Recently my client decided to resign from her job. She and I had been walking through her exit strategy for a while. She wasn’t resigning over something bad, but she was just ready to move on. This happens a lot. People we work with leave for various reasons. Some people hate goodbyes. For some it means the end of a good thing. It makes us come face to face with change. It forces us to face the uncertainty of the future. Others have no problem with goodbyes. Goodbyes to me have meant a time for reflection on the fun, the mistakes, discoveries, and the wins.
On August 25, 2013, I wrote my first blog post for Asmithblog.com. A fast 14 months later, I now write my last post for the blog. I have learned so much being a part of this team. I have met some great people, fellow writers, and you readers. Thank you for letting me write my musings: the good, the bad, and the eh. If you’re on LinkedIn, find me to stay in touch 🙂
In light on my departure from the Asmithblog.com writing team, I thought I’d leave you with 5 ways to say farewell in a fun way. Forget that boring card that everyone signs, including people you’ve never really met.
#1 Crank up the tunes
There is a reason every movie has a score or soundtrack. Music can sometimes communicate deeper than words. So, why not send them off with a mix of songs? Make a drive home mix for their last day. Add songs that they listened to over and over again in the office and instead of titling the track with the actual name of the song, title it with why you selected it. For example, track number one might be the Taio Cruz song “Dynamite”, but you’ll title it the “Let-the-weekend-begin” song. Track number two might be Beethoven Fur Elise and you might title it the “Take a Minute after talking with Mike” song. While he or she may already have the song in his mp3 or itunes player, the title you give it will sure put a smile on their face.
#2 Farewell by PowerPoint
We’ve heard of death by PowerPoint. Create a powerpoint deck of the fun, silly, or moments of his or her time working there. Add animation, add sound effects, and use lots of pictures to say goodbye, thank you, or we wish you well.
#3 Gag gifts or quotes
My husband’s job requires him to change roles often (we’ve moved 2 times in the last 3 years). His last office gave him a five-foot-tall hobo stick with a nap sack attached to it full of snacks for traveling. It was cute and symbolic. In the same vein, do a going away “Roast” that celebrates the quirks of your departing team member. If they talk, walk, or have habits that everyone is aware of and it doesn’t offend, then celebrate it. Use quirky sayings or light hearted jabs like, “We’re sure going to miss doing all your work for you.”. Have some fun with it!
Tell your departing team member that you all got together and voted him or her “most likely too…”. If you are the one departing, write superlatives for those you worked closely with.
#5 Triumph tracker
Let’s face it. When people leave a job, they always wonder if they made a difference. Well, document for them the difference they made. Create a bulleted list of what they did right and the impact of it. Aim for 50 items on that list.
Because of you,
- we never had to call the copier repair guy.
- we landed the largest account in the 3rd qtr of ’12.
- we finally resolved the conflict between left Twix and right Twix.
When you take the time to show a colleague, boss, volunteer, or intern, etc. that you noticed them and their character, along with their quirks, and their impact (their skills, their wins, their influence) you are not only letting them leave on a high note, but you are practicing the great communication skill of feedback, recognition, and team development. It’s a win-win!
So, what are some of the creative ways you’ve seen people say farewell to co-workers? Please leave your comment below.
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite fun goodbye songs courtesy of Youtube.