Do’s & Don'ts of Giving Farewell Treats


Ever heard of the “farewell treats”? In Hong Kong, when you're leaving your company, it's custom to say farewell to your colleagues by giving everyone a treat. The treats serve as a token of appreciation to your colleagues, managers, and bosses. With the growing trend of boomerang employees, it is more important now than ever to maintain a good relationship with your soon-to-be former colleagues.

For those who are doing it for the first time, giving farewell treats can be tricky. A man from the UK bid his goodbyes to his colleagues by handing in a resignation cake. Not only did the photo of his cake go viral, but in turn it successfully promoted his future endeavour - his growing cake business! This resignation certainly went down like a treat with his colleagues.

We'll be realistic though - we don't expect everyone to bake a resignation cake for their employees. We'll take a look at some do's and don’ts when it comes to giving farewell treats.

1. Do: Think about what to give

It's the million-dollar question: what exactly should you give? The easiest way is to observe and ask. Think back to what you may have received in the past from former colleagues and how people reacted. If nothing comes to mind, or you haven't received a farewell treat from former colleagus before, you can also just simply ask your office buddies what they would like to get.

Depending on your company culture and the relationship you have with your colleagues, sometimes less conventional treats are acceptable. You could get personalised cupcakes for your office buddies with a funny twist, giving your colleagues one last laugh!

You can also personalise these treats based on your day-to-day interactions with your team. For example, if you and your colleagues often go out for happy hours on Fridays, consider giving everyone a bottle of beer. If you want to play safe, you can always go for pastries from local bakeries.

Be wary of any allergies that your colleagues may have - you can ask around for this.

funnycake Image

funnycake ▲Depending on your company, a funny cupcake may be a great idea.

2. Do: Count how many people you want to give a treat to

The purpose of farewell treats is to thank those you’ve worked with and leave on good terms. Therefore, you should make sure you have everyone covered. You don't want to awkwardly leave someone out!

How many people are there in your team or department? Always prepare for everyone in your team / department, AND a bit more just incase you miscounted. Better to be overprepared than underprepared!

It's great to give out freshly baked or prepared treats to colleagues, but you should also prepare some individually packaged treats which can be left on someone's desk, incase they aren't in the office when you're distributing treats.

macaroons ▲Always prepare more than you need so you won't leave anyone out.

3. Do: Plan ahead

Don't just give out food randomly whenever suits you. Plan ahead! The ideal time to give out treats should be when:

  • People are not full from lunch, so they can eat your treat soon

  • People have done most of their work that day, so you don't have to worry about disturbing others

  • Most people are in the office

For the majority of offices, this would be about an hour before the end of the work day.

If there is a large number of people you want to treat, you may want to consider ordering a food delivery to your office. You should also consider the delivery time. If your treats need to be refridgerated, the fridges in the office may be too full before lunch time!

icecream ▲If you are ordering ice cream, make sure they arrive at the right time or you will be serving melted ice cream!

4. Don’t: Be a Secret Santa

The process of giving treats may require a bit more finesse than you expected.

Pay attention to the order at which you handout your farewell treats. The sensible order of giving treats starts from the highest seniority - your department head, followed by your manager and other team managers, then the colleagues on your team, and last but not least, the rest of the office. For the rest of the team, you can either leave it in the pantry, or walk to everyone’s desk one by one; this is up to you. However, you should always personally hand the treats to your bosses to show respect.

Even though you can place the treats in the pantry, don’t just leave them there! Send an email out to your colleagues, and try be there when people walk over to grab the treats. Remember that you aren't giving out treats for the sake of it - the goal is to maintain a relationship even after you've left the company.

secretsanta Don't be a Secret Santa, always give the treat to your boss personally


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