I have recently taken over a team and a colleague is retiring soon.

Please give some tips on what to say in his farewell party.

This is especially tough as I do not know him well, nor have I worked with him for long. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • 8
    What's stopping you asking the rest of the team and the previous manager (if still available)? May 23, 2019 at 10:07
  • I'm sorry, asking what? To give a speech? Its a tradition in the organisation that the manager gives the speech. The previous manger has left.
    – MKV
    May 23, 2019 at 10:15
  • 7
    Ask the team for some information about your retiring colleague, they probably do know him and will be able to give you some stuff to say. May 23, 2019 at 10:27
  • Why are people suggesting to ask colleagues rather than the guy directly? "Hey Bob, mind telling me what you did around here and what you plan to do post retirement?"
    – Dan
    May 23, 2019 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


Just keep it short and sweet, there's no need to make a speech long winded and awkward.


To x, who is unfortunately leaving us shortly. I haven't worked with x for long but during the time we have been co-workers, it has been a pleasure.

You can adapt something similar to this but add in experiences that you have had with the colleague and add in things that you want for a personal touch. Or you can gather different happenings from the other colleagues who can give memories and experiences with this colleague and you can add those into your speech


No need to make up or false praise. All of those who are around longer than you and the retiring college knows that you both don't have much work experience together. Keep it that way, keep it simple.

"Unfortunately we did not get much chance to work together, but they were surely an asset to the company and will be missed thoroughly. All the best for the next round of your life. :)"

Also, if you gather any information from any of the colleagues about them, mention that while using that in your speech, do not say that as your own, people will know you are faking, even if that's not your intent. Like

".... I got to know from some of our colleagues that they were vastly knowledgeable on subject X. I am also told about the contribution towards building department Y from scratch which I really appreciate. I'm sorry that we did not get more chance to work with them, many of us have so much to learn from them. [....]"


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