Online Onboarding >> Employee Offboarding Program
Published 05/05/2021

Best Employee Offboarding Program Guide and Tips for 2021


Employee offboarding is an important undertaking for any organization. It's a hectic process, and if not performed correctly, it presents dangerous risks to the organization, such as data leaks and security breaches. It would help if you had an offboarding checklist in place to seamlessly offboard an employee once they leave.

Offboarding employees doesn't simply entail saying goodbye, but you should also ensure that their departure causes minimal disruption to your daily business operations.

What is Employee Offboarding?

Employee offboarding is a systematic process for formally separating or disengaging an employee from an organization after termination, resignation, or retirement.

Offboarding entails all the processes and decisions necessary for formal separation between the employer and employee, such as job responsibility transfer and revoking account access.

Your employee offboarding program needs to have a step-by-step guide or checklist to ensure you cover all eventualities. The items on the checklist include:

- Obtaining a letter of resignation for the departing employee
- Offering a written acceptance of resignation
- Plans for the employee to meet with the HR for out-processing
- Entry of worker termination information into the HR database

Why is it Important to Offboard Employees?

A comprehensive employment offboarding process is beneficial to both the organization and the exiting employee if done correctly.

When employees exit from your organization, they either become antagonists or advocates to your company. An advocate will tend to speak positively about your company and recommend any potential employees, while an antagonist will speak negatively and will not send anyone to your company. Usually, this results in adverse consequences, so it's essential to use the offboarding program to turn any employee who leaves into an advocate.

Seamless offboarding processes help minimize the risk of misunderstandings after the employee leaves. Set the time to understand the departing worker's experience in order to part ways with a precious opportunity for networking, growth, and development.

Make sure that offboarding is effectively carried out to prevent issues like security breaches, data leaks, and hostility and indifference between your team members. Also, it ensures that once you roll out the hiring process, you get suitable and quality candidates.

Steps Involved in the Employee Offboarding Process

Many companies often overlook the offboarding process or employee exit management. They turn offboarding processes to extended farewells while scrambling to replace them and transfer files and documents to the new hire.

However, carrying out a strategic offboarding procedure is advantageous to the organization. These are the steps to be included in your employee offboarding program:

1. Communicate the exit
Let everyone in the workplace know about the employee exit on time. Dot let rumors and gossip go ahead of you as this might lead to misinformation. All lines of communication should be kept open, ensuring the existing team is well informed and moving forward. Also that the exiting employee for their service!

2. Prepare final documentation
All the files and documents to be given to the leaving employee should be prepared early enough. They include resignation letters, non-disclosure agreements, acknowledgment letters, and benefit documents.

3. Initiate work handover or knowledge transfer
For a smooth transition, adequately plan for the handoff process. If you already have a successor, you can ask the departing employee to train and transfer their know-how to the replacement. But if there's nobody to take up the role immediately, create the documents, contact lists, and processes to be used by the successor once they fill the position.

4. Recover company assets
All company-issued tools and equipment such as phones, laptops, keys, parking permits, credit cards, and badges need to be reclaimed before an employee leaves the organization. You can ask the employee to return the assets but don't forget to put someone else to follow up and keep track of those assets.

5. Revoke system access
Failure to revoke system access from your former employees might lead to cybersecurity breaches that are very costly once they occur. Change or reset any passwords, org chart, and remove the employee from company meetings and calendars.

6. Complete all payments
Ensure that the final payment process is completed in the payroll. It's surprising how some employees are not removed from the payroll even after several months of departure. After the employee leaves, the payment details, including bank accounts and names, should be entirely removed from the payroll.

7. Conduct the exit interview
An exit interview may provide some valuable insights on what works or doesn't work for the company. This helpful information is vital in initiating changes and developments to the organization. Also, the employee can share their reasons for leaving to prevent future talents from leaving the team.

Finally, get them a farewell gift, share some farewell tea, circulate greetings card across the coworkers, and send them a goodbye email.

Regardless of how long a particular employee works for your organization, it's inevitable that one day they will exit. It might be voluntary for some, while for others, it may be involuntary. However, what matters most is knowing how to handle the situation when the day arrives.

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