When someone leaves your organization, you need to ensure that they return any company property that they may have in their possession. To do so properly, we recommend using a Return of Company Property Letter that can be sent to employees so that they know what property they have and how to return it.
A letter like this is important because it helps save your company a lot of money in the long run. Cell phones, laptops, iPads, and other tech tools aren't cheap, but you also need to collect other things like keys, badges, and things that give your employee access to company assets.
The list of items in your return of company property letter will change from place to place, but the letter itself generally remains the same.
To help you craft the perfect letter for your organization, we have created a sample letter that you can use when you need it, allowing you to make slight changes to the document instead of writing one every time someone makes an exit.
Let's dive in and examine what you need to include in your return of company property letter.
What Is a Return of Company Property Letter?
To start off, let's go over the basics of what this letter needs to accomplish.
While the goal of the letter is simple - to get your company property back - the letter itself has to give actual details as to what your employee has to do. For example, your return of company property letter should include how many days the employee has to return the property, the date of their termination, what items they need to return, and where they need to return them to.
In order for this letter to work, you need to keep track of what tools and property the employee has. Always keep an updated record of where your property is so you can get it back when someone exits the organization. If you don't, you could be hemorrhaging money and compromising your security.
Writing a Return of Company Property Letter: The Introduction
When it comes to actually writing the return of company property letter, you need to start off just like you would with any internal memo or letter. This means including your contact info at the top and then a subject line. Follow all of that up by addressing the employee.
This section of the return of company property letter can look something like this:
Subject: Return of Company Property
Dear [Employee Name],"
As you can see, it's pretty standard stuff. Hopefully, you will be sending this letter out to the person while they are still making their exit or even handing them the letter during their layoff or termination meeting. It largely depends on how your organization operates during a termination.
For example, some of this property may be at the employee's desk. Some organizations will not let terminated employees return to their desk, deciding to instead send security or HR to collect belongings. Others may allow the employee to collect their things. It's entirely up to you, but make sure that whatever they have at home is included with the letter.
This brings us to our next point: the core message of the letter.
Writing a Return of Company Property Letter: The Core Message and Details
After you have all of the details lined up, it's time for you to get into the core message of the return of the company property letter, which will state all of the major details that the employee has to know.
You can start this off by saying:
"Per company policy, employees must return all property back to the organization in [insert number] of days after a [termination/layoff/etc]."
This gets right to the point. Like all communication like this, you need to jump right in. Don't beat around the bush or try to make small talk here. It's about getting property back, and the verbiage should be clear.
From here, you can move into the actual list of things that the employee has.
Here's how this section can look:
"As per this date, [insert date], we have no record of you returning the following items:
This part clearly shows what property the employee has in their possession as well as telling them what date they need to return it by. Of course, this list is just an example. Your organization may have more or less items depending on the employee, what your organization does, and things of that nature.
Still, the core message remains the same: here's what you have, here's when to give it back.
Next up, move right into the location where they should return the items and also tell them that local law enforcement will be alerted if they do not return the property in the time allotted.
"Please return the items listed above to our [insert city} location, at [insert address].
If we don’t receive these items by [insert date], we will contact local law enforcement."
After this, you are almost done with the letter. You just need to give them a place to reach back out with questions and then sign off.
Ending a Return of Company Property Letter: The Sign Off
It's important that you allow the employee to reach back out with questions when it comes to returning property. For example, maybe they really don't have that iPad that you think they have. Maybe they already returned things to IT or security and you don't know about it.
By offering them a way to reach back out, you can avoid a lot of chaos and confusion. The last thing you want to do is involve the police over something that doesn't need that level of escalation.
We recommend this section of the letter looking like this:
"You can contact us at any time with questions.
[insert phone number]
Again, it's simple and to the point.
Using a Return of Company Property Letter: Things to Consider
We've covered quite a bit here today, but the key takeaways are that a return of company property letter is a great way to ensure that you and your outbound employees are on the same page about what they have in their possession and provides them a clear way of returning the property in a timely fashion.
The letter should be clear and concise, giving details as to how, where, when, and what, the employee needs to return.
If done correctly, this letter can help you save money in the long run by making you more attuned to the items that your staffers may have when they make their exits.
Want to see our sample Return of Company Property Letter? Click below.