Managerial Farewell Speech Guide

for whom the bells toll!

Every boss at some stage will give a farewell speech, on behalf of the company, to an employee leaving...

and this is unfortunate for some.

So...use the strict speech guide below for what you allow your boss to say.
This going away speech fiasco is your opportunity to Manage Up.

Don't let them waffle your cake-eating time away!

This speech guide, when strictly used, should result in a speech that is less than 5 minutes.
If your manager feels that this is not enough time to express appreciation, then this is Too Bad!
Another 5 or 10 minutes of benevolent prating will not give back that employee's blood and sweat.
Instead, your boss should show real love with a decent bonus or a real gold watch.

Print out this page for the boss's desk or email the link.

What are the dangers of an awkward farewell

O, let me count the ways!

Now for the actual Speech Guide...


  • Goodbye speeches should be less than 5 minutes.
    More appreciation is expressed in a thoughtful gift and a good referral. Even better if you gave good bonuses during their time there.

  • If you wish to customise this speech you can only substitute words; do not add sentences.

    It is scientifically proven* that any farewell speech by management longer than 5 minutes incites theft, despair and alcoholism.

1. Get attention (introduction).

"I just want to say a few words to express the company's appreciation for the time John has spent with us."

2. A short description of the employee.

"Jane has spent X years with us, and in that time she has distinguished herself with her diligence/humour/drive/??? in the workplace. Her work in the X Project has resulted in X which I hope inspires others in what can be achieved. Of course, she will also be remembered for the every day things, such as [insert ONE positive character description here]."

3. Talk about the impact of their leaving.

"John's moving on to bigger and brighter things will leave a gaping hole in the organisation. While he has put in place some amazing ideas that will stay after he leaves, it will be a challenge to fill that hole. Nonetheless, when I look around at the faces in this room, I see other talented people and a great team culture - of which John was a part - and no doubt we will be able to soldier on."

4. Final wish farewell.

"I hope you have all the best prosperity and fulfillment in your future endeavours. There is no doubt you'll make a success of future opportunities as you have here. These words and gift are just a finite expression of our immeasurable appreciation for your work and time here. So farewell, and good luck."

While saying the last sentence, present the gift, shake their hand and MOVE AWAY, out of the limelight.

*not scientifically proven.

Pre-empting the boss's misgivings:

Below are some reasons (if your boss is not a narcissist) that a boss may genuinely resist the incredibly wise and practical advice higher on this page.

  1. The person leaving will think I don't care about them if I don't waffle about them.
  2. The farewell will seem "small" and uncaring if I don't pad it out with waffle.
  3. The farewell will seem too informal if I don't waffle and add weight to the significance of the person leaving.
  4. Everyone likes waffle, see how they stand there and listen!

The response to these reasons is that Talk Is Cheap, and what is gotten cheaply is less valued.  Sorry.

Keep it Simple, always, in business!

The boss can express your (point 1) Caring and (point 3) Grandeur in the gift they get that employee with a plaque or card that says "I put all the hot air that was going into the speech and blew it on this expensive gift that really shows how much I valued your contribution to the company that makes a big profit and lines my pockets."

They can present the gift with a flourish (point 2) maybe even a little story about the gift to add weight to the importance of the gift, and conjure a plate of waffles (to show they truly understand point 4), saying to the crowd "I am a reformed boss and the only waffle will be these - which I know [person leaving] appreciates... read that plaque out loud, will you?"

If the advice on this page has helped, please let us know here

- we would LOVE the feedback!

Another persuasive reminder:

Time is a valuable resource. 

No boss ever really has enough time.  This page was created expressly to save the boss time, and no amount of ego spent creating waffle will be worth the loss of time. 

Any economic rationalist knows that time spent listening to waffle is also a waste - now times that by the number of people politely listening and your business is bleeding resources! 

See point 4 above - maybe listening is better than working...  Crack that whip!

What gift do they get?  Check out work gift ideas!