It’s almost always difficult to see an employee’s resignation notice come through your email inbox. Especially if the resignation is unexpected, how you respond to this notice can be a major defining point in your final impressions with this employee.
When responding to an employee’s resignation email, maintain a level of empathy. If they offer a reason for their resignation, acknowledge it; if they do not, ask for one politely. You should also ensure that they know any next steps they need to take, and that you are available to discuss their exit.
Here’s how to appropriately respond to an employee’s resignation via email.
How to Create an Email Response to an Employee Resignation
While your first reaction may be to attempt to persuade your employee to stay, in many cases, resignation notices are the final step in a long consideration process for leaving a position; it’s not usually going to be possible to convince someone to stay once they’ve handed it in.
Instead, it’s a good idea to approach the employee’s exit with empathy and grace. Offer your thanks for the time they dedicated to your company and for the specific work they did, citing examples if you can.
If they offer you a reason for their resignation, acknowledge that reason in your response – with congratulations if they have another position, with sympathy if they express a negative experience, etc. – and note that you understand it.
If they don’t offer a reason, it might be a good idea to politely ask if they would be willing to explain. In some cases, they may not be; if they are unwilling to explain their reasoning, respect that decision, but consider what internal situation may have led to their leaving.
Beyond that, it’s good to note if the employee needs to fill out any final paperwork or if they will be extended an exit interview. Try to part on good terms wherever possible; wishing them well in the future is often a good idea.
Employee Resignation Response Email Template
Here’s what a response to an email resignation might look like.
SUBJECT: Re: Resignation Effective [Date]
I am saddened to hear that you’ve chosen to leave [Company], but appreciate your taking the time to notify me officially. Know that we deeply appreciate the time you’ve spent with us and your work regarding [Subject].
[If given a reason] I understand that you are leaving because of [Reason]. [Appropriate response].
[If not given a reason] May I ask why it is you’ve chosen to move on from our company? Please feel free to respond to this email or contact me via [Method] at [Contact Information]. I am available to talk [Availability].
Before you go, you will need to [Requirements]. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding these items.
Once again, thank you for spending some time with us and lending us your talents. I wish you well in your future endeavors.
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