This past week was what I fondly referred to as “The Farewell Tour” for me at HP. I was only there 14 months before being lured back to my former employer, but during that time I had become well entrenched. It’s humbling to realize the number of people that I had a positive impact on – and in return that had a positive impact on me.
What I came to realize was that this farewell tour was an important part of the process, and I actually found it fairly well documented on the HP Alumni site. They provide a handy “ASAP checklist” for you to follow once you realize that you are leaving the company. Tip # 5 says to:
Do your own simple lunch the week after even if there is an official lunch. You can even invite people who are already gone. A bona fide celebration is an important part of the emotional transition process. Leaving a job – even if eagerly and happily – has an impact of almost the same magnitude as a death in the family. Don’t skip this part of working through the emotional steps.
That really is great advice. In a healthy workplace, losing a team member has a big impact. Folks are happy that they are getting the opportunity, but also feel the void that person is leaving. Saying thanks and goodbye is very important.