Great colleagues make work more enjoyable. Perhaps it’s the reason that gets you excited about heading to the office or remotely connecting every day.
However, growth is necessary in your career — staying put in one place may not help you progress to where you want to be.
So a resignation letter is in, and it’s already time to say goodbye to your colleagues. How do you do that?
Start with your farewell message.
Why should you write a goodbye message to your colleagues?
Whether it’s a goodbye email or a farewell note in a thank you card for a favourite coworker, a short goodbye message to colleagues before leaving the company is a warm gesture to express your heartfelt appreciation for what you have learnt from them.
In other cases, it is simply to let them know that you have truly enjoyed their company and office life was never complete without them.
More importantly, though, farewell messages for colleagues on your last day lets you shift the focus from the dreadful news of your resignation to a moment of acceptance and excitement for your future endeavours.
And while you do that, you can:
1. Sum up your transition plan
By your last day, your handovers would have been completed. Your colleagues would know what to follow up on and the next steps to take for each assignment. However, you may want to assure them that help is always available.
Your goodbye message isn’t meant to discuss your handover again. After all, nobody wants to hear you talk about work just before you leave.
Rather, you can use the space to advise them before leaving the company on whom to contact should they run into challenges. Instead of a farewell card, it’s best to prepare a short email to colleagues instead, so it’s easy to trace back the contact or additional information you’d like to share.
While you may let them contact you in case they need urgent help, it is advised to keep work matters within the company as far as possible. This will help you avoid any potential conflict of interest with your new job that may affect your chances of successfully completing your probation,
You could also leave them with some simple tips to navigate the issues, if any.
Of course, never start your message with this! A thoughtful goodbye email always begins with your farewell wishes.
Towards the end of your message, add a simple line or two on how they can seek help when you’re not around.
Here’s an example of how you can end your farewell note with an alternate contact for assistance:
“And don’t worry about all the tasks handed over to you, I know you’ll do a fantastic job, being the awesome colleague that you are. If you run into any complications, step away and come back to it the next day. Jennifer will be around to help you too, and you have a talented team working with you, so you’ll be in good hands! You can also click here for anything you need to know about the project.”
2. Stay connected with your colleagues
A farewell message is a chance to maintain not just good coworker relationships in professional lives, but personal ones too.
If you haven’t already added them on LinkedIn, this is the best time to do so. This will allow you to stay professionally connected with them.
Leave them with your personal email if you wish to keep in touch as friends, or have them follow you on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram if you are comfortable.
Perhaps a good opportunity awaits at your new company, and you think they will be a perfect fit. You can easily share their profile with your employer as a referral!
In other instances, you may also request a LinkedIn recommendation and offer to write one in return.
3. Show you care & respect them
Lastly, a farewell message represents how you feel about your colleagues. Your appreciation and thank you messages are just a small part of the act. Looking at the bigger picture, you took the time to craft a farewell letter for your teammates. This shows you consider them important figures during your time with the company.
Even if you’re crafting one because it’s expected in your office culture, setting aside a few minutes to work on a message is a sweet gesture in itself.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t worked with a colleague much. Everyone has a part to play in your experience — leaving them with heartfelt goodbyes reveals your level of respect and care for them.
How do you write a short goodbye message to colleagues?
1. Personalise your message
Giving your colleagues personalised goodbye gift cards in the office or sending farewell emails (especially if you’re working remotely) is more meaningful.
If you don’t have the time to craft individual messages before leaving the company, consider a short mass email to address all your colleagues together, while crafting personalised messages for those you have worked very closely with.
2. Focus on the good, not the bad
Your farewell message to your colleagues should not burn any bridges, so focus on your positive experiences with them. Think about a particular incident that deserves a mention or even commend them on their work ethics and how it was a pleasure working with them.
3. Send it before or on your last day
If you’re dropping an email to sum up your transition plans, sending it before your last day will be more convenient in case any colleague wishes to follow up on tasks they missed out on. This will help you clear any queries before you lose access to your company email.
If you’d like to speak with them over your lunch break, or plan a farewell meal, sending the farewell note earlier will be helpful.
Otherwise, you can always drop them your farewell message on your last day.
However, avoid sending it at the last minute before the end of the workday. If you email earlier, you can allow your colleagues to respond with their own well wishes in time — this can go a long way in maintaining friendly and professional relationships.
4. Share your personal email & handphone number
Whether they’re handwritten simple farewell cards you want to give your colleagues in the office or an email message, sharing with them your personal email and handphone number lets them stay connected to you after you leave the company. They may also reach out to you to express their well-wishes.
Words to include in your farewell message to colleagues
There are many ways to craft your heartfelt farewell messages, so there’s no point in searching for goodbye or farewell email templates and samples.
After all, it is a personalised message coming from you. However, if you need some help, here are a few sample expressions to offer some inspiration when writing your personal message in a farewell email or card:
- It was lovely working with you.
- It was an absolute pleasure joining you on this team project.
- I am in awe at your level of dedication.
- I am glad to have had this exciting opportunity of being part of your team.
- You pushed me outside of my comfort zone.
- You’re one of the most hardworking employees I’ve known.
- Thank you for helping me during my difficult times.
- I cannot thank you enough for mentoring me.
- You should give yourself a tap on the back for being incredibly amazing.
- I wish you all the best with your time here.
- All the best in your future endeavours in this company and beyond.
- Keep in touch.
- We shall meet again.
Start penning your heartfelt goodbye messages and leave with a smile!