How to Write a Farewell Speech for Your Boss Who Is Retiring
Your boss’s retirement marks the beginning of a new chapter in their life. The purpose of your farewell speech is to celebrate this milestone and help the retiree get excited for what's to come. Use your speech to bid them adieu, express your appreciation for their service and dedication, and let them know how much their encouragement, inspiration, support, guidance, and leadership have meant to you and your colleagues. Whew! That's a lot to cover.
Perhaps you’re having some trouble figuring out exactly how to put all these grand ideas and thoughtful sentiments into words. That's totally normal! That's why politicians have teams of professional speech writers on staff. Since you likely don't have that luxury, use the tips and examples in this article to guide your speech-writing process.
This Article Includes the Following Sections
- Brainstorming Questions
- The Parts of a Speech
- An Example Farewell Speech
- A Retirement Speech Word Bank
For starters, here are a few topics to consider while brainstorming ideas for your speech. Use these prompts to get your mind moving, but above all, write from the heart. While it's important to point out the retiree's strengths and skills, don't go overboard with the accolades—compliments are most meaningful when they are true and sincere.
- What are some funny or meaningful moments that stick out in your mind from your time working together?
- What are some important things you've learned during your time working under them?
- What are your boss's most noteworthy skills and values?
- What are some ways your manager "led by example" to inspire you and your colleagues in the workplace?
The Parts of a Speech
Speeches, much like other written works, tend to consist of three general sections—an intro or opening, a body, and a conclusion. Here are some things to keep in mind about these three sections while composing a farewell or goodbye speech about a retiring boss.
This is the introductory portion of the speech in which you need to greet your audience and clearly state the purpose of the event. It need not be particularly long, but it should set the stage for the rest of your speech.
Example Sentence: "Good evening everyone. It is an honor and a privilege for me to be delivering this speech. Today, we are all here to bid a bittersweet goodbye to Addie, our amazing boss, who today is retiring after 19 years of service and leadership."
This is where the bulk of your speech's content will reside. Be sure to make your wording clear and understandable to the audience. Use short and simple sentences when expressing your most important points. This is where you should focus on exactly how the retiree impacted the workplace and any benchmarks or accomplishments that were achieved during their tenure as manager/CEO/boss.
Example Sentence: "Susan's managerial expertise and ability to motivate enabled our team to set, meet, and even exceed unprecedented sales goals that would have sounded outlandish five years ago."
This is your speech's finale. This is where you should summarize your strongest points and express gratitude to your boss on behalf of your entire team. Thank them for their time and effort and congratulate them on their work with the organization. Be sure to end on a high note by wishing them well in their future endeavors.
Example Sentence: "Allan's impact on this organization goes far beyond what can be seen on paper—working alongside him has been a profoundly enjoyable educational experience, and I know his absence will be felt by all of us in the weeks and months to come."
Example Farewell Speech
Good afternoon everyone,
I am delighted to welcome you all to Tanya's farewell party. It is an honor and a great pleasure for me to be able to deliver this speech today. We are all here to bid a reluctant farewell to our boss—an exceptional leader and a mentor who today is retiring from her position as CEO and president of the board.
It gives me great satisfaction to congratulate Tanya on her 22 years of stellar work with the company and wish her a relaxing and rewarding retirement. I'm sure we all recognize, respect, and appreciate the valuable contributions she has made to our organization. The skills, knowledge, and other positive qualities that Tanya has instilled in us through example have helped shape each of our careers. Today, we all realize how painful it is to say goodbye to someone who is not only a boss and a leader but also a colleague and a dear friend. Today is not about us, however. Today, we are here to express our sincerest gratitude to Tanya for her incredible contributions not only to this organization but to each and every staff member individually.
She has spent the last two decades guiding and inspiring this team. Some of us have known her for years, while others have only had the pleasure of working alongside her for a short time. Although I have been working under Tanya for the better part of a decade, it feels like it was just yesterday that she was showing me the ropes on my first sales call. Tanya, you have given us so much to be thankful for. I see myself and my colleagues as extremely lucky to have worked under your caring leadership. Words alone are insufficient to express how much we are going to miss you.
Some of us may remember when the company was facing some financial difficulties five or six years back. Tanya's knowledge, professional skills, and ability to make quick decisions allowed us to get out of a very hostile situation. She bought hope back to the organization by restoring financial viability during a time when businesses were failing left and right.
Tanya, your exceptional qualities have inspired us in so many ways. For that, we cannot thank you enough. You will be remembered not just for the things you've accomplished as the leader of this business but also for your tact, care, and transparency. If it were up to us, we would veto your retirement so we didn't have to face the prospect of carrying on without you at the helm of the ship. It is, however, your day to reap what you've sowed. You have worked so hard and accomplished so much, and now it's time for you to kick back and enjoy it. I hope each of us can continue to follow your example after your departure until the day our retirements finally come around.
I am so delighted to be a part of today’s event, and I am so proud to have worked under your leadership. Not only are you an amazing boss, but you have also shown yourself to be a loving and caring person. I remember when I got hurt and had to miss over a month of work—while in the hospital, I had lost all hope of getting on with this job. You counseled me, gave me moral support, and helped me plan my gradual return to work. During that difficult time, your inspiration, kind support, and words of encouragement helped me get back on track. I will never forget the positive influence that you've had on me both personally and professionally.
Through your compassionate support and fearless leadership, you've put smiles on all of our faces time and time again. Your many contributions to our success are immeasurable. I know I speak for all of us when I say having you as a boss has made working here easy, enjoyable, and rewarding. Thank you for creating so many opportunities for our team and for being so passionate about our well-being.
On behalf of the company and my colleagues, I wish you good luck and success in all of your future endeavors. Happy retirement, Tanya.
Retirement Speech Word Bank
Have you ever had to write and deliver a speech in front of a large group?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2016 Oyewole Folarin