“He No Longer Works Here”: Who Needs To Know

After an employee leaves an organization, whether by choice or they were terminated, of course you know to write a formal letter to the employee and notify the rest of the team. However, what about clients, customers, and vendors? What happens when someone calls and asks to speak to that employee? Is it enough to say “he (or she) no longer works here” and leave it at that? Who needs to know about a former employee’s departure from your business?

The answer depends on the role that employee played in your day-to-day business. If that employee interacted with vendors and customers first hand for an extended period of time, those who developed a relationship with that employee should be notified if possible. If the employee’s name was well known on marketing materials, your website, press releases about the company, and etc., it will be helpful for them to know they will continue their business with another individual. Now, depending on the size of the company, it may not be possible notify every customer even by doing so with a mass letter or email. If someone does call to ask for that employee, you can tell them that the person is no longer employed with your organization and go on to explain who can assist them in current and future business interactions. You don’t need to give away details about the separation; those can stay in confidence with management. All they need to know is that all their future business will be taken care of in the same professional manner as before.

So if you do choose to formally notify vendors and customers, how should you do so? Draft a short letter to only those vendors and customers with whom the employee had direct contact. State that the employee is no longer working for you and the date they left. Then reassure everyone that any orders they placed or service they requested will still be honored. Finally, close with information about the new contact that will handle these matters. As far as the team goes, wait until the terminated employee has left the premises to send out an email announcement. If the employee is choosing to leave to pursue other opportunities, you can notify the team of the employee’s last day. No matter what the circumstances, always wish the former employee well. Make it happen!