How To Say Goodbye To A Colleague Who’s Leaving The Company

Meeting your colleagues for the first time could feel awkward. But along the way, the people you work with become your friends. Some even become closer to you. They’re the ones you can always turn to for help and share stories and laughter with. 

So, when they decide to move elsewhere or switch careers, you feel sad but happy for them. You wish nothing but the best for them. Hosting an unforgettable going away party is one way you can say goodbye and send them well wishes.

Before giving your colleague a warm send-off, though, you need to consider the reason they’re leaving. Are they retiring? If they’re retiring, you can plan a laid-back party. Read on to check out other farewell party ideas for coworkers.

  1. Your Life With Us

For coworkers you’ve worked with for a long time, organizing a party that revolves around their life with the company would be perfect. You can have your fellow workmates come up with brief statements about the best moments and memories they have of the team member leaving. These statements can be read at the party, and the team member can guess who wrote which.

Adding photos of previous events would make the party more special. Collect fun photos of past team-building events, benchmarking events, or any other memorable events you shared and attach them to the statements. It’s the best way to reminisce together. 

At the end of the party, you could gift your coworker a book that contains all the statements and photos prepared by everyone.

  1. Surprise Party

A farewell party can be a surprise one. You can book a venue, such as a banquet hall, and invite fellow colleagues, as well as close family members of the employee leaving the company. Or you can simply hold one at the office if there’s enough space for everyone. The conference or meeting room would be fitting. 

Prepare finger foods that guests will enjoy, like beef kabobs, cheeseburger sliders, or a cheese platter. Have coworkers talk about how much the colleague leaving has made a significant impact on the company and how much they enjoyed working with them. Then after their speeches, you can have the guest of honor say a few words too. 

A greeting card filled with all team members’ sweet messages would make a lovely farewell party gift. Other gifts you can consider are wine glasses, a dinner set, or a wristwatch. 

  1. Awards Ceremony

What better way to appreciate your team member’s contribution to the company than by setting up an awards ceremony? Everyone could take this opportunity to dress their best, have a good time together, and show their appreciation for the colleague leaving.  

You can put up gold letter balloons and black and gold tassel garland and use gold foil plates and wine glasses. This way, the event will look like an awards night party. Aside from the décor, award your colleague with a trophy that states their achievements at the company.

  1. Photo Shoot

You can organize a photo shoot with your coworker in most pictures. After that, create great photo mounts that you can also present as gifts to your fellow team member. It’d be better to hire a professional photographer for this event to avoid any mistakes.

Organizing A Party

Planning a party for your colleague is fun and exciting, but there are some factors you’ll have to keep in mind, so you can give them a heartwarming send-off they’ll love: 

  • Budget 

Most companies have a predetermined budget for office parties. Stay within budget while making preparations. Don’t go overboard. 

  • Reason for coworker leaving 

A party for someone retiring would be different from one hosted for someone going on maternity leave or even for someone moving to a different location.

  • Timing 

Your last working days at any organization can be tedious, with so much to do, including handing over, conducting exit interviews, or training the new hire. Make sure that the schedule for the farewell party suits not only the coworker leaving but your other team members as well.

  • Teamwork 

You may be the closest friend to the coworker leaving, but don’t make the affair a personal one. Unless the person leaving is introverted and prefers a small crowd, invite everyone in the office or department as long as the budget can cover it. 

Collaborate with your workmates while planning for the party. Pitch ideas together and delegate tasks to them.


An intimate farewell party is a wonderful way to say goodbye to a colleague leaving the company, especially someone that you’ve grown close to and have worked with for a long time. But it’s also a great opportunity to express gratitude and wish them well.