How To Respond To A Resignation Letter

At some points, expect to receive a letter of resignation from your employee. Every employer goes through this stage later in life. Letting go of an employee might be difficult especially when your company seems to need more work and attention. It’s important to handle a resignation professionally and properly. 

In this article, we discuss how to respond to a resignation letter in written format or via email professionally, why your response is important, and what to say to an employee who resigns from your organization.  

Also, we added a few examples/ templates to serve as a guide for you to respond to any resignation letter. Sit tight and read through. Cheers!

Why A Response To A Resignation Letter Is Considered Important?

When your employee expresses an intention to resign verbally, it’s your responsibility as the employer to ensure that they follow the format and process which involves writing a resignation letter. 

After which, you as the employer should make sure the employee agrees to the acceptance of the resignation letter. 

You can do this by asking the employee to go through the acceptance of the resignation letter and by signing off on the acknowledgment of the letter. Also, the employee has to agree to the last date of employment. 

Additionally, as the employer, get to know the reason your employee is resigning from their position by asking them to state it in writing when drafting their resignation.

Following these steps is very important because some employees change their minds later on and this can affect the organization especially if there’s no proof such as a resignation letter of them resigning from the organization. 

Again, if there’s no acceptance of resignation letter formally (in writing), the employee can very well defend their selves on the fact that the letter was never accepted or even that the resignation never happened.

Most employees go as far as arguing that the resignation was actually a termination and then file for a law sue. 

For these reasons, you can see that it’s actually very important to follow this process and respond formally in a timely manner. Doing this helps the employer achieve:

  • Having the employee’s resignation and the employer’s acceptance on record for future reference.
  • Give the employee details about what to expect before their last day and makes them aware of their notice period
  • Makes the employees know of the off-boarding tasks such as returning the company’s properties like ID card, building key, laptop or phone.

In some organizations, they find it hard to let go of their employee and counter the resignation with more enticing offers. You can also try to use such methods only if you find the need to keep that employee.

Whatever way you prefer, ensure to involve the company’s lawyer to authenticate this resignation before passing out the acceptance of resignation letter to the employee.

How To Respond To A Resignation Letter

How to respond to a resignation letter matters a lot. It’s important that you respond appropriately and in a timely manner to a resignation letter.

You can consult an employment lawyer to know more about what should be required when responding to a resignation letter from an employee. Here are some processes to help your response to resignation letters:

  1. Preliminary Knowledge
  2. Responding In A Formal Way
  3. Acceptance Of Resignation Letter
  4. Express Compassion
  5. Protect Yourself

Preliminary Knowledge

First, you have to acknowledge the intention to accept an employee’s resignation. When the employee expresses a verbal intention to resign, respond verbally that an acceptance of resignation letter will be issued after you have received a resignation letter from the employee.

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Responding In A Formal Way

While responding to a resignation letter, use a professional business format. The letter should have your contact information, the date, and the contact information of the employee at the top left corner. You should conclude the letter with a handwritten signature and your name typed underneath.

Acceptance Of Resignation Letter

In the first paragraph of your acceptance of the resignation letter, clearly notify the employee that you have received and accepted the resignation letter. Also, include the employee’s last day of working at the company and notice period duration within this paragraph.

Express Compassion

In your next paragraph, show your understanding of the situation your employee finds themselves in. Your tone should be positive yet professional. Express how sad you feel to see the employee leave your organization but that you respect and understand their decision to quit. Additionally, you could offer to provide a reference letter for the employee to help with their future career.

Protect Yourself

At this last step, ensure to protect yourself to defend yourself sometime later. You can do this by keeping a record of both the resignation letter and acceptance of the resignation letter. You do this by duplicating both letters, sending a copy to the employee, and keeping a copy for your own records.

What To Say To An Employee Who Resigns

There are many ways you can give a response to a resignation letter from anyone who just quit a job. The reply you give will vary depending on what the resignation is based on and your organization’s policies and procedures. Notwithstanding the cause of the resignation, you should reply in a positive tone and timely. You can use these steps to deliver your response to an employee.

Further reading: Preparing for Performance Review: 10 Things to Know Well

Respond Positive:

When your employee notifies you of their intentions to resign, reply in a calm positive, and professional manner. You can use sentences like: thank you for informing me, I am surprised to know that you will leave or I am sorry to hear that. Be careful not to spill out negative, judgemental, or derogatory words that could give the person wrong indications about you.

Request A Resignation Letter

Request a written letter of resignation after your initial response if the employee didn’t present one as it is essential to make the resignation official. You should get the written letter of resignation at the moment the employee tells you of the intention to resign. 

The letter can be handwritten, typed and printed, or emailed to you. The letter should contain the date, a statement of the employee expressing the intentions of resigning, the expected notice period, and what the employee expects on their last day of work.

Acceptance Of Resignation Letter

When the employee shows the intention of resigning and has submitted a resignation letter, you can let them know you will accept the resignation letter. If the employee’s employment is based on a contract then you can counter the resignation. 

Also, assure them that a representative from the Human Resource department or you would be in touch with them to complete the details of their exit from the organization once you have gone through the required processes of finalizing the resignation.

Follow-up Questions

By following up on an employee, it requires you to ask them questions concerning their decision to quit the job. It’s a must for the employee to reply so don’t force it on them if they feel or act reluctant to reply. 

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Also, know that during the exit interview, a representative from the human resource department might ask them such questions.

Examples of such questions to ask include:

  1. Did something specific happen that made you want to quit?
  2. Are you willing to share what led you to resign?
  3. Do you mind sharing what you plan to do after resigning from here?

Well Wishes

Close your conversation by expressing your appreciation and wishing them well in their future endeavours. You can use sentences like:

  • Thank you for informing me personally. I wish you the very best in your next career opportunity.
  • Your team will surely miss you. Greater heights to you as you move towards another path.

How To Respond To A Resignation Letter Via Email

Depending on the company’s policy and specifics laid out in the company’s employment contract, sending a resignation letter through email is a very acceptable way of resigning. However, using an email doesn’t intend that your acceptance of a resignation letter would be less professional.

It should equally be as professional as the normal handwritten or typed acceptance of a resignation letter. Observe and maintain the rules of professional etiquette, and make the interaction as positive as you can. You can use the following tips below as references when responding to a resignation letter:

  • Professional Format
  • Proper Subject Line
  • Invite The Employee To Keep In Touch
  • Proofread Your Acceptance Of Resignation Letter

Professional Format

The contact information should be in blocks and don’t forget your signature should be handwritten. The rest of the body of your letter should be well written in a formal business letter format. Also, make use of professional language as you write for professional correspondence.

Proper Subject Line

Use a subject line that is concise and presents the email to the receiver. Again, you should be transparent with the rest of your employees about the date of the resigning employee’s final working day but don’t give them details about the reasons for the employee’s resignation or any other details.

Writing a great email can boost your chances of getting a proper response. Discover: 40+ Most Essential Emailing Rules

Invite The Employee To Keep In Touch

You can include your personal email, contact number or LinkedIn connection to enable the resigning employee to keep in touch with you. If possible, show that you would provide a reference or referral in the future for the employee, if applicable. You can also decide to include a note of appreciation for the good works they have done so far and a bit of praise to send them off on their next opportunity.

Proofread Your Acceptance Of Resignation Letter

Ensure to always proofread your message before sending it to keep your message grammar error-free, neat, and brief. When your message is properly proofread, it will assure the professionalism and legality of the document.

Response To Resignation Letter Samples

Let’s have a look at some examples of responses to resignation letters with the above parts all fitting together to give a complete version of responding to a resignation letter.

Here’s an example template you can use for your reference 

Example 1

Dear Ruth,

Your resignation letter has been successfully received. We regret to hear about your decision to resign, but we understand and respect your decision.

We extremely value the amount of time, effort, hard work, skills, and knowledge that you have impacted the growth and development of the company and your team. 

Although we are sad to see you resign from this company, we will be happy to see you succeed in your other endeavors and in your new job.

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Best of lucks in your future endeavors, cheers!

Kind regards,

Queen Joseph

Example 2

Dear Rebecca,

This email is to formally confirm and acknowledge the receipt of your resignation notice from the assistant sales representative position at Craymondais Constructive Company Ltd, effective from February 24, 2022.

We regret to hear of your decision to leave, but we respect and understand your decision to leave. Kindly know that we appreciate your efforts and hard work throughout the six consecutive years you have spent working at this company.

The company, your team members, and the individuals will remember the efforts, consistency, and hard work you have helped throughout these years.

Attached to this email are the other steps you need to complete before leaving the company, including the company’s exit interview which can be easily accessed online and should be answered before your resignation date. You can reach out to me or the human resource department via email or contact number should you have questions or clarifications regarding the requirements and instructions.

We wish you the very best in your life endeavours, and also, we wish to maintain a positive relationship with you in the future!

Best wishes,

Melanin Good

Director, C.C.C Ltd.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Respond To A Resignation Letter

Can you include the notice period while responding to a resignation letter?

Yes, you can include the duration of the employee’s notice period while responding to the resignation letter.

Can an employer reject an employee’s resignation?

It’s not the right of an employer to decline the employee’s resignation. If the employer chooses, to reject, the employee can still decide to leave and that would not affect them even if their resignation has not been made formal.

Can an employer accept resignation with immediate effect due to stress?

Yes, you can accept an employee’s immediate resignation due to stress. This can vary depending on the company’s policy and state at that moment in time.

What salary does an employer pay the employee after resigning?

Upon resignation, an employee is entitled to be paid the notice pay where applicable, salary up to last day worked, plus any outstanding leave pay.

Is it rude to respond to a resignation via email?

No, responding to a resignation letter via email is not rude but it is best to respond in person with a formal letter of acceptance of resignation letter. Although, there are some remote working positions or family emergencies that may require resigning via email.

Conclusion

Your response to resignation letters officiates the resignation of an employee. While at it, ensure that your response is straight to the point, concise, and professional. 

Follow the provided steps above to draft a proper response. Also, don’t forget to always have a second copy of your employees’ resignation letter and your response to serve as clear anytime in the future.

References

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