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If you’re in a management role, you need to become comfortable and well-versed to accept a resignation letter. Over time employees will come and go. As a manager, you will build strong relationships with some employees and may hate to see them go. With other employees, you may be excited to accept a resignation letter. Either way, it is important to accept a resignation letter gracefully. This includes being prompt, courteous, and kind when responding to a resignation email or letter.
As a previous manager, I’ve accepted resignations over the years and have crafted go-to responses and templates to help you accept a resignation letter for a variety of circumstances. In this article, I’m going to share the do’s, don’ts, and best practices for accepting a resignation letter. First, I’m going to share answers to a few commonly asked questions when it comes to accepting resignation letters from employees.
It is important to be as professional as possible when accepting a resignation letter. No matter what your feelings are towards an employee, it is important that you stick to the facts, process, and next steps.
You should first and foremost be thankful that you are getting an official letter of resignation. In the world of the great resignation and rage applying, many employees are foregoing providing a resignation letter. Make sure to show gratitude. You should follow it up with confirmation of receiving the resignation and provide next steps.
Avoid going into details with and sharing your feelings and thoughts about their resignation. Your verbal acceptance and email reply should not display anger, frustration, or interrogation. Remember that everyone has to make the best decision for their career and it’s important that you are understanding and accepting of that decision.
When accepting a resignation letter, your communication needs to be clear and concise. You should also be prompt with your response. For many employees, submitting a letter of resignation can be nerve wrecking and scary. The longer you make your employee wait for a response, the more you increase their anxiety. I recommend acknowledging a resignation letter both verbally and through email for clarification and confirmation purposes.
Make sure to check your tone. Avoid sounding angry or passive aggressive. Your tone should be mellow, kind, and reassuring.
During your management career, you will receive many letters of resignation over time. It is important that you have templates canned templated prepared that you can quickly and easily customize for your employees. You should always respond to a resignation email. It shows professionalism and your response is a direct reflection of you and your company’s values and dynamics.
Absolutely, as an employer you should respond to every resignation letter. Make sure to follow your company’s process and procedures when it comes to the language, requirements, and guidelines for processing resignations. Do not forget to immediately notify your HR Department, provide them with the details, and allow them to follow up with the employee as well.
Below are several examples of responses you can use when you accept a resignation letter.
Good morning/afternoon (Name of Employee),
Thank you for submitting your letter of resignation. This correspondence serves as confirmation of receipt and acknowledgement of your last day being (DATE). During this time, I’d like for you to gather supporting documentation, project due dates, and a day-to-day activities overview regarding your role. Our goal is to make this transition seamless for you and our team.
Within the next week, you will receive an email from Human Resources with additional instructions regarding final pay, company access, benefits, etc.
I will place a time to meet on your calendar shortly. If you have questions, requests, or recommendations, please do not hesitate to share them with me.
Congratulations on your new role! Although we are sad to lose an incredible asset, we are happy for your future growth and opportunities.
Please allow this email to serve as official confirmation of receipt of your resignation. Since your last day is on (DATE), I’d like to use this time to learn more about your role including daily activities, project statuses, upcoming due dates, and recommendations for coverage.
I’d like to meet with you on (DATE and TIME) to further discuss transitional planning.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please let me know.
Dear Mr./Ms. LAST NAME,
Thank you for recently submitting your letter of resignation. This email to confirm receipt and acknowledgement of your last day being (DATE). We will be in touch with next steps of your departure process.
Good morning/afternoon (NAME),
Your letter of resignation has been received. Your last day with (COMPANY NAME) is (DATE). Leading up to your last day, me and (HR Representative’s Name) will meet with you to discuss next steps regarding your departure.
During this time, we may request you to teach a team member the ins and outs of your role along with a written snapshot of your daily tasks.
Although we will miss having you on our team, we are happy for your future endeavors and wish you the best.
We will be in touch.
After you accept a resignation letter it is important to think about next steps. Since this will be a vacant role within the next week or two, you need to start planning for the absence. The first thing you need to think about is the current and outstanding projects that the employee resigning was working on. It is important to get a clear understanding of the status of their current workload.
If you or another team member don’t know the ins and outs of the role, you need to ask the exiting employee to make a daily responsibilities guide. A guide should be created for every position in the organization and updated on an annual basis. This guide should include day to days tasks along with primary programs used, due dates for projects and reports, and any common issues that come up. This guide can serve as an outline for someone who fills in and takes over the role.
I always say, there should be no secrets when it comes to how each position operates within the organization. If there is an emergency, another staff member should be able to take over pretty quickly. After accepting a resignation letter, it is important to set up cross-training and choose who will take over tasks temporarily.
As soon as you receive a resignation letter, you should immediately decide what members on your team can take over temporarily. Reach out to those team members and notify them of the upcoming vacancy. Set up a few job shadow opportunities so that they have the opportunity to ask questions and troubleshoot tasks.
It is also a great idea to set up a time to chat about the employee’s experience with the organization and ask if they’d like to leave any feedback for you or the company as a whole. If this is already a part of the exiting process, you don’t have to feel pressure to do this.
When it comes to accepting a letter of resignation, preparation, professionalism, and kindness is key. Ultimately you need to wish the employee well while preparing for the open vacancy. If you have any questions about the role, their experience, and any outstanding projects, make sure to ask it between now and their last day.
Avoid guilt-tripping an employee for leaving. No matter how much you like them or want them to stay, remember to show encouragement. Everyone eventually outgrows roles and some jobs aren’t meant to be held until retirement. Treat your exiting employee how you would want to be treated. It is one of the experiences that they will remember most.
Good luck as you navigate the employee resignation process. Don’t forget to lean on your HR department for help, support, and tips.
Cheers to your success.