From recruitment to performance management, employee management comprises numerous elements. However, handling a response to an employee’s resignation letter is an area that many employers are not completely confident or familiar with.
Typically, resignations come unexpectedly. Employees may resign for a number of reasons — a better opportunity, travel, family or to further their qualifications. When an employee hands you a resignation letter, it is vital — for both legal and professional reasons — that you, as the employer, acknowledge and reply to it with tact and grace. How do you write a positive reply to a resignation letter?
Why is it important to respond to employee resignation letters?
- written acknowledgement to accept the resignation
- next steps required for a smooth exit
- well-wishes for the employee in their future endeavours
In some instances, you may be considering a counter-offer to convince your employee to stay. However you choose to respond, displaying positivity and professionalism towards your employee is paramount to putting you and your employee at ease during the process.
Tips on how to write an acknowledgement to a resignation letter
Acknowledging the resignation is one of the first steps you should take as an employer.
To write a professional letter of acceptance, follow these tips:
- Use a formal, business letter format
Include yours and the employee’s contact information along with the date, aligned to the top left corner of the letter. Make sure you close the letter with your handwritten signature and name and designation typed below it. Refrain from informal writing and begin with a clear formal salutation. Keep the letter professional to the end, regardless of your relationship with the employee.
- Use a clear subject line
If you are emailing your reply, make sure you use a clear subject line such as “Acceptance of Resignation” to prevent any misunderstanding or miscommunication.
- State your response to the resignation letter
First and foremost, it is important to state your response to the employee’s resignation letter. Whether you accept or plan to counter-offer the resignation, making your intention clear is necessary for a hassle-free and smooth conversation.
- Convey your well-wishes
No matter what the circumstances are, express your appreciation and gratitude for your employee’s contribution to the company. If applicable, you may also consider being a reference for them if they need it. You may not fully understand your employee’s reasons for leaving, but showing compassion and sending well-wishes is always appreciated.
Understanding how to write a reply to a resignation letter starts with a good structure.
Sample reply to an employee resignation letter
[Company Contact Number]
[Employee Job Title]
Dear [Employee Name],
I am writing to formally acknowledge and accept your letter of resignation, received on [Date] for the [Job Title] position at [Company], effective [last working date].
[Use this section to express your gratitude and appreciation for the contributions the employee has made to the company. This is also a good time to inform the employee of the offboarding process with the company.]
Please do not hesitate to contact me or Human Resources if you have any questions. [Thank the employee for the hard work and convey your well-wishes.]
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