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Farewell speech for leaving a company

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Farewell speech for leaving a company
March 26, 2019 Anniversary Wishes For Parents 1 comment

Farewell speeches mark the ending of an important chapter in life and the if you're leaving for retirement or a big promotion in another city. Start by sharing how long you've worked at the company and in what capacity.

Firstly, I'd say only give a farewell speech if you actually know the person who is leaving. It is truly cringe worthy to see some upper manager who has clearly never met the person try to give the farewell speech for someone who is leaving, especially if both have been with the organisation for some time. The speech should probably be given by their line manager or, if the line manager hasn't been in post long, a peer who knows them well (ask for a volunteer).

After that, remember the speakers adage: "Stand up, speak up, shut up."

Keep it short and sweet. Recognise how long they've been with the organisation, mention where they're going to, wish them well. If appropriate throw in a short anecdote or comment, ideally that casts them a positive light and makes them feel that they'll be missed. Make sure you've got a "Keep In Touch With" reminder in your calendar to drop them a line or a call to say Hi and see how they're doing

Something like: "As you all know Bob has worked for us as a project manager for just over three years. He's now decided to fly the nest to take up a programme director post with Blogs and Blogs. I'm sure we'll all miss Bob, in particular that lovely quiche he would bring to the pot luck lunches each month, and we wish him well for the future." Turn to Bob and shake his hand, "Good luck with Blogs and Blogs, I'm sure you'll be a great success for them. Thank you for everything you've done for us during your time here."


Here is a great look on how to construct a farewell speech that will honor the employee leaving the company and pay tribute to their time spent.

How To Give A Memorable Goodbye Speech

farewell speech for leaving a company

You have found a new job, and you're ready to give two weeks notice to your current employer. Or, you've lost your job. What's the best way to say goodbye when you leave a job?

The next step is to send a farewell message to co-workers and to let them know that you are moving on to a new position, starting a job search, retiring, or doing something else with your life. It's appropriate to send an email farewell letter. You can include your contact information so you can stay in touch.

How to Say Goodbye When You Leave a Job

Handle your departure as carefully as you would handle any other business endeavor. It's always wise to not burn bridges, because you don't know when you will need your past employers for a reference.

Tips for Bidding Farewell to Co-Workers

Once your boss knows you are leaving, it's fine to let your co-workers and colleagues know that you're moving on. Here are some tips for saying goodbye.

  • Tell close colleagues in person. It's fine to email or message most people you've worked with. However, if you have a close relationship with some of your co-workers take the time to have a personal conversation. That's especially important if your departure is going to have a significant impact on their working life.
  • Connect on LinkedIn. If you're not already connected with your colleagues on LinkedIn, now is an excellent time to add them to your network.
  • Say goodbye via email. Send an email announcement or a LinkedIn message to co-workers you know well, or to your department. You do not necessarily want to send your goodbye note to the entire company. That's especially recommended if there are thousands of employees. 
  • Keep your message brief and to the point. Do not include a long dissertation on how you hated your job and couldn't stand working for the company. Don't include the fact that you're making oodles of money at the new job, even if it's true. There is no need to criticize or brag. You want to move forward and say farewell in a positive manner.
  • Do mention projects you have worked on together or special times you've enjoyed together. If you are sending individualized goodbye emails, tailor your message to your relationship with the colleague. This farewell letter is casual and personal, rather than official.
  • Share personal contact information, including email address and phone number so your co-workers can stay in touch.
  • Review these sample farewell letters to get an idea of how to say goodbye when you're not sure what to write.

When You Have Been Fired or Laid Off

If you've been fired or laid off and want to let your co-workers know you're leaving, and you still have email access, you can send an even briefer email letter.

You can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile page. Do not vent or complain in this email even if you are feeling sad, frustrated, or angry. 

Be Brief

In summary, when leaving a position, keep your goodbyes short and sweet. Don't go overboard, in any direction. There's no need to give out too much information about why you're moving on. Do make sure you notify those co-workers that need to know that you're leaving and make sure they know how to get in touch with you after you're gone.

Review Goodbye Letter Examples

Here's a list of goodbye letter examples to say farewell to co-workers, clients and business contacts to let them know that you have accepted a new job, are retiring, or resigning. There are also letter examples you can send to colleagues, clients, and customers to congratulate them and wish them well as they move on to a new opportunity.

It's important to part on good terms, and you don't want your boss hearing rumors of your departure through the grapevine.

Let them know you'll be moving on. Ask for job search assistance, if it's appropriate, and provide your personal contact information, so that they can get in touch.

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Over and out: All you need to know about nailing the farewell speech

farewell speech for leaving a company

Farewell speeches -

Saying goodbye graciously

By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 01-15-2019 | First published: 05-01-2010

Farewell speeches mark significant departures. They are so much more than a casual "see you later" and a mumbled "thanks for everything"  as you make a dash for the door.

A planned goodbye speech crystallizes the moment of leaving, giving it focus, form, and dignity.  It provides an opportunity to publicly acknowledge people and events, as well as to graciously show your appreciation and gratitude for them.

And that, I think, is the sort of speech you want to give! 

What's on this page?

Everything you need to prepare an excellent farewell speech. Click the video for a complete overview.

When to give a farewell speech

A farewell speech is frequently expected when leaving a job to take another and is given by the person leaving or, to the person leaving by a colleague, manager or boss.

Other situations calling for farewell speeches are graduations (leaving a school, a class...), retirements or perhaps when a long-time member of your club or neighborhood departs. A funeral speech or eulogy is yet another form of a goodbye or farewell speech.

Retirement & funeral farewell speeches

Click to find out how to prepare, write, deliver and read examples of:

Traps of a particularly nasty sort

I think the biggest trap is allowing yourself to play that old con game in which you suddenly, without regular practice, become a marvelous impromptu speaker.

When asked to say a few words you'll be fluent! You'll remember everyone and everything you wanted to mention. The speech will be structured. It will open with a flourish and close with a slice of unforgettable wisdom. Perfect.

Reality can be very nasty sometimes.  "Umming and erring", rambling, missing out things and ending with a limp "Yeah, well, that's it" and a shrug exposes the con. Yep, fell for it. Again. Sigh.

Just like the Scouts: Be prepared!

Think ahead. Plan. You will know if a speech is expected.

Learn from either your own previous experience or from what you've witnessed. Be it the good, the bad or the ugly!

There is a fine line between formal and informal particularly in a work place. Straying too far on either side may not be received well, and the impact may ripple on in ways you have little control over. Like for instance, being overlooked rather than asked to give a presentation.

Pitching your speech appropriately and delivering it well takes practice. For your own sake do it.

Good communication skills, (which includes public speaking), will open more hearts, minds, and therefore doors, than any other skill you might have! 
(For more, please see The Importance of Communication Skills in Business.)

Hallmarks of gracious farewell speeches

So having established the need to do more than bumble through a hastily cobbled together farewell speech, here's what you are aiming for. 

These are the characteristics of a speech that an audience, (your co-workers, employers, classmates, friends, fellow club members ...), would be delighted to hear.

  1. It is respectful and sincere. The speech expresses appropriate honest and genuine feelings about people, events and ideas.
  2. It is positive. The speech acknowledges outcomes, projects and events positively, without undue exaggeration or puffery, and expresses hope for the future. If being positive is difficult be very careful about publicly passing judgement or making comments that could cause embarrassment or something far worse. 
  3. It is brief. The speech is succinct and concise, minus padding or waffle. There are no prizes for rambling on and on. Three to five minutes is enough!

Content ideas for a leaver's going away speech

If it's you who is leaving and you're preparing a speech to mark the occasion, here is a list of the type of material expected, and appreciated in a farewell speech.

  1. A brief summary of involvement eg. how long you've been with the company, club etc
  2. What you have enjoyed, admired or appreciated about the workplace, job, neighborhood, club
  3. The admiration and appreciation you have for the people - their qualities/skills
  4. What you feel about leaving
  5. Your gratitude and thanks for support, opportunities to learn, friendship...
  6. Special memories or good humored anecdotes
  7. Your reasons for leaving
  8. What, or where, you are going to
  9. Hopes and good wishes for those remaining

Obviously you're not expected to cover all nine points in lavish detail. Pick what feels right to you and applying the brevity, positive, respectful and sincere guidelines, prepare your speech.

Sample farewell speech

To show you how the content suggestions and the "graciousness" guidelines work together I've prepared a sample speech. That's below. 

The speech is 573 words long. Depending how fast or slow you speak that will take approximately four minutes to deliver. (You can find out more speech rate here) 

About this speech

The speech is entirely fictional. I've written it from the point of view of a person working for a company called Smith and Black. Here he/she, (I've not defined gender.),  led a team which was involved in community initiatives. He/she is leaving to do further study. The speech will be given at a gathering in the company staff room. 

Farewell speech from the leaver to colleagues

"Thank you for coming along. I am delighted to see you all here.

Do you realize we've been sharing each other's company for 2920 days? 

We've been together through approximately 417 Mondays. 417 Wednesdays. (Half way! It's the weekend soon. Hang in.) And 417 yay, it's Fridays!

Eight years of fun times, challenging times and everything in between.

And today I am officially leaving you!

In the past some of you have questioned my sanity. Now, standing here in the midst of you all, I'm wondering about it too!

It's bittersweet to leave a workplace you've enjoyed. I might joke about the Monday blues, having to return to work after a weekend full of activities centered around family and friends, but that's all it is – a joke. I realize I have been very fortunate. This place, this work, and its people have meant so much to me. I am proud to have been a member of the team here.

Eight years ago you made it easy for me to feel at home. Smith and Black is a rare company. Its workplace is genuinely a mirror of its HR policy. Inclusion is more than a buzz word in a manual here. It's real! That makes it doubly difficult to leave.

Thank you for your belief in me, your support and your friendship. None of us achieve in isolation and the successes we've enjoyed together have been the result of our mutual cooperation and collaboration. It's a pleasure and a privilege to have worked alongside colleagues who understand how to bring the best out in each other.

In the middle of our daily business: meeting targets, initiating projects and developing new ones, it's all too easy to lose sight of the most important element of all in any organization – the person, the people. Us. You and me, as individuals with hearts, minds, and feelings.

That we don't is what makes Smith and Black unique. Thank you Bob for your inspired leadership. Thank you to my team: Monica, Tom and Sam for your trust in me, for your humor and all your hard work.

We've been involved in some outstanding projects together. I'll always remember our “Feed a Friend” out-reach program and its extraordinary success.  The “Red Balloon” initiative had lofty goals which we slaved to bring to fruition, and failed. The hard lessons learned there we deployed in our biggest success of all – the “No Child Left Behind” program. That was magical, inspirational work which will go on making the world a better place.

Thank you.

With so much to be grateful for – outstanding colleagues, an ethical humane company, and meaningful work, it seems perverse to leave.

However, I am!

As some of you already know, I'm going to take up an offer to further my understanding of the practical implementation of diversity policy. It's an amazing course, taught by some of my heroes in the field. This is something I've wanted for several years and the right time to do it is now.

I am going to miss you all. You've been part of my journey for a long time.

I've already packed memories of fun, collaboration, consultation, and friendship into my heart to take with me. Those I'm deeply grateful for.

My wish for you is that you too are able to follow your dreams. This is not goodbye. Per courtesy of email I will never be far away!"

Content ideas for a farewell speech given to a leaver

If you're expected to give a speech on behalf of your club, company ... to a person leaving use the content suggestions below and write your speech using the guidelines given above.

  1. What you have sincerely enjoyed, admired or appreciated about the leaver's contribution to the workplace, club, neighborhood ...
    eg. their role in XXX project, their organizational skills, the chocolate cake they made for special occasions ...
  2. A story or two illustrating the positive qualities of the person leaving
  3. How their departure will impact on those left behind
  4. Good wishes for the future
  5. Presentation of gift on behalf of company

*About The Speech Builder - this is an app that "builds" personalized speeches. There are 3 farewell speeches to choose from: a farewell from an employer to an employee who is leaving, a farewell from a co-worker to another co-worker who is leaving and a farewell from a leaver to the co-workers being left.

Writing and delivering your speech

The easiest way to take your content ideas and turn them into a speech is to use an outline. Click the link for a downloadable fill-in-the-blanks speech outline.

The speech outline covers the main points you want to make in the order you want to make them. Once you've filled it out, test by saying it out loud.

  • Listen for the flow of information.
    Is it ordered?
    Does each idea link logically?
    Are the transitions clear?
  • Is there a beginning (introduction), body (middle) and conclusion?
  • Is the content, tone and language use right for the occasion and your intended audience?
  • Time the speech. Is it too long? Edit if necessary.
  • And say your speech to a trusted friend or colleague before giving it on the day. This is a safety precaution to ensure that you haven't left out anything that should be there or put in anything that shouldn't!

3 ways to deliver your prepared farewell speech

Choose what best suits you and the occasion.

1. Read your speech

If the situation is very emotional or you are very emotional this may be the safest way to get everything you want to say out.

Using your completed speech outline as a guide write the whole speech out.

When you print your text out be sure to use a large font so that it is easily read. Double space your lines and number your pages for the same reason.

Here's an article from one of my newsletters on how to read a speech aloud which goes into more detail. For the best results, read it.

2. Use cue cards

Make brief summary notes on numbered (cue) cards that will serve as memory prompts to guide you from one idea to the next.

These are very good if you have practiced and know your speech. They let you interact with your audience more freely than reading word for word does. The result is a more spontaneous sounding speech.

Click the link to find out more about preparing and using cue cards.

3. Give your speech from memory

If you have time this could be the option to go for. The advantages are that you speak directly to your audience. Because you are not relying on notes you can use readily use gestures and make eye contact.

Check here for tips and techniques on how to remember a speech.

The disadvantage could be the risk of forgetting what you wanted to say entirely through being overcome by the emotion of the occasion but this is significantly lessened through practice.

Deliver your speech well

If you'd like to know more about how to deliver your farewell speech well check out these pages:

Manage the nerves 

If you find yourself under attack from a fit of nervous apprehension at the mere thought of giving your goodbye speech look here. Help is a click away.

Please don't use your farewell speech as an opportunity to vent any pent up frustrations you may have, regardless of how tempting it may be. Instead focus on what was undeniably positive and sincerely highlight it.

Here is a great look on how to construct a farewell speech that will honor the employee leaving the company and pay tribute to their time spent.

Farewell Speech Example

farewell speech for leaving a company

It can be difficult to find the right words to say goodbye to an employee leaving your company. You want to write something meaningful, but remain composed and professional at the same time. Use this sample text as-is or as a starting point to craft a meaningful, personalized farewell message to share on one of these free printable thank you cards.

Retirement Farewell

Wish your soon-to-be former coworker the best as he or she heads into retirement. These sample letters can help.

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Time to Make Dreams Come True

The nice part about retiring from doing what you do so well is there is no more rushing around to meet deadlines and complete tasks. You'll have lots of time to make all your dreams come true. The bad part is how much we will miss the pleasurable experience of working with you. We wish you the all the best and thank you for your years of dedication, enthusiasm and team spirit.

Feelings of Gratitude and Joy

Working with you for the past X years has been a joy! While I'll miss working side-by-side with you, I am so happy for you as you transition from career to retirement. You have always been a hard worker and a terrific team member. No one is more deserving of a long and happy retirement filled with relaxation and enjoyment. I wish you only the best as you retire from XYZ Company!

Moving on for a Promotion

Say farewell to a coworker who is being promoted to a new role within the company. Try these options.

Enjoy Your New Adventure

Congratulations on your recent promotion! We know you will tackle this new venture with the same passion and dedication you've displayed as part of our team and will quickly establish yourself as a valued employee in your new role. Working alongside you has been an honor and privilege, and we know you will continue to succeed in this new phase of your professional career.

You Deserve It

While I will miss working with you each day, I am so happy that you will be staying with XYZ Company while advancing in your career. I am very proud that you have been tapped for a promotion as a result of your hard work and success. No one deserves this promotion more than you, and I am certain that you will do an outstanding job in your new position as ABC Role.

Lateral Move or Transfer

Share best wishes for a coworker who is being transferred to a new location or otherwise making a lateral move within the company. Add these messages to your card.

You've Been Indispensable

We wish you the best both professionally and personally as you move into your new position within our company. While we will miss the day-to-day interaction with you - you've been an indispensable part of our team - we know you will continue to do well and achieve major milestones.

Miss Working With You

I have enjoyed getting to know you during your time in the ABC Office and wish you success as you become part of the XYZ team. I'll miss working with you on a daily basis, as you have been a great team member and co-worker. I am sure you will enjoy continued success in your new role with the company.

Leaving for a New Job

When coworkers leave for a job with a new company, be sure to congratulate them and wish them success. Try these ideas.

You've Been an Inspiration

Congratulations on your new job - good for you! While we will miss you and have fond memories of working with you, we wish you well and hope you attain all the success you deserve. Your dedication and work ethic have been an inspiration to us all.

Please Keep in Touch

I'll miss seeing you at ABC Company on a daily basis, but I am so happy for your success! You are a great coworker and team member, so I'm not surprised to hear that you have accepted a wonderful new opportunity. Best wishes for continued success! Please keep in touch.

Leaving to Go Back to School

Congratulations and best wishes for success are in order when a coworker leaves to pursue higher education. Support your coworker's new adventures with these words.

So Proud of You

While I am sad to see you leave ABC Company, I am so proud of the fact that you have decided to continue your education. I am sure that you will be successful in school, and the skills that you learn will help you become an even bigger asset to the company that is lucky enough to hire you once you have earned your degree. Best wishes for success as you enter this exciting new phase of your life!

Cheering for Your Success

Going back to school is a big decision, and I am so excited for you as you make the transition from working full-time to pursuing higher education. Your dedication to pursuing your studies is admirable, and I wish you great success throughout your academic career and beyond. Your team at ABC Company will be cheering for your success every step of the way!

Staying Home With Baby

When a coworker decides to stay home as a full-time parent, a fond farewell and wishes for success are well warranted. Here's how to word it.

Wishing You Joy and Happiness

Congratulations on the addition to your family! I am so happy for you and wish you much joy and happiness as you focus on parenting full time. Enjoy every second that you have to spend with your little one! Know that your team at ABC Company is on your side. We'll be sending best wishes to you and your family, wishing you only the best.

Enjoy Every Minute

While I will miss seeing you at work, I am so pleased that you have the opportunity to step away and focus on your family at this time. I am sad to see you go, but I am also so very happy for you and your family. I wish you only wonderful things as you transition away from being my coworker to focusing on being a full-time parent. These days with your little one are precious. Enjoy every minute!

General Departure Messages

You may not always know why a coworker is leaving your company. Even if you aren't sure what they're doing next or why they are going, it is still a good idea to to send them off with best wishes for the future.

Wishing You the Best

Words are inadequate to express our gratefulness and appreciation of the incomparable work performance and attitude you've displayed during your tenure with our company. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially to someone who has been such a valued team member. We wish you all the best now and into the future.

It's Been an Honor

It has been an honor to work with you at XYZ Company over the past few years. I couldn't have asked for a better coworker and really appreciate the fact that you have been such a team-oriented member of the department. Please know that you will be missed. Best wishes for happiness and success. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please let me know.

Tips for Crafting Farewell Messages

While these messages may work for you the way they are written, you may need to tweak the content to reflect your relationship with the person who is leaving.

Consider a Theme

When you compose a farewell message for an employee leaving, you can turn to movies, television and books for inspiration. If you don't feel comfortable writing your own message, include a famous quote or line from a movie or television show. Several books contain compilations of quotes for any situation, from quotes of encouragement to quotes of sympathy. Once you identify an appropriate quote, include it in your message.

Add a Personal Touch

To remain professional, wish the employee luck and offer to provide assistance in the future, if applicable. You can also write about the employee's on-the-job achievements. Recall a favorite memory about the person and use the anecdote in your message. If the departing employee has a favorite hobby or sport, mention this in the message to personalize it.

Customize the Message

Many times, a customized sentiment means more to a departing employee than a standard greeting card. Embellish your message with photographs that illustrate your time together or use company newsletter clippings that discuss the employee's personal and professional accomplishments.

Stay Away from Off-Limits Topics

Keep in mind that even if you have a personal relationship with an employee, you should avoid writing anything that could be construed as inappropriate or against company policy as it could create compliance concerns. Always avoid risqué jokes and other messages that could be considered inappropriate.

Saying Goodbye Gracefully

If you craft your message carefully and present it with good thoughts, the employee will appreciate your gesture. It can help you preserve your relationship with your former coworker even when you aren't working side-by-side. Additionally, writing such a message may even open up networking opportunities for the future. You never know! The employee who is leaving your team or company today might end up as the manager of a company you would like to work for at some point in the future.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: My farewell Speech - Time to say good bye...:::)))

Sample farewell speeches for a colleague and friend that If you're the person who is leaving the company, or moving on to the next chapter of.

farewell speech for leaving a company
Written by Julmaran
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