When an employee quits, the organization usually focuses a whole lot more on replacing them than they do on ensuring a smooth transition out of the company. This is a mistake, as an excellent employee offboarding process is an opportunity to learn from the outgoing employee.
What is Employee Offboarding?
Employee offboarding is the process that occurs after an employee resigns. It happens whether you realise it or not, so make sure that you pay attention and do it right. It ties up any loose ends for what the employee was working on and includes the handover of their work to someone else. It also comprises of closing their company-issued access to any systems, credit cards, and devices to lower security risk.
Employee offboarding often includes an exit interview to find out more about why the person is leaving and how they felt about working for you.
Why Is Employee Offboarding Important?
Many companies spend far more time and money on onboarding than they do on offboarding. The experience of new staff into the organization is certainly important, but so is the transition out of previous staff.
Employee offboarding is a chance to hear from someone who has worked for you about what you can improve on as well as a chance to learn from that employee.
Offboarding is one section of the employee lifecycle and the employee experience. The employee lifecycle runs from before an employee starts at the company and goes through until after they have left. Investing in the employee lifecycle is well worth it in terms of morale, retention, organizational efficiency, and more.
Offboarding can provide you with the chance for knowledge transfer from the departing employee into the organization so that no knowledge is lost when they leave. Plus, it can reduce any feelings of tension or ill will towards your company, as you have made an effort with the person as they leave. This means less risk for the organization.
8 Employee Offboarding Best Practices
We have collated a list of 8 employee offboarding best practices so that you can make sure you are handling offboarding in the right way.
Create an Employee Offboarding Checklist
When someone resigns, this will often take you by surprise. Be prepared in advance by creating an employee offboarding checklist now which contains all the steps you need to take. This will make the process far easier and more efficient for you when someone does resign.
Dealing with the Resignation
The first thing you will have to do is deal with the resignation effectively. This includes steps such as requesting a formal letter of resignation and announcing the resignation to the existing employees. If you don’t communicate this well, people often start to gossip which can cause a lot of issues if incorrect information spreads.
Inform Support Teams
Another group of people you need to inform about the resignation are your support teams. This includes HR, IT, Finance, and potentially other departments, depending on the person’s role. It is these teams who arrange the final pay, remove IT access, and cancel logins. By making sure that all of these processes are underway, you will minimize the risk of security breaches after the person leaves the company.
Reclaim Company Items
If your staff member has a company phone, laptop, or any other equipment, you should already have a list of this. That will make it easy to reclaim these items before the person leaves. If they have been working from home, they may have a lot of equipment there that you will need to remind them to bring back in before their last day.
Handover of Work
As previously mentioned, the most important part of this process is that no knowledge gets lost when a staff member leaves. You would be surprised by how much specific and unique knowledge each person has about their work, their clients, and more. It will even be important to know where and how they have stored their files in case you need to access them.
If you have a replacement in mind, get the employee to train up their successor so that this person will be ready to hit the ground running.
Around three-quarters of organizations have their HR team conduct an exit interview with each employee who leaves; that’s how important they are. The goal is always to keep turnover low, so when someone leaves, it will be crucial to understand why. Perhaps you don’t value your employees enough, treat them well enough, or maybe they were simply offered more pay elsewhere. When you find out why, you can work to improve on this with your current employees.
You could also choose to forgo exit interviews in favour of exit surveys. This provides a chance for exiting employees to give feedback in a lower pressure way as they don’t have to say it in person.
Make sure that you properly thank the person for all of the time and energy they put into their work. Whether you choose to have a farewell party, a leaving gift, or just a drink after work, this is an important aspect of the process. It will help them to leave on a good note.
Continue the Relationship
When someone leaves, don’t just never speak to them again. Leave the door open for further communication. You never know when you may need their help or want to hire them again. This is why many companies have now started alumnus groups for past employees. This provides you with another talent pool of people who already know your company. The talent pool comes from not only the chance to rehire these people but also connecting with people in their networks for open positions.
When the employee offboarding process is done well, it can give you a lot of useful information. Keep knowledge within the company and find out about any missteps your organization may have had. Learn from those who leave, and you can help your company to become more successful in the future.