Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart

Saying Goodbye to a Great Employee

It is a dilemma. A great member of your team is leaving for a totally understandable reason. You are sad to see this person go and you truly wish them well.

What do you do? Do you make a big deal about it? Do you let them leave with barely a word?

I think you do something meaningful. It is a chance to thank the person for being a great member of your team and a chance for everyone to reflect on the time that you all worked together. Life is short and our work life is a big part of it, we should stop and celebrate the success we have had.

Some ideas:

  • Go out for a group lunch on the boss with key co-workers.
  • Go for a drink with the team after work at a local watering hole.
  • Shut down the office for half an hour and gather everyone together for some snacks, a slide show and some reminiscing.
  • A lunch with just her supervisor or a half hour walk around the neighborhood, during work hours for some thanks and reminiscing may be the trick.
Japanese cold noodles in bamboo
The Herd enjoying Nagashi Somen, Japanese cold noodles and soup, as a goodbye party for a co-worker moving on to a new opportunity.

You are a great manager so you know this person well. Do what you think will mean the most to him/her.

I always imagine the scene at home when the person comes home from their last day. I want the person to tell their friends and family that the gang at work really cared about them and sent them off with style.   I don’t want them to have to say that nothing happened at all or that “all I got was a goodbye as I left and this cheesy travel mug”.

Sooner or later great employees think about coming back. I have seen it many times.   Great managers leave the door wide open.

We had a great employee leave IBEX last week. He was returning to China to look after his parents. We had a sliding noodle party in our parking lot for lunch, then we all gathered and watched a video that the Herd Word Nerds put together to celebrate his time with IBEX. It was one of the most memorable days in IBEX history. Many laughs and tears. I am glad we put the effort in.

Check out the video for an idea of what we did and for a look deep inside IBEX culture.