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My co-worker has been the biggest help to me in the past few years I'm in the company. His capabilities are far above the senior employees (there are solid proofs to this). Although we've never officially talked anything about mentorship, I strongly feel that he's willing to mentor and help me whenever I need, compared to everyone else. He was never assigned to mentor/supervise me in the first place. For that, I'm very grateful to him. I've read somewhere that one of the good ways to acknowledge his efforts and contributions, as to let the manager further notices him is by doing some mentioning. I want to know if it's appropriate to acknowledge a co-worker in my resignation letter. If it is, how should the letter sounds like (generally)?

EDIT :

Never thought that a simple intention to thank someone can be so malicious for certain people. A corporate world doesn't need to be that cold. This will be my first resignation anyway.

  • 3
    What are the circumstances under which you're leaving the company? – user8036 Oct 31 '18 at 16:42
  • Is there a more appropriate venue to thank the person, such as a leaving event or presentation (depending on the role, some companies will give the leaving person a card and a small gift, and maybe have short speeches)? That's a better opportunity, assuming you're leaving on good terms. – Stuart F Nov 2 '18 at 13:54
  • @JanDoggen Personal reasons. Last time it used to be solely the conflict between my supervisor and I, but now it's for other numerous reasons. – The Art of Squi-Fu Nov 2 '18 at 16:33
  • @StuartF Yes, I guess I will do the mentioning briefly and tactfully during the exit interview, but not in the letter. Also, I will thank him personally. – The Art of Squi-Fu Nov 2 '18 at 16:34
  • 1
    I think you're attributing too much importance to your exit interviews. You'll find that exit interviews are mostly to check the box on a form in the management handbook. Unless you're telling them where some bodies are buried, I doubt they will act on anything you say in there. – Nolo Problemo Nov 2 '18 at 16:53
29

While I would say there's nothing wrong with giving an acknowledgement to a co-worker when leaving I would suggest your resignation letter isn't the appropriate place to do it - if for no other reason then it's unlikely to be seen by any but your direct manager and HR.

A better suggestion IMO would be to send a farewell e-mail or the like, it is worth mentioning though that I'd avoid any suggestion (overt or implied) that cast others in a negative light. While you might not have to stay around to deal with the fallout of any such your co-worker probably does and he could easily end up bearing the brunt of any bruised egos.

Something like:

As you know I'm leaving ACME Corp. today, it's been a genuine pleasure working with you all and I especially want to thank [co-worker] for all his help and advice during my time here.

Is pretty inoffensive but gets the point across.

  • 3
    @Fattie honestly I have no clue what you're talking about - I'm a native English-speaker who has worked exclusively in English-speaking business environments in, well, England and I'm quite clearly not suggesting that the suggested text be in a resignation letter, I'm explicitly suggesting otherwise. – motosubatsu Oct 31 '18 at 16:14
  • Moto - for sure, elsewhere. But the OP's pointedly clear question is about the resignation letter. The full text of a resignation letter is "As discussed my final day of employment will be _ / _ / _. Kindly John Smith." – Fattie Oct 31 '18 at 16:22
  • 7
    @Fattie Partly sure, but to anyone who has actually read the question it's just as much about their desire to acknowledge said co-worker and I addressed that aspect. You're perfectly welcome to post your own answer of course of you could just sit there spamming the comments with a copy-paste of your chosen resignation letter template. I mean god forbid that anyone should miss it. – motosubatsu Oct 31 '18 at 16:26
  • 1
    I do partially agree with @Fattie here: an email that singles out one person for "help and advice" can easily be interpreted wrongly. – Chan-Ho Suh Oct 31 '18 at 16:28
  • 8
    That email just needs the word especially – user8036 Oct 31 '18 at 16:43
5

I can't see any good coming out of that - the only people who would see the letter are your manager and the HR department. All they're interested in is what your last day of work will be.

However; if your company offers an Exit Interview process, that's the ideal place to mention this person, and it'll be something good about the company that you can discuss with them.

  • 2
    Indeed. The whole idea is (1) whacky (2) if anything, would hurt the "mentor" person in question. – Fattie Oct 31 '18 at 15:40
  • @PeteCon Yes, my company usually conducts exit interview for resignation process. I will do the mentioning tactfully. – The Art of Squi-Fu Nov 2 '18 at 16:30
5

I want to know if it's appropriate to acknowledge a co-worker in my resignation letter.

No, it's not.

Even sending a blanket email mentioning him isn't the best idea. You're resigning, why associate him with that fact, people could read all sorts of things into it.

Focus on your future, there is no need to create any drama on your way out.

Thank him in person if you want. I'd actually do it during my speech at the farewell function if any. Because it's a more informal setting and it wouldn't be open to misinterpretation that way, and it's perfectly normal to mention some highlights of your time there and thank people.

1

Dear colleagues:

{Insert the usual It is with a heavy heart, pleasure working here, standard stuff here}

While I enjoyed working with all of you, I wanted to take this time to give special thanks to John Doe, Who took me under his wing and taught me so much, it is rare in this day and age to find someone of John's integrity and work ethic combined with his willingness to reach out and help others. Thank you John.

{insert final farewell, regrets, best wishes, and contact info (if desired) here}

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Jane S Nov 3 '18 at 1:26
1

It all depends on how you are leaving the company.

If you are leaving peacefully you could also have a 5-10 minute talk with your boss and tell him about it. It's simply a feedback.

If you are not leaving peacefully then you could actually be making it worse for your co-worker. But if the manager has no part in the reasons you are leaving the company you could still have a chat with him.

Not knowing the details I would try to follow these guidelines:

  • if I'm leaving because I'm not happy about the workplace then I want to be sure I'm leaving only after having talked to the manager and coming up with no possible solution even with his help. By talking to him I would surely have to mention the good co-worker plus eventually I could evaluate with the manager to provide a written feedback mentioning him.

  • if I'm leaving for a better job or any other similar reason I could leave providing a feedback to the manager. But it's best not to do it in the letter of resignation even in this case. If it's not a large company and the manager knows your co-worker well then you could just tell him.

  • if I'm leaving and the manager is part of the problem then I might want to avoid it. In this case since your co-worker is so good why don't you both move to a better company or make your own start-up?

In any case I would definitely go for a "feedback" and not put it in a resignation letter.

I hope this helps you in your decision.

1

While you want to do the acknowledgement in your resignation letter, I suggest that you may want to thank and acknowledge your co-worker in person which is far more appropriate and sincere. Sharing that fact in the letter which will only be seen by your manager and HR will not do anything nor that person will even know about it.

Do this in person or privately in an email and only to that person.

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