How To Write a Farewell Email To Colleagues

FT Contributor
A closeup of a woman's hands typing a farewell email on her laptop.
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When you work for an organization, in most cases, you are in direct contact with other employees. You tend to create a relationship with those coworkers. If you choose to leave your job at some point, you may want to give notice to colleagues without passing out your two weeks notice to everyone. Here’s how to write an appropriate farewell email to your colleagues.

Why Should You Send a Farewell Email?

Sending farewells to colleagues is an important step to maintaining positive work relations. First and foremost, it’s simply good etiquette to let the people you work with know that you’re moving on. Sending a farewell email also helps you leave on a positive note and creates opportunities for references. You should send a farewell email when you leave a job because:

  1. It creates a smooth transition: Sending a farewell letter can help clarify any confusion about your departure. This is especially important for explaining procedures your coworkers need to be aware of. If you were responsible for a team, your letter should clearly explain who will be taking over the duties of your role.
  2. It signifies that you want to maintain relationships: Whether you’ve worked with a group of people for a few months or multiple years, spending 40 hours a week with them tends to form a bond. As you continue advancing in your career, you may find that you turn to your former coworkers for advice or recommendation letters. A farewell letter helps you maintain those relationships and gives you an opportunity to let your coworkers know how they can reach you once you’ve left the company.

Who Should Receive a Farewell Email?

There is no standard for who receives a farewell email, but there are some common recipients, such as colleagues you worked directly with, mentors, and hiring managers. Also, think about individuals you may want to approach for  a reference later on.

While there is no limit to who should receive notice of your leaving the company, the typical recipients of farewell emails are:

  1. Anyone you’ve had regular interaction with: Throughout your time with the company, you’ve probably interacted with a multitude of people. While it’s not necessary to send a farewell email to everyone you’ve ever contacted, you should send it to those you’ve worked closely with. These could be people from your earlier days with the company or a different group you were a part of more recently.
  2. The entire company: In some instances, your farewell email should go to everyone. This is the case if you work for a small company and you’ve interacted with all of the employees. Individuals who work for a large organization with thousands of employees need only send their farewell email to their department and those they collaborated with in the past.
  3. Close colleagues: Certain colleagues may deserve a separate, more personal professional email that makes them aware you’re leaving. These people may be friends, mentors, or even managers with whom you have learned a lot and wish to continue sharing a relationship.

What a Farewell Email Should Include

Sending a farewell email is an important part of maintaining the professional relationships you’ve developed. As such, it’s important to format your farewell in a professional manner. Generally speaking, your farewell email should be succinct and include the following elements:

  1. Send the email prior to leaving: You can send your farewell email as soon as you’ve submitted your two weeks to your manager and human resources representative. Most often, people tend to wait until a day or two before their final day with the company to send a farewell email. This gives the recipients time to react and respond if they deem it necessary. Some people may have questions or may simply want to wish you luck. Regardless of when you send a farewell email, it should be sent before you leave for good.
  2. Thank the recipient: Your email is a chance to express gratitude to the recipient, so be as specific as possible in describing how that person impacted your career.
  3. Keep the tone positive: This is the last chance you have to make a good impression on your coworkers. Use in a light and upbeat tone. Avoid mentioning any negative opinions you may have about the company.
  4. Include your contact information: Your company email will either be deleted or granted to another employee after you leave. It’s important to share alternate contact information so that you can maintain your connections. Include your personal email, phone number, address, or links to your social media channels. You can also suggest connecting on LinkedIn for a more professional method of staying connected.

Farewell Email Sample

Subject Line: Moving On

My fellow employees,

I wanted to let you know that I have accepted another opportunity and my last day with [Name of Company] will be [Date].

While I am looking forward to the next steps in my career, I will certainly miss working with each of you. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with this company and am especially grateful for [Specific Reasons or Aspects of the Job].

If you have any questions regarding my departure, please reach out to [Name of Replacement], who is stepping into my role until the new employee starts on [Date].

Please feel free to keep in touch! I can be reached by email at [Email Address] or you can call my personal cell phone at [###-###-####].

Thank you again. I wish all of you the best of luck in the future!

[Your Name.]

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