Employee Offboarding

Employee Offboarding: The Best Way to Transition Employees

Turnover is a natural part of any organization’s life cycle, and employee offboarding should be handled with the same degree of importance as new employee onboarding.

Ideally, you want to part ways on good terms with the employees who move on. But the transition process can be cumbersome and if not handled properly can leave employees feeling dissatisfied or unimpressed with their experience. 

Proper offboarding allows you to understand the experience of the outgoing employee and correct any misconceptions they might have. Employees who become advocates of your company have the power to influence other potential employees as they will speak highly of you.

Let’s take a closer look at employee offboarding and the best way to transition employees.

What is Offboarding?

Offboarding is the process of disengaging an employee from your workforce. It involves all the processes needed for a formal separation between the employer and the employee.

Offboarding manages the employee experience at the end of their tenure with the organization. Offboarding covers all the steps necessary to successfully part ways with an employee following their resignation, retirement or termination. 

Withdrawal of the services of an employee does not just stop instantly. A step-by-step process needs to be followed to ensure that the withdrawal process is thorough.

When done well, a clear offboarding process ensures a smooth transition for both the company and the departing employee.

Your Checklist for Offboarding Best Practices

The exact process you follow will differ based on the size of your company, the employee’s position in the company, and the nature of their departure. Following these best practices helps manage the expectations of all parties involved.

  1. Communicate the Termination – Consider all that will need to be notified of the employee’s departure. That includes HR, IT, leadership team or other teams the employee works with and, of course, clients.
  2. Provide Information to the Employee – The employee will need to know essential information such as an overview of the offboarding process, timeline, and what is expected of them. At the very minimum, the following should be covered:
  • Final paycheck details
  • Benefit continuation beyond their employment (ie. COBRA)
  • 401K
  • Exit interview process
  • Returning company-owned equipment
  1. Develop a Transition Plan – Establishing a knowledge transfer between the departing employee and the relevant manager or team members is critical to avoid losing vital information, access to documentation, or access to vendors or customers.
  2. Conduct an Exit Interview – Exit interviews are quite possibly one of the most genuine and pure forms of feedback a company can solicit from its employees.
  3. Collect Company Assets and Terminate Systems Access – Forgetting this part of the offboarding procedures could result in compromising your systems. Make sure to terminate work email, collect company-owned assets (laptop, mobile phone, etc.) and document the termination in relevant HR systems.
  4. Generate Good Faith – Lastly, remember to thank the employee for their commitment and contributions to the company. This generates good faith later down the line and shows the company’s appreciation for the work and time the employee contributed during their tenure.

Offboarding is just as important to HR processes as onboarding. A seamless offboarding process helps contribute to your employer brand, and a healthy employer brand is crucial for any business.

Human Resources management can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Our certified HR experts are here to help you navigate the employee lifecycle, from hire to retire. Get started today!

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