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A Step-by-step Guide to an Effective Employee Offboarding Process

A Step-by-step Guide to an Effective Employee Offboarding Process

The offboarding process is not as easy as the onboarding routine. Saying goodbye to a team member takes a lot more than accepting a resignation. You need a proper employee offboarding process to foster long-lasting relationships with your ex-employees. Implementing a systematic process helps a company eliminate any legal or security risks and increase boomerang employees' likelihood. 

The offboarding process is not as easy as the onboarding routine. Saying goodbye to a team member takes a lot more than accepting a resignation. You need a proper employee offboarding process to foster long-lasting relationships with your ex-employees. Implementing a systematic process helps a company eliminate any legal or security risks and increase boomerang employees' likelihood. 

If you are wondering how to design an offboarding plan that keeps the communication channels open for the exiting employee, here is a step-by-step offboarding process for your company. 

Handle the Resignation Part

Some HR officials are hesitant to accept a resignation without discussing the underlying issues. However, if you’ve passed that stage and the employee have submitted a formal resignation letter, it’s time to spring into action. Since you don’t want any rumors to disrupt the workplace, it is best to officially inform everyone about a resignation. Thank the employee and introduce the person who will be taking over their responsibilities. The HR department must prepare final documentation, and there may be some extra work for payroll clerks. Furthermore, the IT departments will also need to make some access changes, so you will have to inform them as soon as you accept an employee’s resignation. 

In case the quitting employee works directly with clients, decide how and when to let them handover the details to the concerned authority. When the employee is in a senior position, informing certain outside parties is also essential. 

Prepare Final Documentation

Compiling the final document is critical for ensuring a smooth departure. Ideally, non-disclosure agreements are signed at the beginning of the onboarding process. However, the employee would also like to review them during the offboarding process. In addition to that:

  • Tax and benefits documents can take significant time to prepare. 
  • To avoid any last-minute payment conflicts, the employee must review the final payroll.
  • Don’t wait for the employee to ask for a testimonial and make it a part of the exit documentation. 

Design the Work Handover Process

The step is relatively easy if you have a successor in mind. Handing over the responsibilities and transferring the knowledge to the successor can be tricky, especially if you have to hire a new employee to refill the position. We presume that there is already a job description to explain the leaving employee's responsibilities and duties. You would still need a list of documents, files, and other information that the employee must hand over before leaving, so the process becomes as smooth as possible. Set dates and follow up to ensure timely delivery of all deliverables. 

The Exit Interview

Some of the most seasoned human resource officials dread the infamous ‘exit interview.’ That’s because employees may be reluctant to provide honest and candid feedback about processes and policies. Encourage the employee to identify any issues and ask for solutions or alternatives. Consider the exit interview to be an opportunity to ask for feedback and determine the real reason why an employee is leaving. Don’t forget to note down and convey all findings to the management team and decide whether any changes can rectify recurrent issues. 

For instance, if your employees are leaving because of the increasing workload, your company can offer incentives and rewards or introduce flexible shifts to boost your team's morale. 

Plan a Farewell

When the final day arrives, make it memorable for the employee, mostly if he/she has worked for a decent time at your organization. Planning a farewell for your leaving employees show your company’s human side and reveal how much you care about your employees, even when they are leaving. 

Here are a few tips for planning an unforgettable farewell.

  • Throw a surprise party 
  • Choose a classy gift
  • Encourage your team to write short goodbye messages or greetings on a card and present it along with the gift. 
  • Offer a ‘thank you’ speech and appreciate the employee’s contribution to the company.

Recover Company Assets

Although farewells can be emotional, preparing a checklist to recover company assets is another crucial part of your offboarding strategy. Make sure a responsible person recovers all company items and assets such as:

  • Cars
  • Mobile phones
  • Credit cards
  • Laptops
  • Uniforms 
  • Tools

Generally, companies require reimbursement for any items that the leaving employee fails to deliver. Remember to devise a strategy for handling any such events. 

Keep a Record of Employee Information 

Lastly, don’t forget to keep a record of all details and feedbacks of the leaving employee. Storing this information comes in handy for opening channels for further communication. Encourage all outgoing employees to stay connected and keep their information easily accessible for any future reference. However, don’t forget to make changes to your company directory as well as your org charts. Any references to old employees can confuse internal communication for new employees.

Here is a checklist to follow. 

  • Verify contact details before the employee leaves
  • Send appropriate links to your employees for joining an alumnus network
  • Finalize all records and store them safely
  • Remove employee access to all IT systems
  • Change access codes and passwords 
  • Remove the employee from official chat networks and groups
  • Prepare the employee’s workstation by removing any clutter or belongings
  • Update your Company Directory

Create an Alumni Program 

It’s not uncommon for former employees to boomerang into the organization and bring with them added knowledge and experience. However, companies must design an effective offboarding process to ensure the employees enjoy a positive offboarding experience. Alumni programs serve as an effective means of communication to stay in touch with former employees. Human resource professionals can also advertise positions in this network that may encourage an ex-employee to return to the company. 

Final Thoughts

Designing and maintaining a consistent offboarding process can be cumbersome, especially for large organizations. If you want to implement a flawless and smooth offboarding process, leveraging automation can offer the best results. Your company can successfully keep track of all offboarding steps with AhoyTeam workflow automation in Slack to ensure everything goes according to your offboarding plan. 


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