What To Do For a Coworker Leaving: 12 Creative Ideas

Category: General Tips

What is one creative thing to do for a coworker who is leaving?

To help you think of something creative to do for a coworker that is leaving, we asked small business owners and HR managers this question for their best recommendations. From starting a slack thread to gifting them gadgets they can use at their new job, there are several ideas that may help you decide how to bid farewell to a coworker in the future.

Here are twelve creative tips on what to do for a coworker that is leaving:

  • Start a Slack Thread
  • Gift a Digital Address Book
  • Create a Highlight Reel of Goodbyes and Well Wishes
  • Take Time to Remember and Reminisce
  • Sign a Farewell Card as a Team
  • Buy a Self-Care Package
  • Host a Virtual Going Away Party
  • Plan a Snack Time
  • Create a Farewell Guestbook
  • Surprise Them With a Recommendation
  • Take a Page from the Office and Solve a Murder Mystery
  • Gift Them Gadgets They Can Use at Their New Job

What To Do For a Coworker Leaving: 12 Creative Ideas

Start a Slack Thread

One creative thing to do for a coworker that is leaving is to start a Slack thread that encourages coworkers to share one fond memory, compliment, or wish for the departing colleague. To get the conversation going, managers can post the first few compliments. Team members can also share photos within the thread. This method acts like a summary of the team’s gratitude and sends the worker off on a high note. Plus, other employees reading the thread will get the impression that coworkers care about each other and feel a stronger sense of belonging and positivity.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

Gift a Digital Address Book

One meaningful and creative way to send off a coworker is to give that team member a digital address book. Without access to the company Slack or organizational email, team members often struggle to keep in touch with former coworkers. Creating a directory of contact information like personal emails, social media profiles, and phone numbers gives the departing employee multiple methods to stay in communication with coworkers. You can ask employees to submit whatever information they are comfortable with sharing, organize the submissions into a central document, and share the info with the leaving team member.

Tasia Duske, Museum Hack

Create a Highlight Reel of Goodbyes and Well Wishes

Have everyone in the team record a short 10-30 second video for them and create a highlight reel of goodbyes and well wishes. The recordings should be done in the same format, horizontal mode for example, and be no longer than 30 seconds, otherwise the video can become very long, depending on the amount of people in the team. The video can act both as a goodbye in the moment and as a memory of the company and the people in it.

Paw Vej, Financer.com Ldt

Take Time to Remember and Reminisce

Play your “greatest hits.” You and your team can create a video or slideshow featuring photos and clips of your favorite memories with the coworker who’s leaving. Include music you listened to together, and spend time afterward talking about the challenges you overcame and the fun experiences you shared. It’s the best way to show your appreciation for your coworker and celebrate their journey.

Hector Gutierrez, JOI

Sign a Farewell Card as a Team

When a coworker is leaving, it’s nice to give them something sentimental to remember you by. While cake and champagne are nice parting gifts, nothing is as touching as a heartfelt message thanking and commemorating a co-worker for their hard work and camaraderie. Give each team member a chance to write their own message in the card, and then come together and sign it as a group. It’s memorable, it’s emotional, and it shows your co-worker just how valued they truly are as they move on to greener pastures – but this is a bit different from a get well soon message.

Mike Grossman, GoodHire

Buy a Self-Care Package

A gift that shows you care is a nice touch for an employee who is leaving. A box of self-care goodies for example: a face mask, a pretty scented candle, bath salts, and body lotion will brighten their last day and as they indulge themselves they’ll be thinking about you all back at work!

Hakeem Shittu, iPad Recycle

Host a Virtual Going Away Party

One way to send off a coworker is to throw a virtual retirement party or remote going away party. You can prepare a presentation that shows off the team member’s greatest accomplishments and contributions, play games like trivia, and enjoy one last meal together on Zoom. These gatherings give team members the chance to spend time with colleagues before leaving the company, even if only on virtual meeting software.

Carly Hill, Virtual Holiday Party

Plan a Snack Time

You undoubtedly shared numerous lunches with the employee who is leaving. You probably already have a few favorite spots where you go every day. If so, planning a small farewell party for your coworker shouldn’t be difficult. You can invite just the two of you or others from work. Enjoy some favorite drinks and snacks, and spend some time together.

Josh Pelletier, BarBend

Create a Farewell Guestbook

Instead of a farewell card, I believe you should say goodbye with a printed guest book that includes signatures from all of you. Send sincere words to your coworker who is leaving to remind them of the excellent times you’ve shared. This going-away gift would look fantastic on a wall with a good frame!

Jay Bats, ContentBASE

Surprise Them With a Recommendation

When leaving a job, everyone likes getting a sweet farewell card and warm goodbye wishes from their colleagues. It just makes them remember the time spent with the company more fondly. To take it up a notch, instead of writing nice things about your coworker inside a greeting card that will inevitably get tossed one day, write them somewhere where they can have a lasting impact. Post a few words about their professional qualities and achievements on their LinkedIn page, or surprise them with a well-written recommendation letter. Not only will it have that same effect of bringing a tear to their eye as a farewell email would, but it might also help them in their future career endeavors and will stay forever on their profile.

Maja Kowalska, Zety

Take a Page from the Office and Solve a Murder Mystery

Turn on The Office theme song and plan a murder mystery game activity. You don’t have to know who Michael Scott is to enjoy a good old-fashioned murder mystery at work. The great thing about this idea is it can be done both in-person and online. You can go for one of the classic murder mystery board games to play at a farewell party or go all out and turn the party itself into a game with special kits. There’s plenty to choose from online. This idea is very original, fun, and can be adjusted to any setting. It may serve as an additional activity at a dinner or farewell party. If you’d like to reject tradition and embrace modernity, there’s always the viral murder mystery game Among US, also a game of teamwork and betrayal.

Nicole Ostrowska-Cobas, LiveCareer

Gift Them Gadgets They Can Use at Their New Job

Gifts become so much more meaningful when they emphasize the thought and careful attention that goes into them. By giving your coworker new equipment or gadgets that they can use at their new job, it goes to show your support in their endeavors and how happy you are for them, even if farewells can be difficult. More importantly, they’ll remember you fondly every time they make use of their gift.

Harry Morton, Lower Street


While it may not always be easy to say goodbye to a coworker, especially one you are close with, reminding them that they are valued and appreciated for who they are is something that will live on with them even as they move into a different job.

Using some of these ideas to help you frame your goodbye as well as some of Handwrytten’s additional resources like how to write the perfect thank you and how to write a great closing for your card will make sure that your coworker appreciates your effort.

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