank you” message
We give you the structure you can use:
Dear [Sir/Madame or the name of the person],
The main idea of your letter;
Second paragraph (optional);
Third paragraph (optional);
Conclusion (e.g., best regards, wish you the best, etc.);
Common mistakes people make writing “Thank you” message
Let's specify the leading mistakes of a farewell message:
Mistake 1. Lack of a subject line.
It will be a mistake if you send a farewell letter by email without a subject. So it risks getting lost in the flow of correspondence.
The subject's most straightforward and logical option is "Farewell letter to colleagues." Although, any other variant will do, too. The main thing is that thanks to a correctly formulated subject, the letter should attract the attention of its recipients.
Mistake 2. Incorrect formulation of the initial phrase
Another standard error we must correct when writing a farewell letter is the beginning of the text. You can, of course, start a note with the phrase: "Me, sales manager ...". But such a beginning
immediately evokes unnecessary associations - this wording is usually the beginning of explanatory notes of guilty employees and statements of claim in court.
You may feel that you want to confess or apologize in a farewell letter, which is inappropriate. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid such a phrase. Furthermore, there is no need to put your title and full name because the recipient already knows from whom the letter was sent based on your email address and your signature at the end of the letter.
Mistake 3. Illiterate writing.
The usefulness of a farewell letter will be zero or even harmful if the text is written illiterately, with the use of profanity, with continuous text without paragraphs and spaces. Such a mistake is made by those with no experience writing such texts and consider it optional to spend time studying the rules. Such a text is hard to read and needs to be better understood, not to mention the overall impression of such a message.
Mistake 4. The letter is too long or very short.
Another mistake is a shorter letter. In the first case, there is a risk that the letter will not be read entirely and will look like an attempt to abuse the recipient's time, that is, to disrespect him. A short test can also leave a negative impression on the ex-colleagues if it looks like a formal reply.
Mistake 5. Excessive personalization.
The next mistake: mentioning in the text of a letter individual employees to whom you want to express gratitude for something or wish something goodbye. To avoid getting negative feedback from the farewell letter, you must mention all the colleagues by name in the text. It is acceptable if the team consists of 3-5 persons and unacceptable if the group is large.
If possible, avoid unnecessary attention to individual persons and not mention anyone personally. Employees not on the list of the most mentioned persons may consider it an insulting fact: Couldn't the letter's author have a few warm words for them?
Now you know why you should write a goodbye letter. Our tips will help you make a positive impression even after leaving your job.