That final “Adieu” Mail that IT employees send when they QUIT – How it’s changed in the last decade?

Employee resignations, attrition, people leaving, new people joining have all been part of any organization story and growth. And the Indian IT industry is no different. With the unprecedented Year-on-Year industry growth for the past decade, employee attrition are a common part of work and office life.

However, one interesting observation is in that final “Adieu” mail or the very last “Good-Bye” mail which employees send out to others within the organization announcing that they’re moving on – to greener pastures, I’d assume.

Having been part of the industry for more than a decade now, I can definitely say that there is so much of difference in the way it was done in say 2000 and the way it’s done today.

Firstly, from what I’ve seen there are a few factors which influence this mail:
(1) How long he / she have been with the organization?
(2) The overall “employee satisfaction” in his / her tenure within the organization. So essentially, are she / he leaving with a positive experience and in good taste, or a not-so-positive / negative experience and in bad taste
(3) The reason for “quitting” – And whether it is personal / professional reasons which are driving this decision
(4) The kind of internal networks / relationships that he / she have built within the organization

Now, coming to what areas the stark differences are in – Listed below:
(1) The subject of the mail
(2) The length and content (including emotional quotient) in the mail
(3) Whom the mail is sent to
(4) When the mail is sent

So what are the differences and how did they evolve?

 (1) The subject of the mail

About 10 years back

When you read the subject, you know for sure that this is the mail. Very clear that he / she is leaving. For e.g.: The subject would read as: “30-Jun is my last day here” or “It’s time to say Good Bye”

About 5 years back

When you read the subject, you kind of know that this is the mail. So a little hint in the subject, but you’ve got to read the mail to really be sure. For e.g.: The subject would read as: “Moving On” (You can’t be sure if he / she is moving to a new project or shifting from the company) or “Time for a change” (Again, you can’t put a finger on the kind of change involved here)

Today

When you read the subject, you really don’t know what this is about. Also, given that most teams are globally dispersed and such decisions are generally not discussed about in all circles, you really don’t know till you read the mail. So the subject reads as “Surprise” or “Good news” or “Finally” or “Guess what?” or even “Hi”

(2) The length and content (including emotional quotient) in the mail

About 10 years back

The “Good Bye” mails typically used to be looooooooooooong heart-felt emotional mails – Starting off with a Thank you to Who’s Who? , and how the organization gave opportunities to learn, grow and taught the individual so so much. Also highlighting how the memories and experiences were a great part of the employee’s career and growth. And then sharing some special personal moments, milestones and fun memories – and also specifically calling out names of important / special people who made the journey so worthwhile! Most mails ended by asking to stay in touch, and provided contact details / personal mail ID’s.

About 5 years back

The “Good Bye” mails typically used to be of medium length. Somewhat more formal, and less emotional. There definitely was a Thank You to everyone, and a note on how the organization played an important role in his / her career. Most mails ended by asking to stay in touch, and provided contact details / personal mail ID’s.

Today

Increasingly, the mails are very short and crisp. The shortest and (somewhat sweetest) note I received had a subject line as “Hi”.. The body simply said “This mail ID will not work from tomorrow. If we’re already connected otherwise, great – let’s keep the connection going. Else, it was a pleasure knowing you”. In many cases, there are no alternate contacts provided and in some cases, social media profiles are shared (Twitter, Blogs, LinkedIn profiles, etc.). In rare occasions do people share their contact numbers and personal Mail ID’s

(3) Whom the mail is sent to?

About 10 years back

Typically the mail would be sent to everyone in his / her Address Book. So you’d end up receiving good-bye mails from people whom you barely knew.

About 5 years back

Typically, the mail would be sent to a more restricted group from the Address Book, based on the work interactions

Today

Typically, it is sent to a very small group which includes immediate manager, colleagues and teams. Even within this, there is a selective filtration which is done – and not everyone receives the communication

(4) When the mail is sent

About 10 years back

A couple of days (4-5) before the last working day

About 5 years back

2 – 3 days before the last working day

Today

On the last working day

Food for Thought

I don’t know what’s driving these changes.. But it’s a huge change.. Earlier, the “Good Bye” mails in itself used to be a topic of conversation for days at length. Today, people leave and many times you end up reading the mail days after he / she has left. In many cases, you don’t even know that they’ve left till you send them a mail and get an Error which says “Email ID not found”

Anyways, I wonder if these changes have anything to do with people or organizations or both.. But something has changed in a span of 10 years. And its hard to exactly put a finger on what! Needless to say, you got to accept the changes.. and Move ON!

Do you have a view on this subject? If yes, leave a comment. Would love to hear your views…

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3 comments on “That final “Adieu” Mail that IT employees send when they QUIT – How it’s changed in the last decade?

  1. That’s an interesting observation.. though I’ve just started off in IT, in under 3 years I’ve seen a lot of such mails – most from people whom I barely know. In most cases, the mails were like the 10 years or 5 years ago scenario mentioned above. Haven’t yet seen a short and curt mail.. but time will tell.. 🙂

  2. Coming from the IT industry and for having worked there for around the same time (a decade) I can vouch for one thing.. the people. they have changed immensely over the years. I can speak esp. for the BA/Consulting track, the kind of people who come in now esp. fresh from B Schools have a completely different outlook towards their work and growth paths. Seen that to influence their communication ettiquetes as well. be it regular mails or a farewell mail…

    • Absolutely Seeta – People’s outlook and life priorities and views about jobs / employment have undergone a radical change. It manifests in many ways, and the Adieu mail is just one example

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