When an employee leaves the company, it\u2019s always a little painful for everyone involved. For the remaining team members, a team member resigning or being fired can be particularly destabilizing. Not only do they have to adjust to a new workload, but it also threatens their sense of stability and can even lead to waves of employee resignations.It falls to managers to guide their teams through this moment in ways that are fair to the team as well as to the departing employee. That\u2019s a tricky line to walk because you have to balance your team\u2019s desire for transparency with your obligation to maintain privacy and discourage needless drama.We\u2019ve created a simple guide that managers can use when talking to their teams about a team member\u2019s departure. We\u2019re starting with some overall rules of thumb and then getting into the specifics of addressing an employee who resigns versus one who is terminated.Simple Rules for Addressing Employee DeparturesRegardless of the exact circumstances of an employee departure, there are a few guidelines managers can always turn to. When you\u2019re crafting your response, here\u2019s what to keep in mind.Show respect for the person who is leavingThis tenet should form the foundation of everything you do when someone leaves. Even if this person is leaving on bad terms\u2014even if you, personally, cannot stand them\u2014do not publicly disparage them. If you find it hard to hold your tongue, remember: you\u2019re not doing it for this person, you\u2019re doing it for the rest of your team. Behave with professionalism so team members feel psychologically safe and don\u2019t worry about how they\u2019ll be treated when they leave the company.That being said, you can treat someone respectfully while still holding them accountable for bad behavior. We\u2019ll get into that more in the section on employee terminations.Make a written public announcementWhen someone leaves, address it publicly, and address it only once. Preferably, issue a written statement rather than bringing it up in a meeting. This isn\u2019t an issue that you want to invite public conversation about, so stick with a Slack message or a memo.When it comes to explaining the situation in the employee departure announcement, stick to the \u201cless is more\u201d doctrine. It\u2019s better to say too little than too much.Offer follow-up in privateYour written announcement should conclude by telling team members that if they have questions or concerns, they can approach you privately. Give your team members an opportunity to bring up the departure in one-on-ones, but don\u2019t bring it up yourself.These private conversations are a chance to address any worries your team might have, but be careful not to slip and let them turn into gossip sessions. If a team member asks for more detail about why someone left the company, turn the conversation around and ask if they\u2019re worried about how it might affect them.Speak first, and own the narrativeYour team should hear about this news from you (unless HR is handling the departure announcement). Don\u2019t wait to make an announcement; that just gives time for rumors to spread. Decide how you plan to present the story, and stick to it.Reassure your teamA team member\u2019s departure tends to make the rest of the team antsy, especially if the person who left was part of their direct team. \u201cThe effect of the turnover contagion is particularly pronounced in smaller team groups that are self-contained,\u201d according to Scientific American\u2019s article \u201cIs Quitting Contagious?\u201dSo project calm, and get ahead of your team\u2019s worries. For starters, that means letting them know you have a plan for handling this departure, including who will be absorbing their workload. Don\u2019t have a plan yet? Then let them know you\u2019re working on it. Just don\u2019t look like you\u2019re panicking (even if you are). You also need to reassure your team by shoring up your personal relationships with them and reaffirming your commitment to them in one-on-one meetings.Follow the HR\/legal playbookMaybe this goes without saying, but none of the advice here is intended to replace your company\u2019s procedures for handling employee departures. When in doubt, refer to your company\u2019s documentation, and follow your HR department\u2019s lead.How to Announce an Employee ResignationLet\u2019s just start with the obvious: \u201cemployee resignation\u201d can mean a lot of different things. In the best-case scenario, team members leave on good terms and with ample notice. In the worst-case scenario, they storm out dramatically, burning bridges as they go.Keep it positiveAssuming an employee leaves on good (or even neutral) terms, you should treat their departure as a celebration. In your departure announcement email, celebrate their accomplishments and your gratitude for their work. You want your remaining team members to feel confident that they won\u2019t be punished for moving on to other opportunities, especially if they do it the right way.Let them say goodbye (with caveats)If this person is leaving on good terms, give them an opportunity to address the team in the week or so before they leave. If you\u2019re on the fence about whether or not this is a good idea, there\u2019s an easy way to make up your mind.Harvard Business Review lists seven styles of resignation:Grateful goodbye: Helpful and appreciative during departureIn the loop: Communicative about their plans for moving onBy the book: The typical two-week notice, while explaining their reasons for leavingPerfunctory: Giving notice but providing no explanationsAvoidant: Quitting without directly informing their manager (for example, going straight to HR)Bridge-burning: Doing damage to the team as they exitImpulsive quitting: Quitting without warning (or \u201cghosting\u201d by failing to show up)You should hand a departing team member the mic only if they leave in ways 1 through 3.Employee Resignation Announcement ExampleWe\u2019re sad to announce that November 23 will be Melissa\u2019s last day. In her time at the company, Melissa has been instrumental in X, Y, Z. She\u2019s leaving us to pursue an exciting opportunity at Acme Industries. Please join us in thanking Melissa for all her hard work and wishing her the best in her future role! Jamie is going to cover Melissa\u2019s assignments for the time being, and we\u2019re actively looking at new candidates to take her position in the long term. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Best of luck, Melissa! We\u2019ll miss you!How to Announce an Employee TerminationWhen we surveyed managers about their toughest situations, \u201cemployee terminations\u201d was one of the most commonly-mentioned issues. Having to let an employee go is hard enough, but it\u2019s only half the battle; you also have to manage any potential fallout.The biggest question most managers have when a team member is fired is, \u201cWhat am I allowed to say about it?\u201d So all our ground rules here will address that issue.If they couldn\u2019t do the workIf this termination is an unfortunate case of someone being unable to fulfill their duties, you can gently explain the situation to your team. The message you need to impart is that your team doesn\u2019t need to worry about being fired over the slightest mistake. Emphasize that this person was well aware of the issue, and that you took steps to help this person fix the problem. If at all possible, get the departing team member\u2019s blessing for sharing the story.If this is a behavior\/personality issueIn your public announcement, simply say that this person wasn\u2019t a good fit for your team. In all likelihood, team members will know what you mean without the need for further elaboration. If you have other team members who were directly impacted by this person\u2019s behavior, discuss concerns during private one-on-ones.If someone is fired for a serious infractionIf the departing employee\u2019s actions directly impact the business or violate company values, use it as a chance to reiterate those values. For example, a security inspector who gets caught cutting corners puts the company in danger. When that happens, it\u2019s appropriate to address the issue with your team. Remind them of the company\u2019s policies on these issues, and make clear that you take them very seriously.While you shouldn\u2019t needlessly scare people, this is a moment to be firm and emphasize the gravity of the situation.Sample Employee Termination AnnouncementToday is Scott\u2019s last day at the company. We had to end Scott\u2019s tenure when it came to light that he had been deliberately falsifying data in his communications with customers. This is a serious violation of our policies and our customers\u2019 trust. We are sad to part ways with Scott, but we have a zero-tolerance policy about this matter. You can re-familiarize yourself with the policy by referring to the employee handbook. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.Don\u2019t Let an Employee Departure Tear Your Team ApartEmployee departures are often inflection points for companies. Whether they lead to positive or negative change depends largely on how managers handle them. If you behave firmly and calmly, you can minimize the ripple effects of personnel changes on the rest of your team.