Say goodbye the same way you say hello.

Posted by Brien Keegan

Picture this.  Our Prime Minister has just announced that New Zealand is moving from  Level 3 up to a Level 4 alert because of COVID-19. As you leave work you are told you will be paid a week’s salary and that you no longer have employment.  This is a story I heard last week. That’s all the communication that took place and the employees were left wondering, what next?  

It’s not easy letting people go at any time.  At the current time, now more than ever, we all have our own things going on both personally and professionally, but we can’t lose sight of what others have happening in their lives. 

So if you’re having to go down this route, please say goodbye as positively as possible.  

This person I mentioned and thousands of others around the country no longer have a role to go to next week.  To make matters worse, seeking a new position when the country is in lockdown is near impossible. I am always telling employers to think about saying goodbye the way you said hello, and now this is more important than ever. 


How do I say goodbye to people in a positive way?  


Transparently communicate exactly what is happening (you should only have to have this conversation once), and look people in the eye when you discuss this with them.  It’s not an easy conversation to have and whilst you may get a mixed response, it is likely that the individual will respect you for it.  



Offer to keep in touch, make sure they know that you are available to be a referee or to bounce any roles off.  Seek some outplacement support for them, or provide an introduction if you know someone in your network may be able to look at them for a position.  



We get it, when your business is under stress, you have a lot going on. However, employees are people with their own pressures, so you have to up your communication game at this time.  Losing your job is one of the most stressful experiences; throw in a nationwide lockdown and concerns around health, well-being and personal financial future, and it is a very scary time.  

When someone joins your business, you probably sit down with them and have a coffee, right?  Do the same now, albeit virtually. Talk through, listen to them and remember points 1 and 2 above.  


What support can Sprout offer? 

We have put together a solution for any employer that would like their former employees to have some support around career transition.  

This solution involves one-on-one coaching, support in areas around applying for jobs, preparing your profile on various social media sites (not just LinkedIn) and help with interviewing.  It is our goal to give those that have been displaced from their current job the best chance of finding a new one in what is now a difficult economic climate.  

Our experienced team who all have 10+ years individually in supporting people finding roles, will work one-on-one with any individual and will spend between 4-5 hours helping them in various areas around their job search.  


People may not remember what was said, but they will remember how you made them feel. 


Our team is available if you need any support around changes that need to take place in your business.  For me personally, please call me on 027 699 8509 or drop me a note on and I will make myself available. 


 "A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.” - Douglas MacArthur


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0800 4 SPROUT (0800 4 777 688)

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