People join and leave teams all the time. When you have an employee exiting from your team, it’s important to announce the departure gracefully and professionally. When handled appropriately, you can reduce disruption, create clarity and make the transition as seamless as possible.

Whether someone’s time with your company is approaching a natural end, like the conclusion of an internship, or someone has a planned retirement date, there’s a right way to let your team know. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we highlight some best practices from Jason Evanish, the CEO of Get Lighthouse.

Don’t dawdle. The longer you wait to inform your team, the more opportunities for gossip and rumors to spread. It can also lead to your team making changes and adapting to the departure in unintended ways, Evanish says.

Be transparent. Let your team know who is leaving and any other key details. Should you let everyone know why they’re leaving? According to Evanish, it depends. If someone is leaving on happy terms, like for a new opportunity, go ahead and share it. If the reason isn’t so positive, it’s better to keep it vague.

Share the transition plan. When someone leaves, you have to cover for them until you find their replacement. Make sure your team knows the plan and help them reprioritize so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

Show gratitude. Even if the employee hasn’t worked with your company for a long time, they likely still made valuable contributions. Thank them sincerely, Evanish says, and highlight specific examples of their great work. If it’s a poor performer or even a mediocre one leaving, don’t overstate their efforts. Instead, keep your statement simple and vague. Your team knows just as well as you if they weren’t doing exceptional work.

Share any farewell details. If you’re having a goodbye lunch, happy hour or some other send-off, spread the news to your team. Just make sure you make the farewell event appropriate for your culture, Evanish says. For example, if most people prefer to be home with their kids, host a lunch rather than a dinner.

When an employee is leaving your company, it isn’t just nice to let your team know – it’s a necessity. The rest of the team needs to know how the department’s workflow will be impacted and how the departure will impact the rest of the organization. Be sure to announce the employee’s intentions as soon as possible and follow the best practices above to help ensure a smooth transition.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Jason Evanish is the CEO of Get Lighthouse.