Organizational Wellness

24 Best Farewell Messages to Coworkers to Express Gratitude

Dec 8, 2023
Last Updated May 15, 2024

Saying goodbye to a coworker is more than just a farewell. It's a moment to celebrate their journey, recognize their contributions, and offer support for their next chapter. Whether they're moving on to a new job, retiring, or facing other life changes, each departure is unique and deserves a personalized touch. 

As an HR professional, you have the unique opportunity to do something special for every leaving employee as part of the offboarding process: You can help everyone leaving feel appreciated for all of their hard work. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of thoughtful ways to say goodbye. Here are 24 heartfelt message examples and tips for crafting ‘thanks for everything’ emails that resonate. Let’s give your colleague a warm send off, making their farewell a memorable one!


Crafting the Perfect Farewell Message

When a colleague decides to leave, it is crucial to carefully assess the situation and circumstances surrounding their departure. There can be multiple reasons for their decision, and it is important to demonstrate understanding and empathy. Some of the common scenarios that may lead a colleague to leave — and key factors to consider in each specific situation — include the following

New Job

If someone has decided to accept a new opportunity, consider congratulating them on their new position. It’s also a great chance to wish them well in their next job or new career. 


If someone’s retiring, they’re bidding adieu to the working world. It might seem like a moment of only celebration, but a retiring colleague could be more emotional than you’d expect. It’s a good opportunity to thank them for the impact they’ve had and that you’ll miss their work and presence. 


If your coworker is moving to their dream location, congratulate them! However, lots of people feel a bit of fear, uncertainty, or apprehension about a big move. A little empathy can go a long way. Don’t forget to thank your coworker for their contributions and express that you’ll miss them. 


Health challenges could lead to someone deciding to leave the workforce, permanently or temporarily. In this situation, it can be kind to acknowledge that person’s contributions and your understanding that their health should be the priority right now. 

Personal Reasons

Sometimes an employee won’t disclose why they’re leaving and just say “personal reasons.” In this situation, it could be helpful to wish them well on their journey and in their future endeavors. 


Layoffs are tricky because the employee didn’t want to leave the company, and they may even hold hard feelings about it. Losing a job can be hard on someone’s mental health, and they often take it personally. When saying goodbye to these coworkers, celebrate what they’ve done and their resilience in this tricky situation. (See "Farewell Messages for a Laid Off Coworker (5 Examples)" below for scripts you can use if you're facing this situation.) 

End of internship

Sometimes positions are temporary from the start, like an internship. A farewell can be a great way to show your appreciation for the work they did during that time. 

No matter the situation, your goal is to be kind and personalize your message to each employee’s unique circumstance.

19 Thoughtful Farewell Message Examples

If you’re looking for something special to say to your coworker, here are several ideas to get you started: 

  1. "The office won’t be the same without you. Wishing you all the success on your new journey!"

  1. "May your new chapter be filled with joy, challenges, and new opportunities. Keep in touch!"

  1. "Your guidance and mentorship have been invaluable. Best wishes in all your future endeavors!"

  1. "Even as you move on to new adventures, the impact of our work together will continue to shape the company’s future. Farewell and take care."

  1. "Here's to new beginnings and exciting challenges. I hope we cross paths again!"

  1. "I've learned so much from you. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me. Farewell and best wishes!"

  1. "May the next phase of your career bring even more success. Keep in touch! We want to hear about all your future adventures!"

  1. "You’ve provided wisdom, creativity, and leadership to our company—you’ll be missed! Wishing you the best in your next chapter!"

  1. "From coffee breaks to team meetings, every moment with you was a joy. Farewell and all the best!"

  1. "Your dedication and passion were contagious. May you inspire many more in your next adventure."

  1. "It's been an honor working alongside you. Best wishes in all that comes your way."

  1. "You've been more than a coworker — you've become a friend. I'll miss you and wish you the best!"

  1. "Your positive energy always lit up the room. Here's to bigger achievements on your next journey."

  1. "Thank you for the laughter, the learning, and the memories. Farewell, and all the best!"

  1. "The mark you've left on this place is indelible. Here's to new challenges and successes."

  1. "Your hard work and dedication were an inspiration to us all. Wishing you all the best in your new role."

  1. "May your journey forward be filled with rewarding experiences and discoveries."

  1. "It's rare to have a colleague who's also a friend. I'll miss our chats and brainstorming sessions. Best of luck!"

  1. "You brought creativity and a unique perspective to our team. As you move forward, may you continue to shine bright."

These messages can all be customized to your coworkers’ unique situations. These examples fit a variety of circumstances, so pick your favorite and start there! 

Email Scripts for Saying Goodbye to a Coworker

Quote bubble that reads:

A quick text message is a nice way to acknowledge a departing colleague. However, sometimes a more heartfelt goodbye is needed — especially when your coworker has significantly impacted your work experience or become a friend. If you'd like to express your deeper gratitude and best wishes, a thoughtful email is the way to go. You can share the specific ways they've influenced you, or reminisce about the good times you’ve had together. 

The templates below offer a starting point, but don't forget to personalize your email to reflect your unique relationship as you say goodbye to your coworker. 

Email Option 1: A Casual Sendoff

The tone of your "saying goodbye to a coworker" email can vary based on your relationship. For close colleagues, you might want to inject a more casual touch. You can even throw in a few personal anecdotes and inside jokes to spice things up. Here’s an example: 

Subject: Farewell and Best of Luck, [Coworker's Name]!

Hey [Coworker's Name],

Word on the street says you're moving on to bigger and better things! While I'm bummed to see you go, I wanted to wish you a huge congrats on your next adventure.

You've brought so much energy and creativity to the team. The office won't be the same without you! Remember that time we [mention a specific accomplishment or funny memory]? The way you handled that was pure genius!

It's been a blast working with you, and I've learned a ton from our work together. Thanks for always being supportive and helpful. We’re definitely going to miss you around here, but we know you'll crush it wherever you land. 

Always remember that you've got a whole crew here cheering you on at [company name]. Don’t be a stranger, alright? Reach out anytime on [LinkedIn profile URL] or [personal email address].

Wishing you all the best!

[Your Name]

Email Option 2: A Professional Farewell

You could also bid farewell to a senior manager or someone you haven't worked with. In that case, a formal approach is certainly more appropriate. You could send them something along these lines to show them appreciation and support: 

Subject: Farewell and Best Wishes, [Coworker's Name]

Dear [Coworker's Name],

I recently learned of your upcoming departure. I am writing to express my sincere best wishes as you embark on this new chapter in your professional journey.

It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside you for the past [X] years. Your dedication, expertise, and positive attitude have been invaluable to the team. We have all truly appreciated your contributions. 

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. I am confident that you will achieve great success in your new role. 

Please keep in touch!

Warm regards, 

[Your Name]

Farewell Messages for a Laid Off Coworker (5 Examples)

Layoffs are hard for everybody. A thoughtful farewell message can offer some comfort and show your laid-off coworker that they're valued, even as they transition out of the company. Here are five examples of farewell messages that showcase what you can say to a co-worker who was laid off.

Example 1: The Supportive Goodbye

"[Coworker's Name], I was heartbroken to hear about the layoff. Please know that this doesn't diminish the amazing work you've done here. Your dedication and creativity have always inspired me. If you need a listening ear or someone to brainstorm your next steps with, I'm here. Wishing you all the best as you move forward to your next adventure."

This message balances empathy and support, acknowledging the difficult situation while also offering help. It recognizes the coworker's contributions, making them feel valued, and extends a hand of friendship beyond the workplace, which can be comforting during a time of uncertainty.

Example 2: The Appreciative Farewell

"[Coworker's Name], I want to take a moment to thank you for the incredible impact you've had on our team. Your work ethic and positivity have made our office a better place. You've left a mark that won't be forgotten, and I have no doubt you'll achieve great things wherever you go. Keep in touch!"

This message focuses on gratitude, highlighting the positive attributes the coworker brought to the team. It reassures the coworker that their efforts have been meaningful and appreciated, fostering a sense of accomplishment and hope for the future.

Example 3: The Encouraging Note

"[Coworker's Name], it's hard to say goodbye, especially under these circumstances. Remember, though, every ending is a new beginning. Your talent and resilience speak volumes, and I'm confident this is just a stepping stone to even greater successes. Can't wait to see where your journey takes you!"

This message injects optimism into a tough situation, emphasizing resilience and the potential for future success. It encourages the coworker to look forward and not let this setback define their career path, boosting their morale during a pivotal moment.

Example 4: The Personal Touch

"[Coworker's Name], over the years, you've been more than just a colleague — you've been a true friend. Your layoff was a shock to us all, and please know, it doesn't reflect your worth or the memories we've shared. Let's keep those lunch dates on the calendar and continue supporting each other, no matter where we are."

This farewell message emphasizes the personal relationship developed over time, offering comfort and continuity of friendship beyond the workplace. It helps the laid-off coworker feel seen and valued not just for their professional contributions but for their personal qualities and the bonds formed.

Example 5: The Forward-Looking Message

"Dear [Coworker's Name], while today may feel like the end of an era, I believe it's just the beginning for you. Your skills and passion have always set you apart, and I know there's an exciting path awaiting you. I know this isn't goodbye but 'see you later.' Here's to your bright future, and I hope our paths cross again."

This message is hopeful, focusing on future opportunities rather than current losses. It conveys belief in the coworker's abilities and prospects, offering reassurance that this transition is merely a step towards new opportunities. The informal promise of future reunions adds a light, positive note, suggesting that this is not a final farewell but a temporary parting of ways.

Each of these messages offers warmth and respect. They acknowledge the difficulty of the situation while also providing hope and encouragement for the future. They remind your laid-off coworker that their value extends beyond their role in the company and that their relationships with their colleagues will endure.

Different Ways to Send Your Farewell Messages

Once you’ve got your farewell message figured out, how are you going to deliver it to your coworker? Here are four ways to consider bidding farewell: 

Quote bubble that reads:
  • Email. It’s quick and easy to send a little email to your coworker. This might be particularly apt if you’re not close to this person. The key is to keep the farewell message brief when sending it over email
  • Card. A classic approach is to handwrite the message and put it into a card for the leaving coworker. A card can be nice because it’s a physical thank-you and goodbye they can take with them once they leave. 
  • Social media. If you have a close relationship with a coworker, a social media post can be a good way to honor them. Write up a LinkedIn post to show the world that they’re excellent at what they do. 
  • In-person. At the end of the day, it’s never a bad idea to say goodbye in person. Try to keep the conversation focused on them as they prepare to move on to a new chapter in their lives. 

The best delivery method will be entirely dependent on the company you work at, the relationship you have with the individual leaving, and the best way to communicate with this person. No mode is one-size-fits-all, so consider what will work for you. All four methods can work well! 

Timing and Etiquette

What are the rules for saying goodbye to a coworker? Is there a certain time you’re supposed to do it? Here are some things to consider when the time comes. 

Planning Ahead

Typically, you’ll want to say goodbye during their last week at the company, often on their last day. You can mark your colleague’s final day in your calendar, and plan backward from there. The longer runway you have, the easier it is to put together an event, but you can likely get a cake and small get together organized even when you only have the traditional two-week notice.

Saying Goodbye as an Individual or Group

Is it best to say goodbye as an individual or with your whole team? It’s going to depend on your relationship with the individual. It’s not uncommon for a team to put something together for a departing teammate, and there’s nothing wrong with joining in on that if you weren’t close. You might consider adding a quick personal message as well. If you know the employee well, something individual may be a better approach for your relationship. 

The Use of Humor

Can you use humor in your message? Again, it’s going to depend on the relationship you have with this person and potentially the circumstances they’re leaving in. It might be unkind to make jokes when someone got laid off. With that in mind, using humor (if it’s appropriate for your relationship) can be a great way to add a personal touch. 

Personal Stories

Quote bubble that reads:

Can you add personal stories to a farewell message? Definitely! If you have positive memories with a person, it could be nice to share them. Personal stories deepen the relationship you already have and really help your coworker feel like you value them. 

Respecting Privacy

While you want to thank your coworker and show appreciation for their time, you must respect their privacy. When talking with your coworker and when bidding farewell, avoid asking intrusive questions about their future plans. If they tell you about their future plans, then it may be more appropriate to ask follow-up questions. Otherwise, let them keep what they want private. Also, don't pressure them to stay in touch or follow up with them excessively after they leave. Let your relationship evolve naturally. 

Fun Ways to Say Goodbye to Coworkers

If you’re looking for great ways to say goodbye to your coworkers, here are some ideas to get you started! 

Personalized Gift

personalized gift is a great way to send off a coworker. Think about their likes and interests, and see if you can come up with something special for them. For example, if they love the outdoors, you might get them a nice nature print. If they always have a boba in hand, you might get them a giftcard to their favorite place. 

Farewell lunch (or dinner)

Pick a nice restaurant nearby (maybe one your coworker loves) and bring the team for lunch (or breakfast, brunch, or dinner). It’s a good idea to reserve a spot in advance — it’s hard to reschedule a meal when it’s your teammates last day!

Surprise Party

Throw your coworker a fun surprise party to show how much the team will miss them. Coordinate with your other team members to ensure that your coworker doesn’t have something happening at that time. 

Farewell Video

You could put together a video or slideshow of memories with this coworker. It could include photos, videos, quotes, or anecdotes. It could be a thoughtful gift to provide the coworker with the video when they leave. 


Have the whole team pitch in and bring some of their favorite dishes to honor your coworker. A shared lunch can be a nice time to slow down and bring up great memories of working together. 

Professional Gift

You could consider getting a coworker a gift to take with them to their next job, if that’s the reason they’re leaving. Consider a professional development book, a new desk mug, or even a planner. 


Consider having everyone at the company or on a team sign a card. A card is a great place to include your own individual message to the departing team member. 


If you have a lot of photos or memories with a coworker, a memory book or scrapbook could be poignant and memorable. You could include personal notes from team members in the book as well—and consider gifting it to them at a lunch or party. 

Charitable Donation

A great way to honor your coworker is to make a charitable donation to a nonprofit that means a lot to them. It’s also a great way to inspire others to give back. 

LinkedIn Recommendation

Consider adding a recommendation to your coworker’s LinkedIn profile to help them stand out in a competitive job market. 

Virtual Celebration

If your company is remote or hybrid, consider how you can make or do something special for your coworker. Consider a virtual celebration of their achievements by gathering everyone online for a game, lunch, or chat. 

Staying Connected After Farewell

If you’re good friends with a coworker, it’s likely you already know how to read each other. You might even schedule regular calls to stay in touch. 

However, if you aren’t friends with someone and you want to foster a professional relationship with them, you can provide your contact information when they’re leaving. You might exchange emails or connect on LinkedIn where you can message each other. Don’t pressure your coworker into staying in touch, but sharing your contact information can help you show your interest in fostering a relationship. 

The Secret to Retention: Wellness and Wellbeing

Coworkers leaving can be sad — and cost your company. Replacing an entry-level employee costs 50% of their salary, in addition to losing their knowledge, productivity, and morale. Bolstering retention keeps you from having to bid your teammates farewell while preserving productivity.

One way to actively work on improving your retention is to focus on employee wellness. When you show your employees you value them as people, you’re showing them why they should stay with your company. As revealed in Wellhub’ 2023 Return on Wellbeing report, 92% of c-suites consider wellness programs important for employee retention

Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist today to kickstart your workforce wellness!

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!

You May Also Like: 

6 Steps to Create a Productive Exit Interview Template

How Long to Keep Employee Files: Best Practices

[Free Download] The Ultimate Guide to Human Resources




Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


Our weekly newsletter is your source of education and inspiration to help you create a corporate wellness program that actually matters.

By subscribing you agree Wellhub may use the information to contact you regarding relevant products and services. Questions? See our Privacy Policy.