We have seen many changes with COVID in the workplace, with many layoffs and changes. And sadly, we know that not all industries will recover to the same employee count they had before. Will you be a casualty of COVID-19? Will your job be one of the ones that will be cut?
If so, how do you say goodbye to your coworkers? It is tempting to disappear quietly, but not always recommended.
In last week’s article, we talked about quitting your job and how to do so professionally. This week we tackle the issue of saying goodbye, regardless if you leave or you were let go.
Should you send a goodbye email to your coworkers on your last day at work?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”H9sPV” via=”yes” ]Should you send a goodbye email to your coworkers on your last day at work?[/ctt]
That is a good question. You don’t want to seem rude and just disappear, and you don’t want to sound insincere, either.
If your colleagues are also your friends, then you’ve told them already that you’re leaving, retiring, or going to a new job elsewhere. A final email seems redundant.
If there is someone you want to remain in contact with, you’ve probably already taken them out to coffee or lunch, celebrated with them, or expressed an interest in keeping in touch and exchanged contact information. If a colleague is a personal friend, your farewell has been personal; a mass email to everyone is far from personal.
So, is the final goodbye via mass email really necessary?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”4QPjh” via=”yes” ]Is the final goodbye via mass email really necessary?[/ctt]
No, it isn’t. In fact, it could be a very bad idea.
When someone sends a mass email saying they are leaving, they often haven’t thought things through. They are probably having an emotional reaction to what is likely a very emotional situation.
Haven’t we all (sadly) been in the situation where there was a large downsizing, and many notices were sent out, complete with packing boxes and one-hour’s notice? In COVID-19 times, we aren’t even getting that, but a phone call or an email to tell us our jobs have disappeared.
In that situation, you don’t have time for a farewell lunch (even on Zoom!) or even to exchange contact information with anyone. To be sure, that kind of situation also tends to be highly emotional and likely quite tense, as well. It’s certainly not the time to send out an email that displays your bitterness or anger. A final angry email is a guaranteed way to burn a bridge that should not be burned—a bridge that you may need, later.
On the other hand, a flowery email praising the company, the boss, and your coworkers will seem insincere. If the organization was so wonderful, why are you leaving? It will look very calculated, as if you’re leaving your options open in case the new job doesn’t work out. And, if you thank a few key people in your email, how will those you don’t mention feel?
Even if you’re able to write a final email that comes from a sincere place and is well intended, it doesn’t mean you should send it.
Sometimes not everyone is aware that you are leaving, and your email will come as a surprise. Where there is surprise, there is gossip. And gossip is not your friend. Ever.
If you are sending a mass email, people may not even know who you are, and therefore your email will have no relevance to them, short of being a minor irritant. Everyone hates getting mass emails, and if even one person uses “Reply All” to say they will miss you, you’ve annoyed every single person on that list, which is not the response you were going for.
If you really want to say goodbye, make it more personal. Send a select number of handwritten notes to people, thanking them for being great to work with. Or, tell them face-to-face. Sending out a mass email is not the way to seem sincere or genuine, and it could burn bridges that you’d rather keep intact.