How to Respond to Someone Resigning (With 15+ Examples)

When someone from your team resigns, it can be hard to know what your response should sound like.

Should you let the person know you’re sad to see them go? Or should you offer gratitude for their service?

According to experts, here are ways to respond to someone resigning:

Brian Snedvig

Brian Snedvig

CEO, Jofibo

Acknowledge official receipt of resignation letter

When responding to an employee’s resignation, start by acknowledging official receipt of their resignation letter.

Be sure to include the date of receipt and the role the individual is resigning from. You should also recognize the employee’s last working date in your company.

For instance, your introduction (after the address and salutation) can look like this:

“This letter is an acknowledgment of the receipt and acceptance of your resignation letter that we received on (date of receipt) for the (role) position in our company (name of company). “

Provide guidance on offboarding

Let the employee know the company’s official offboarding process, such as returning all company gadgets, keys, and badges.

Include the deadline by which the individual is expected to return these items. Keep this paragraph short, direct, and polite.

For example:

“Per the company protocol, please return all company-owned property including devices, ID badges, parking passes, and keys to your supervisor before (date of employee’s last working day).”

Be helpful on final wages and benefits

Be sure to direct them to the HR department for more information on the final paycheck, benefits, and any other details they may need.

Provide HR’s contact details, including email and phone details of the exact person they should contact should they have any questions regarding their final paycheck and the benefits they are entitled to.

Express your appreciation authentically

Before signing off, be sure to thank the employee for their contribution to your company.

Personalize this show of gratitude by identifying a few work milestones that the employee hit as an individual and as part of a team.

If there was something special about their personality that stood out, be sure to acknowledge this as well. Don’t forget to wish them luck in their future endeavors.

Sign off officially

Sign off officially, and include your name, role in the company, and signature.

Iqbal Ahmad

Iqbal Ahmad

Founder and CEO, Britannia School of Academics

Resignations are commonplace in business, and throughout my time as an employer in the education industry, I have had to deal with it numerous times. 

Most recently, I dealt with my assistant resigning, which was especially hard, as he was an employee that I worked closely with and had come to rely on. 

However, despite any feelings of disappointment, one must ensure that the resignation occurs smoothly, with measures put in place to ensure no adverse effects.

Gather the reasoning behind the decision

As your employee approaches you and explains that they are resigning from their role, it is helpful to gather the reasoning behind the decision.

It may be a situation that you can fix (if you believe the employee should be retained), or perhaps you can just take their reasoning into account to make adjustments to other employees’ working practices. 

Some scenarios will be entirely out of your control- for example, they may be moving to a different area or need to care for family members. 

However, if it is a matter of pay, for example, then you can consider making a counteroffer. In the case of my assistant, he had just finished his master’s degree, and I had no suitable positions to offer him that would meet his ambitions, so this wasn’t an option.

Transfer or delegate any ongoing projects to another employee

Usually, employees will have a notice period of at least two weeks, depending on their contract. 

Related: How to Give Two Weeks’ Notice

During this period, it is essential to transfer or delegate any ongoing projects to another employee or other members of your team while you solidify a long-term solution such as a replacement.

To do this, communication with your team is vital. It may be a good idea to discuss matters with them in small groups or as individuals to ensure everyone is on the same page and that there are no misgivings regarding task delegation. 

In the case of my assistant resigning, I was lucky enough for them to give me an advanced warning, so I had time to find a suitable replacement very shortly after their departure.

Show appreciation

Assuming the employee has resigned on good terms with yourself and your team, you now have an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how much you appreciate your employees and to demonstrate emotional maturity. 

You can have a leaving party, take the team out for dinner, or purchase the resigning team member a token of appreciation (such as a cake, card, or small gift). 

Doing this will cement your relationship with the departing employee and boost team morale in a time that might be difficult for the team. 

Moreover, if employees see that you have handled such a situation with grace and maturity, they will be less nervous about discussing sensitive matters with you, which is beneficial to your role as a manager. 

I am still on good terms with my former assistant. He even still does freelance projects for me occasionally, so I am delighted that we managed to maintain a positive relationship, despite his resignation.

Related: Building Strong Work Relationships

Consider freelancing arrangements

If you believe that the departing team member has knowledge or skills that are difficult to replace, consider offering them a freelancing contract so that your business or ongoing projects do not suffer unnecessarily because of their absence. 

I once had a tutor resign from his position as he moved to another country. The subjects he covered were very technical, and it was difficult to find a suitable replacement within the notice period. 

I allowed the tutor to teach virtually for six months until we found a replacement under a new freelancing agreement. I also had to allow certain flexibilities, such as a timetable change, but it was all worth it for the broader interest of ensuring smooth operations. 

This, is only going to be possible if you are able to maintain a good relationship with the resigning member, as has been advocated above.

Lattice Hudson 

Lattice Hudson

Business Coach and Leadership Mentor | Founder, Lattice & Co

It is crucial that you respond with the utmost professionalism

Resignation letters are never fun to receive, but you still must reply appropriately.

Since it is so unexpected and abrupt, an immediate resignation letter might seem like a smack in the face; You’ve lost a worker in an instant. It might be due to work-related challenges, wellness issues, or even increased stress.

In some instances, the worker may wish to remain anonymous about the cause. Whatever the reason may be, it is crucial that you respond to these letters with the utmost professionalism.

There’s a right way to do everything, which includes crafting the perfect reply to a resignation, even if the loss of an employee doesn’t particularly make you happy.

Example:

“We’re sorry to learn you’ve decided to leave [write firm title] because of [add dilemma behind departure].

This letter confirms my official answer to your recent letter [enter the letter’s receipt date]. You must surrender any business-owned equipment and vacate your workplace when the time comes, as per the terms of our organization.

We appreciate and thank you for everything you’ve done for [enter corporation name]. Best of luck.”

Gian Moore

Gian Moore

Partner and Marketing Director, Mellowpine

Here are some rules you must follow to professionally deal with resignations. These rules explain how to respond to a resignation letter.

Lend your ears to what the employee explains

When an employee breaks the news, you can be tempted to complain a lot. You must, moreover, make an effort to listen and comprehend that they are going. You may come across any presumed drawbacks to performing for the employer.

React professionally and show concern

The manner you respond to the choice to abandon may significantly impact how they use their final days at your firm. If you have a negative reaction, the employee will have an adverse attitude as well. As a consequence, they could not do much in their final days.

You must prevent this by replacing the rage with compassion. Show empathy as well as a good outlook to be an empathetic leader that makes things easy for them.

Manage the sudden disruptions in the department

Any team member’s resignation will have a significant impact on company operations. If the leader fails to manage the situation correctly, the effect will be much worse.

Thank the employee for his time and efforts with the team

Once you’ve informed the entire staff and shared that information with clients, you can take a little time to thank the outgoing worker for their efforts. After all, that is contingent on how much they have been with the firm.

Here is an example on how to respond to the resignation letter:

“This letter is to acknowledge and affirm receipt and approval of your letter of resignation for the [name of title] vacancy at [company name], effective [date of last working day]. It was received on [date the letter was received].

[Mention details and procedures for the last working day]
[Mention paperwork and other formalities and guide the employee through the same]

[Other information and processes with the HR Department]
Thank you for your work here at [company]. We wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Sincere gratitude,
[Signature of the Supervisor]”

Jessica Lim

Jessica Lim

HR Manager, MyPerfectResume

Have a conversation with the employee to understand their situation better

When faced with a resignation letter from someone in your team or company, you’d first want to understand why they want to leave, and if this employee is someone worth keeping, how will you change their minds? 

That’s why it’s always beneficial to have a conversation with the employee to understand their situation better. Not only to see what you can do to keep them but also to find out which areas you can improve. 

Here’s a template of a follow-up email you can use when faced with a resignation letter:

“Hi {employee name},

I received your letter of resignation, and though I respect your decision, I can’t help but be sad to see you go. 

Before I sign off on your letter, would you be open to meeting with me? I would like to understand what led you to this decision and learn more about your experience in the role and the company. 

Here are a few time/date proposals:

Proposal 1
Proposal 2
Proposal 3 

Please let me know which works best for you, and I’ll arrange the call. You don’t need to prepare anything for the meeting. We’ll just have a conversation, so water and a cup of coffee are recommended. 

Thank you, and I look forward to our call. 

Best, 
{sender’s name}”

Dima Suponau

Dima Suponau

CEO and Founder, Number for Live Person

Keep your responses filled with professionalism and empathy

Professionalism is always, of course, the priority. A response should acknowledge any nice comments made by the employee in their resignation letter, followed by your regret that they are choosing to leave.

An example of this might be:

“Dear X, thank you for your letter and your kind comments. It’s been a pleasure working for you, and I’m very sorry to hear that you’re choosing to leave the company.”

If you’re keen to retain the employee, you may then ask if there is something that you can do to change their mind – and possibly request a meeting to discuss this.

If this is not the case, it’s still a good idea to arrange a meeting to discuss the terms of the resignation, such as leaving dates, etc.

For example – and following on from the example above:

“You have been a valuable asset to the company, and I would very much like to schedule a conversation with you to find out if there’s anything that we, as a company, may persuade you to stay.”

Amid the worldwide ‘Great Resignation’, retaining staff has become the number one priority for businesses.

Even if you don’t feel that you wish the member of staff to stay, you don’t want to burn any bridges for the future – therefore, always keep your responses filled with professionalism and empathy – and try to leave the door open wherever possible.

Jennifer Pieniazek

Jennifer Pieniazek

Career Expert, ResumeNow

Employees want something more. They’re not satisfied with their jobs and are willing to change jobs like a Broadway musical actor changes outfits. 

But— it’s always a bit awkward when someone tells you they’re leaving, especially when you would rather they not go. What do you say? 

Show that you’ll miss their contribution and gently ask why they’ve decided to go

If your employee is resigning, especially a hard-working one that brings a lot of value to your workplace, don’t hesitate to show that you’ll miss their contribution and gently ask why they’ve decided to go. 

  • If they’ve taken a new position—congratulations are in order.
  • If they say they’re just dissatisfied with something about their current job, then apologize. 
  • If they’ve never come to you before, you can ask why they didn’t feel they could come to you. This can be a learning opportunity as a supervisor. 
  • If they’ve been a decent employee, offer to write a referral if they’re job hunting. 

Refer to something positive they’ve done

If your close coworker, someone on your team, for example, tells you they’re resigning, refer to something they’ve done that has been positive and express that they’ve added something of value for the workplace. 

It’s okay to ask them what’s next for them. If they’re accepting a new position, you can offer congratulations. 

The main goal is to keep a positive attitude and stay in touch if you like this person and their work. 

Magda Klimkiewicz

Magda Klimkiewicz

Senior HR Business Partner, Zety

Find out about the reason

We often assume that employees leave the company because they found a better-paid job with new, promising career development opportunities. While such a situation is often the case, there are also plenty of other reasons why your staff might decide to resign.

Your role as an HR professional is to find out why someone chooses to leave and what can be done to make this process as smooth as possible for your team.

Show your top talent that the doors are wide open if they decide to come back

It’s also important to look at your resigning top performers. Have they found a better place to work or maybe want to improve their skills and knowledge to advance their professional development?

Related: 10 Best Career Development Books

It’s a good idea to encourage your top performers that decide to leave to improve their qualifications and reapply in the future.

I once had a case when an employee decided to go because she got into an MBA program at one of the top universities in the United Kingdom. After some years, she returned with top-notch knowledge, new industry contacts, and fresh ideas for her new team.

Showing your top talent that the doors are wide open if they decide to come back is an effective way for building long-term relationships and hiring people that are an excellent cultural fit for your organization.

Susan Norton

Susan Norton

Senior Director of Human Resources, LiveCareer

Run an exit interview

As an HR professional, I always try to find out as much as I can why someone decides to leave our organization. 

It’s crucial to approach this sensitive issue with an open head and have the courage to admit to mistakes that happened during our journey together. 

We put a lot of effort into effective exit interviews for staff that resign. During such meetings, we ask people about their reasoning for leaving, things that didn’t work for them, and general job satisfaction they experienced during their time with us.

I treat exit interviews as a learning process and an opportunity to grow as an organization. It gives us a chance to improve our internal processes and ensure that we don’t make the same mistakes twice. 

We also want to maintain good relationships with our former employees, so we take time to listen to them and use their feedback to become better as an employer in the future.

Rahul Vij

Rahul Vij

CEO, WebSpero Solutions

Write professionally and positively

The response of resignation can be in a letter form or an email form and should be written professionally and positively.

Your letter should mention that you have received and accepted the resignation from the concerned employee.

In addition, it is essential to mention the date on which you received the resignation letter from the employee and their official last date of work in your response.

Example 1:

“We regret to hear that you are leaving [write organization’s name] due to health issues. Henceforth, we accept your resignation with a heavy heart.

We appreciate the efforts you have put into the growth of [insert organization’s name] and wish you a speedy recovery.”

Example 2:

“With the greatest grief, I have received and analyzed your letter of resignation that you submitted on [insert date of resignation letter].

It was a pleasure working with you, and you will be duly signing off on [insert official last day of work]. All the best for future growth.”

You can offer them a letter of recommendation or any reference

Your reply should indicate that you are grief-stricken to lose your valuable employee, but you respect and understand the circumstances in which this hard decision was taken.

You can offer them a letter of recommendation or any reference where they can excel more in their field, ending it on a positive note.

Rich Rudzinski

Rich Rudzinski

Founder, Tragic Media

Remain calm, professional, and provide support

Whenever you manage people, employees quitting or resigning is inevitable. However, the way you respond to it can affect their transition.

The best way to respond to someone resigning is to acknowledge them and their choice. Remaining calm, professional, and providing support during these times is extremely important.

Treat situation with empathy and demonstrate gratefulness

I recommend treating this situation with empathy and demonstrating gratefulness to the employee for their time with the company.

Here are a few steps to keep in mind when crafting a response to your employee’s resignation letter:

  • Acknowledgment: Let your employee know that you have received their resignation.
  • Acceptance: This includes your acknowledgment of their resignation, though it’s important to restate all of the details of their resignation (i.e. termination date) just to make it clear that you understand them.
  • Show gratitude: This is where you can show your gratitude to the employee for everything they’ve done for the company and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. You may take this opportunity to offer a reference or letter of recommendation in the future.

With these steps, you ensure that your employee keeps a good relationship with you while sticking to professional standards and expectations.

After this, make sure to have a good handover plan, so the company can keep running effectively.

Allocate enough time

Make sure to allocate enough time on their schedules for them to tie lose ends, such as training someone else to look after their responsibilities.

Communicate with the rest of the team

You should also make sure to communicate with the rest of the team so they hear it directly from you instead of creating rumors.

It might also be beneficial for their team to know so they can say their proper goodbyes. I always try to make sure their last days with the company are good so they can end their time with the company on a sweet note.

Karl Hughes

Karl Hughes

CTO and Founder, Draft.dev

Being kind and respectful is the appropriate way to reply to a resignation email

The best way to respond to an employee’s resignation is by being gracious, supportive, and understanding of their decision. 

Understand that no one wants to be out of work, so the decision for an employee to leave could not have been easy. You may want to understand the reasoning behind the employee leaving but make sure you do not force them to tell you. 

Instead, respectfully ask them if they are willing to answer some of your questions about why they choose to leave. Being kind and respectful is the only appropriate way to reply to a resignation email.

Below, is an example of how I, as a leader, respond:

“Hi there,

Thank you for the many years you have spent working for our company. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, and we are so grateful you were a part of our team. 

While I respect your decision to leave, I would like to know if you are willing to meet with me briefly to discuss your reasoning in the hope that we can improve the employee experience in the future. 

If you are available, please let me know. If you are not available for a meeting, please take this email as a thank you and good luck for your future endeavors. 

Please do not hesitate to ask me for any support you might need as you make this transition.

All the best,
Karl

Daniela Sawyer

Daniela Sawyer

Founder, FindPeopleFast

Follow formal and business letter format

The employer must follow formal and business letter format in replying to the resignation letter.

Both the employer and employee contact information must be added in the top left corner. Start with a clear subject line like acceptance of resignation.

The letter body will start with the exact response. The employer must not forget to thank the employee and convey good wishes for the employee’s future. A handwritten signature is needed at the end of the letter.

The sample is attached below:

“Date

Company name and address
Contact information

Employee name
Details with employee name

Dear (employee name),

I am writing to acknowledge and accept your resignation formally.

We are thankful to you for your efforts in our company. I hope you will be doing great in the future. I wish you the best of luck.

Don’t forget to reach us if you need any further help.

Sincerely,
employer name”

James Diel

James Diel

Founder and CEO, Textel

Handle conversation and communications with respect

If your employee resigns in person, it’s in good taste as a business owner to thank them for their service and offer help in their transition. 

It can be difficult to hear that a teammate, especially a top-performing one, is leaving their role, but it’s imperative to maintain your calm and handle the conversation and subsequent communications with respect.

Use a professional business format and language in the letter

Even if your resignation conversation addresses any pertinent information going forward, you’ll still want to accept the resignation in writing. 

Outline in clear written words what date the employment was terminated and that you’re accepting the employee’s resignation rather than firing the teammate.

Sending an email is acceptable, but you’ll want to use a professional business format and language in the letter itself.

Here’s an example:

“John Smith
Senior Development Manager
Acme Corp
123 Fake Street
New York, NY 12345

January 1, 2022

Bob Brown
456 Fake St
New York, NY 12345

Dear Bob,

We accept your resignation from your position, effective on January 15, 2022, as requested via your resignation letter.

It has been a pleasure to work with you, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Please feel free to ask if I can provide you with assistance or support as you move into your new role.

Sincerely,
John”

Eden Cheng

Eden Cheng

Co-Founder, PeopleFinderFree

Express empathy towards them by refocusing towards their decision to resign

When a staff member decides to resign, it is often best to immediately follow up with a written resignation letter that details the particulars of the resignation.

When composing it, the key is to express empathy towards them by refocusing the message towards their decision to resign.

After all, some of the main reasons that would explain their sudden decision to leave may be down to a lack of professional growth, feelings of being underpaid, etc.

As such, it is best to present an empathetic message that diminishes the negative impact of the turnover.

Furthermore, you also have to express gratitude towards them for their service because doing so makes them feel appreciated, which is a contributing factor in helping them maintain self-confidence and competence even after they leave.

And finally, make sure to end the letter on a positive note because it implies that you bear no grudge or ill feelings about their decision to resign.

In this respect, an excellent example of a response that you can give would be something along the lines of:

“Dear XXXX,

We have received and acknowledged your resignation letter. We regret to hear about your decision to leave us, but we also respect your decision.

Please know that the amount of time, effort, knowledge, and skills you have imparted in service to the company is highly valued.

And while we are very sad to see you leave, we also wish you all the best in your other life endeavors. If there is anything else you may need from me, please do not hesitate to contact me either by phone at (555)-555-5555 or by email at [email].

Best wishes,
XXXXX”

Martin Seeley

Martin Seeley

Chief Executive Officer, MattressNextDay

Use accurate words, tone, format style, etc.

“Resign” is the last word any business owner wants to hear from their employees. However, it is not proper if we concur with their decision to depart; instead, appropriate responding and acknowledging their resignation will matter in the end.

As a CEO, I can tell that not all companies respond to resignation letters, but I believe it is much preferable to reply because it implies that you have received the message and will bring more clarity.

First and foremost, while responding, it should be done professionally. The usage of words, tone, format style, and other factors are all significant.

Then, in the first paragraph, acknowledge that you have received the resignation and have accepted it. Put the employee’s last day on the job as well.

Show your sympathy in the next paragraph. Of course, in a professional tone, express your understanding to them.

For example:

“This message is to accept and validate the receipt and approval of your resignation letter for the secretary position at ABC Company, effective January 25, 2021, which was received on December 28, 2020.

We’d like you to know that you’ve always been an exceptional employee who we’re proud to have on our team.”

Dan Ni

Dan Ni

CEO, Messaged.com

Different types of resignations require different responses

Getting a resignation from an employee can be as equally unnerving as it is for an employee giving their resignation. As an employer, you should know how to respond appropriately to a former employee, especially one you consider an asset.

For different types of resignations, there are different responses. For an effective immediately resignation, it is appropriate to write:

We regret to hear that you have decided to move on from [insert name of company] due to [insert problem/reason for resignation].

Then after asking them for the appropriate documentation before they leave, thank them for their service.

For resignations with short notice, like a week, respond with our regret and reiterate when their resignation is in order and end it with gratitude.

A resignation with a month’s notice is similar but a little different in terms of offering the employee the choice to stay in case they change their mind.

David Aylor

David Aylor

Founder and CEO, David Aylor Law Offices

Create a written record of your agreements as protection

When you accept an employee’s resignation, you must create a written record of your agreements as protection in case the employee tries to come after you legally down the road for mistreatment.

Create an acceptance letter that acknowledges your acceptance or clear counter-offer of resignation along with their final date of work. 

Offer understanding and support for the employee moving forward. Whether you send an email or a formal letter, send them one for their records and keep and copy for your records. 

You need to have a clear paper trail during the resignation process to protect your business from unwarranted lawsuits by former employees.

Andrei Kurtuy

Andrei Kurtuy

Co-founder and CCO, Novorésumé

Develop a strategy for dealing with risks

It irritates bosses when outstanding performers defect to a competition (or even down the hallway to another department). So employee engagement initiatives abound.

Many firms strive to create work environments that promote:

  • Job happiness
  • Meaningful work
  • Employee recognition and reward
  • Personal and professional growth

While these methods are excellent for business and can help enhance retention, leaders cannot rely only on them. They must be realistic and clear-eyed about the future, or they will lose vital talent.

Because wishing for retention isn’t a viable business strategy, great leaders take daily steps to safeguard themselves, their teams, and their businesses.

Preventing undesirable turnover requires a new way of thinking about planning and assigning tasks:

Delegate strategically

It’s tempting to identify high-impact personnel and provide them a portfolio of work that makes them the go-to person in a certain field. But what if Mr. or Ms. Go-To is no more?

Delegate strategically to spread risk and brainpower. Distribute tasks and responsibilities so that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Create backups and encourage staff to collaborate

Most firms are leaner than ever and must use resources efficiently. But building reserves to weather unwelcome turnover requires planned redundancies.

Create backups and encourage staff to collaborate. This protects against resignations and helps the company to absorb unexpected absences. It also promotes taking vacations (and the productivity improvements that come with it) knowing that vital work will be done.

Offer career advancement

Career advancement is a well-known retention tactic, but it’s also a recouping approach. When you assist each employee in reaching their maximum potential, you have a ready supply of internal resources. You also build a favorable brand in the talent market, making it easier to hire top personnel and fill important posts.

Finally, losing an employee has both interpersonal and business consequences. Those who survive react in various ways. As a result, it’s critical to engage people, foster resilience, and foster adaptability to unavoidable workforce changes.

James Angel

James Angel

Co-Founder, DYL

Keep your subject line in mind

You should create a new email rather than replying to the resignation email in its entirety if you believe it is essential and appropriate to announce the resignation to the office.

Make certain that the email’s subject line is acceptable and conveys the content of the communication in a simple manner.

Example:

“Resignation Acceptance – Best wishes on your future journey.”

It’s a good idea to be upfront with the other employees about the date of the leaving employee’s last day of work—but not the cause for the resignation or any other details—to give them a chance to say goodbye before the person leaves the company.

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

CEO, CocoSign

Always use a clear subject line describing your purpose

An acknowledgment resignation letter should be written professionally to demonstrate professionalism to the end, despite your relationship with that employee.

To eliminate any misconception or miscommunication, always use a clear subject line describing your purpose. After stating an intention-clear response to their resignation letter, show compassion by sending well-wishes to their future.

For example:

“Greetings,

Dear [Significant],

I’m writing to officially recognize and acknowledge your letter of resignation, acknowledged on [xx-xx-xxxx] for the [Chair] position at [Table], commencing from [xx-xx-xxxx].

[Utilize this segment to offer your thanks and appreciation for the commitments the employee has made to the organization. This is additionally a happy chance to educate the representative regarding the offboarding system with the company.]

Kindly spare a moment to reach me or HR if you have any inquiries. [Thank the employee for the challenging work and pass on your well-wishes.]

Avner Brodsky

Avner Brodsky

CEO and Co-Founder, Superwatches

Accept it for what it is

While getting a resignation letter from an employee can be less than ideal, it is best to respond from a place of understanding instead of anger or upset.

If an employee has handed in a letter of resignation, you can assume their mind is made up, so don’t waste your time trying to convince them otherwise.

Take a moment to yourself before responding

Before responding, take a second to ensure you don’t say something you regret.

An employee resigning can feel like a blindside, and sometimes, CEOs take personal offense to a resignation email because they see it as a reflection on their company.

Collect your thoughts before replying and ensure that you keep your response professional and kind-hearted.

Show gratitude and offer support in their transition

If this employee did an excellent job in their position, thank them for helping make your business what it is.

Show gratitude for their work by thanking them for all they’ve done and offer help in any way to make their transition more seamless.

Here is an example of a great way to respond to a resignation email (let’s say the employee’s name is Alicia):

“Hi there Alicia,

While it is sad to hear that you are leaving, I’m sure that this decision was not easy for you to make and I hope you have enjoyed your time with our company.

I want to thank you for all the hard work you have put into helping our company grow throughout the years.

If there is anything I can do to make your transition more seamless, please do not hesitate to ask.

I hope your future is bright and prosperous.

All the best,
Avner”

Michael Butt

Michael Butt

Vice President of Marketing, Verta

Manage sudden departmental disruptions

The resignation of any team member will have a substantial influence on the organization’s operations. If the leader fails to properly manage the situation, the consequences will be even worse.

  • Relax in your job and think about how you’ll break the news to your employees, clients, business associates, and, if necessary, senior executives who need to know.
  • Inquire as to whether or if the individual will aid you in locating a replacement for the vacant position.
  • Inform the entire staff of the individual’s intention to retire until they declare their retirement. If you tell them after they’ve left, you’re likely to instill a profound sense of discomfort in the other person.
  • Consult with the other members of the team. The announcement that everyone is resigning is certain to provoke a flurry of speculation. Consequently, slow down the other team members and persuade them that it is only a minor stumbling block.

John Li

John Li

Co-Founder and CTO, Fig Loans

If you’re a business with more than ten employees, having a resignation policy in place helps management create a system to process resignations so that they’re handled well while protecting the business and the former employee.

Building a resignation pamphlet to hand resigning employees can help explain the transition steps to make the process as smooth and transparent as possible.

Offer professional separation services

Offering professional separation services is a business owner’s responsibility to its team, along with explaining final pay, benefits status, employee notice requirements, and determining the employee’s last day of employment with you.

Create a formal resignation response to cover your business legally

You must create a formal resignation response to cover your business legally. The letter must contain the date, company and employee contact information, and a line formally accepting the letter of resignation.

Include the date you received the resignation and their last day of work so that expectations on both ends are very clear.

Lastly, a word of thanks and appreciation is a nice touch and shows maturity on the business’s side, regardless of how things played out with the employee.

Yuvi Alpert

Yuvi Alpert

Founder, Creative Director, CEO, Noémie

Implement an information collection process by designing an exit interview

Although it may seem odd, the best way to view and respond to a resignation is as an opportunity rather than just a loss.

Once you get past the formalities of written acknowledgment, acceptance, and liability protection, you can start implementing an information collection process by designing an exit interview.

In creating the interview, it is important to show compassion for two reasons:

  • to leave options open
  • to create a comfort level in which they will honestly disclose their feelings

Then it is time to learn their reasons, such as compensation, advancement mobility, workplace culture, benefits, and other pertinent factors.

By using the resignation process for information, you can later enhance recruitment and improve employee retention.

Jonathan Tian

Jonathan Tian

Co-Founder, Mobitrix

Divide your reply into segments

Most of the time, the resignation comes unexpectedly, which raises the difficulty for an employer to respond correctly. It leaves the employer not entirely confident about a reply. If you’re facing the same challenge, in my view, you should divide it into segments.

  1. In the first segment, you write an acknowledgment to accept their resignation.
  2. In the second segment, you should move towards a smooth exit.
  3. In the third segment, you can wish them well & a bright future.

When you keep it according to the plan, you can easily make it less complicated & more professional.

Apart from all that, it would be best to keep these things in mind to respond correctly to your employee resigning:

  • Use of formal, business letter format
  • Making a clear subject line
  • Stating proper response for their reason behind the resignation

Ian Sells

Ian Sells

CEO and Founder, RebateKey

Acknowledge the resignation and guide the employee through the process

Acknowledging the resignation is necessary to ensure that the resignation really happened and is documented. This is important because employees have a tendency to change their minds.

Ask for a letter that details their reason for leaving

Documenting the reason why they left is important for the company. It is also worthy of having it on record. Having something on file can help you have a document to go back to for future reference.

It’s not uncommon for people to claim their resignation as a termination to be able to file for support. Having a document allows you to have proof just in case people file for termination claims.

Boomerang employees are becoming more and more common now. Having their reason on record gives you a solid reference of why they left, which can help you assess if they’re worthy of getting rehired.

Mark Daoust

Mark Daoust

CEO, Quiet Light

Gauge the circumstances of the resignation

When I receive an employee’s resignation, I try to gauge the circumstances of the resignation. If the person is thoughtful and I know that this has been in the works for a while, I usually respond in person and let them know I received their letter, and I schedule a meeting. 

However, if I get a resignation letter given in the “heat of the moment”, written when someone was angry or upset, they may regret this decision. In this circumstance, I often allow the employee to retract their resignation after calming down and thinking through their actions. 

Especially in these times when the level of stress is so high, and workers have so much going on in their lives, I always want to ensure that the decision to resign was not made too quickly.

Kavin Patel

Kavin Patel

Founder and CEO, Convrrt

Request written notice

The majority of employers ask that you provide a formal letter of resignation. If the employee does not have a letter, you should ask for one after making your initial remark.

It is preferable to receive written notice when the employee informs you that they will be leaving. It can be written by hand and emailed to you or rapidly typed and printed.

It is sufficient for a resignation letter to contain only the date, a declaration that the employee is resigning, and the date on which the employee expects to complete their final day of employment.

You can use the following language to request a written letter of resignation:

“I’m delighted you notified me, even though corporate protocol demands that you submit a written resignation letter. Do you have one ready in advance?”

“If you don’t already have a letter of resignation, let’s start working on one immediately. Here’s a notepad that you can use.”

“Human Resources will require a copy of your letter of resignation. I notice you’ve got your phone with you, which is good. Please open your email and make a quick note to me, assuring me that we had a successful talk.”

“Prepare responses such as how much notice the organization requires an employee to give when resigning from their position. If you’re still unsure, you should consult the company’s employee handbook for a firm response.”

Aaron Masterson

Aaron Masterson

Founder, Local Furniture Outlet

Pay attention to reasons for their decision to leave

When employees decide to resign from your company, it comes as a surprise most of the time. You will have a lot to say as the shocking news is delivered to you as a manager or business owner.

Regardless of questions or thoughts you may have, it is important to pay attention to reasons for their decision to leave. This will possibly enlighten you on the disadvantages of working in your company.

It could be uncompetitive wages or lack of professional opportunities for growth. Whatever the reasons might be, you need to review and analyze them in order to help you prevent an exodus of employees from your company.

Control your reaction and see things from their perspective

Your reaction to the news of an employee leaving will determine the way such employee spends the rest of their days in your company.

If such employees perceive a negative reaction, they may retaliate with a similar attitude that may affect their performance in their final days.

Instead, show empathy by seeing things from their perspective. This makes the quitting process easier for both the employee and the company.

Minimize or prevent disruption to business operations

It is natural for the departure of any employee to disrupt operations within a company, especially when it involves a leadership position.

To reduce disruption to business activities, determine the best way to share the news to the rest of the team, partners, or the management.

This news has to be shared before the said employee departs the company. Announcing the news after departure can create panic or feelings of uncertainty among team members.

While breaking the news, it is important to appreciate the work and output of the outgoing employee, depending on how much time they spent in the company.

Organize a small farewell party to show appreciation to departing employee, and to let them know how well we value their service to the company.

Steve Pogson

Steve Pogson

Founder and E-commerce Strategy Lead, FirstPier

Acceptance of Letter of Resignation Example:

Dear_________

We accept your resignation letter from the position of HR executive, effective from date________, with profound sadness.

You were a hardworking employee at this firm. It would be difficult to find a substitute for you.

Your notice period ends on date_______, as per company regulation, and we have delivered your letter of resignation to the accounting department for payment of all outstanding debts.

Best of luck in your future pursuits.

Sincerely yours
Signature & Name

David Patterson-Cole

David Patterson-Cole

CEO, Moonchaser

Make a list of everything you need from them

When someone resigns, make a list of everything you need from them before they leave as soon as you can. Some of this information will be administrative documents or a formal resignation letter, but much of it is unique to each employee.

The departing worker knows workflows and responsibilities better than anyone. Think about who their replacement will be and what they need or need to know to do the job correctly.

Send this list to the employee and set up a time to call them to discuss the items bit-by-bit. They might not be able to get it all done before their last day, which is why time is of the essence. Starting as soon as you can help avoid you losing valuable insights.

Nathan Hughes

Nathan Hughes

Marketing Director, Diggity Marketing

Mention contributions and describe gratefulness

Through experience, I know that it is essential to handle resignations gracefully. Once, a new hire who was also a promising candidate sent her resignation through the mail, citing conflicts of passion.

I reverted, mentioning her contributions and describing our gratefulness for having her on the team. Finally, I talked about the fun we, as a team, had, in addition to getting the chance to learn with each other’s interactions.

I concluded the mail by giving her the best for her future and telling her how it was hard for us to let her go.

Your response carried out this way shows that the employee who quit was a valuable asset. Such resignation replies are the ones that can help your employee move forward with confidence and believe in themselves to provide promising results.

Joel Efosa

Joel Efosa

Founder, SellMyHouse

Be brief, courteous, and express understanding and well-wishes

While a letter of resignation landing on your desk can come as an unwanted surprise, it’s still important to conduct yourself professionally as a manager or boss.

That is why your reply to a letter of resignation should be brief and courteous, and express understanding and well-wishes for your employee’s future.

One of my managers resigned in June 2021 for personal reasons. It wasn’t a great time for him to leave, especially since our company just financially got back on its feet during the pandemic.

Also, he began as my personal assistant when my family started the business. Then I promoted him to his managerial position. I’d known him for a long time, and we worked well together. Naturally, I was sad to see him go.

With that said, I wished him well in all his personal and professional endeavors, which I expressed in a formal reply to his resignation via email.

It took me over an hour to craft what I hoped was the best response to my manager leaving our team.

Since we’d even become good friends over time, it felt appropriate to convey personal and professional sentiments instead of using a generic corporate response to his letter of resignation.

Mike Ziarko

Mike Ziarko

Founder and CEO, No More Chores

Honor their successes and send them your good wishes

Take time to recognize your employees’ contributions to your company, but keep in mind that no one-size-fits-all solution exists. While one person may like a farewell party, another may prefer a more intimate send-off, such as an informal team lunch.

The rest of the workforce may enjoy having the opportunity to celebrate and express their support, especially if your person has been with your organization for a long time.

Don’t forget to send your former employee good wishes as they enter the next chapter of their career. Stay in touch by sending a note to their new office. You never know when your paths will cross again or who they could refer to work at your company!

Making goodbyes as smooth and painless as possible requires organization and compassion. Remember that making your farewells as warm as your welcomes will only help your staff see you as a wonderful leader.

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