We recognize that it can be challenging when a teammate leaves, especially if the teammate was a valuable member of the team. The departure can create additional work for you, as you may need to find a replacement and train the new teammate. If the teammate was a key contributor to the team, their departure may also have a negative impact on morale, which you may need to address. The below information is intended to help you, as a manager, navigate teammate departures and make the transition as seamless as possible.
Teammates can leave us in 3 ways. You can read more about them here.
- Voluntary resignation - when a Teammate chooses to resign from their role at Sourcegraph
- Mutual separation - when a Teammate and Sourcegraph both recognize that the working relationship is no longer productive or effective, and agree that a mutual separation is in both parties’ best interests
- Involuntary terminations - when the separation from employment is initiated by Sourcegraph, rather than the teammate.
Once you learn that a teammate is resigning, please follow the below process:
- Inform your People Partner. It is important that you inform your People Partner immediately.
- Confirm the last day. Once a Teammate lets you know they’re leaving, work with them and your People Partner to confirm their last day.
- If there is no contractual notice period (such as for U.S. employees), we cannot require any minimum notice amount. However, we encourage 2-weeks in most instances for a smooth transition.
- If they are employed via Deel, please work with your People Partner to determine their contractual notice periods, which must be honored unless you both agree otherwise.
- Communicate with the business. Once the steps above have been completed, communicate the Teammate’s exit to the team by following our Communicating Departures process. The manager is responsible for communicating in the Manager Slack channel. The People Team will then trigger an automatic announcement in #announce-teammate-departures.
- Complete off-boarding tasks. You will be assigned a number of tasks to complete in Process Street, the tool we use to manage offboarding, including removing the departing Teammate from the handbook. Please action these as soon as possible and connect with your People Partner if you have any questions.
Mutual separation conversations can be started in a variety of ways. For example, you could be thinking about terminating an underperforming Teammate, or we may undertake a restructure and separate from Teammates whose role changes or is eliminated. In all scenarios, your first port of call will be your People Partner.
If you initiate the conversation with your People Partner, be prepared to discuss the rationale for separating and think about potential alternatives to retain the Teammate, if appropriate. You (and/or your People Partner) may also need to meet with other stakeholders in order to determine the best course of action.
You will lead the conversation with the Teammate in which you’ll set out the terms of their separation. Your People Partner will also attend this meeting. If the Teammate agrees to move forward, your People Partner will handle the remainder of the process, keeping you informed as necessary. They will also confirm when you are able to communicate the Teammate’s exit, as per our Communicating Departures process.
Lastly, you will be assigned a number of tasks to action in Process Street, including removing the departing Teammate from the handbook. Please action these as soon as possible and connect with your People Partner if you have any questions.
If a Teammate is involuntarily terminated, your People Partner will work closely with you throughout the process and provide guidance regarding their last working day, separation date, transition plan and communications. As each exit will be handled on a case-by-case basis, it is not possible to provide more in-depth guidance than the above. Involuntary terminations are sensitive, please handle them with care and discretion.
When a Teammate leaves Sourcegraph, their departure is shared by their manager with the people they work most closely with (immediate Teammates, broader department, and cross-functional partners). More details on how to communicate departures, including templates, are outlined on the Announcements handbook page.
- Director and above roles: The Comms Team and People Partners will be more heavily involved with messaging development and comms strategy. This will likely include broader communication to the full company via #announcements. Please loop in your appropriate People Partner and Madison Clark (Internal Comms) via DM before comms are shared. The Announcements handbook page gives additional details on communicating these types of changes.
Cadence / Checklist:
Driver: Manager of departing Teammate
Collaborator: Departing Teammate (if resigning or mutually separating)
- Manager and Teammate align on the final day and transition plan
- Manager drafts messaging points to communicate the departure and shares with the departing Teammate for alignment (within 24 hours)
- If departing Teammate is a People Manager: Departing Teammate notifies direct reports (this can happen live via Zoom call, but should also include written follow-up via Slack to align with async focus)
- Manager then follows up with the team to show their support
- If departing Teammate is an IC: The manager of the departing Teammate notifies their team (via Slack message in team channel)
- Departing Teammate follows up with a message of support and commitment to a smooth transition
- Manager of departing Teammate notifies broader department (via Slack message to public department channel)
- Departing Teammate notifies their cross-functional partners and includes manager as FYI
- Manager notifies #manager-team as FYI and tells other managers to cascade info as needed
- Optional: Departing Teammate sends brief message in #thanks to say farewell and thank you
Guidance on tone:
- Be Brief - We keep things short and sweet, and avoid writing “eulogy-esque” messages.
- Be Factual- We may be limited in what we can share, but we focus on the facts and help people understand how work will transition in the interim.
- Be Considerate - We wish people well in all cases. We respect people’s privacy and follow legal guidance by not sharing the details of involuntary departures, and respecting Teammates’ wishes about what we share regarding voluntary departures.
Message example - Department announcement - please adapt these examples to match your voice and the departing Teammate’s experience
Sender: Manager of departing Teammate
Audience: Department of departing Teammate
Team, I have bittersweet news to share. [Name] is leaving Sourcegraph and their last day is [date].
Thank you for everything you’ve contributed in your time here. [add a few lines describing what this person has accomplished] I’m sad to see you go, but wishing you all the best in your next role.
If People Manager: [departing teammate name]’s direct reports will shift over to report to [name(s)] in the interim.
If backfilling: We plan to backfill this role, and in the interim [name /team name] will take on [project] until a new Teammate joins us.
If not backfilling: We’ll make shifts to some of our priorities to keep up momentum on [project] and [name/team name] will take on this work. We don’t plan to backfill this role for the time being.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions.
Message example - Teammate follow-up
Sender: Departing Teammate
Audience: Department of departing Teammate
Thanks [Manager Name] I’ve really enjoyed working with the team and will be wishing you all the best even after I’ve left Sourcegraph.
If People Manager: I also want to echo what [manager name] said, I know that [insert direct report names] will be well supported by transitioning to report to [new manager name].
I’m fully committed to making the transition smooth and am here to help answer any questions leading up to my last day. Thanks, everybody!
Message example - Teammate goodbye in #thanks
Sender: Departing Teammate
Audience: #thanks channel
Hi everybody, today is my last day at Sourcegraph and I wanted to take a moment to say #thanks for making my time here so enjoyable! I’m sad to be leaving, but I’m also looking forward to my next adventure. [Provide one sentence with details about the next role].
I’d love to stay in touch - you can reach me on LinkedIn [add link] or via email [insert email address] anytime! Good luck, I’ll be cheering you all on!
Q: I have questions about communicating a Teammate’s departure - where can I find more information on how to do so?
- A: Our Communications & People Teams have created guidance for communicating departures clearly and to appropriate audiences. This page also contains a list of FAQs specific to Teammate departures.
Q: Can you provide details about someone’s departure?
- A: No, Teammate departures are sensitive and are treated with confidentiality. We recognize it can be difficult and even confusing at times when people leave the company, but our focus should be on supporting the Teammates who remain and ensuring they have what they need to do their best work.
Q: When a manager is the one communicating a departure, is it safe to assume that that Teammate is leaving involuntarily?
- A: No, in fact, we are streamlining the communication process to create more consistency and fairness to ALL Teammates, regardless of their reason for leaving Sourcegraph. All departure communications are driven by the departing Teammate’s manager. This will ensure that every departure is communicated consistently.
Q: Do all departing Teammates need to send a message in #thanks?
- A: No, this step is optional and up to the discretion of the departing Teammate.
Q: Why do Director+ roles require additional communication support?
- A: These roles are highly visible across the company and typically have an outsized impact on Teammate morale and company strategy. To ensure we take a thoughtful approach to the comms strategy, and ensure we support the departure process, Internal Comms and People Partners will be more involved in these departure processes.
Q: Can managers provide information to Teammates about whether a departure was voluntary or involuntary?
- A: In general, managers should not clarify for other Teammates whether a departure was voluntary or involuntary, in consideration of the departing Teammate’s confidentiality. Occasionally, there may be comms that clarify that a departure was voluntary (as long as the departing Teammate agrees), or a departing Teammate may share the nature of their separation. However, it is important that our default approach is not to disclose that a separation was voluntary, which ensures that the absence of this detail does not inadvertently reveal when departures are involuntary.
Q: How soon after receiving a resignation should I communicate the news?
- A: Information about communicating departures may be found on the Announcements handbook page. Note: Occasionally, abrupt departures warrant swift communication. In such cases, connect with your People Partner for assistance on communications.
Q: How to kick off a backfill search
- A: Guidance on opening a new requisition can be found here.