In workforce management, the onboarding process gets significant attention for obvious reasons. Companies must ensure that employees start their roles on the right foot, but does every employer extend the same courtesy when people leave?
Employee offboarding is as crucial as onboarding for several reasons.
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What exactly is employee offboarding?
Offboarding is the set of procedures and considerations to manage an employee’s departure to ensure that employees part ways with a positive impression. It is also essential to preserve a company’s reputation by ensuring employees leave professionally and respectfully.
An effective employee offboarding process involves more than returning company property and revoking the employee’s access. This article explores the essential tips and best practices for an effective offboarding process.
10 Tips for an Effective Offboarding
1. Ensure a concise and timely communication
HR managers responsible for employee offboarding should facilitate open and timely communication for employees leaving the company. Ensure the person knows what comes next when they decide to leave the company.
Start with an initial meeting to discuss the resignation, the expectations, and the timeline. The initial conversation is essential to let the employee know there is no hostility and clearly outline what they should do, such as return the company property and complete exit interviews.
Throughout the employee offboarding process, open communication matters. Additionally, all the relevant teams, such as HR, and the employee’s manager, must be involved in the communications.
2. Ensure the right documentation
The employee offboarding process can only be seamless with proper documentation. There are far more documents than just a resignation letter for finalizing the process.
To make offboarding easier, ensure all necessary paperwork is completed correctly, including payroll, benefits, and tax documents.
Ensure that your employee is compensated correctly. For example, make sure that the employee is paid for the time-off balance and for holidays that need to be paid-off.
You can easily get access to an employee’s time-off balance by using time and attendance software like Truein. It keeps a record of employee’s time-off balance and auto-syncs the time-off data with your payroll and HRMS software.
Furthermore, update employee contracts, sign non-disclosures, and provide a checklist of items they must return, such as laptops, access cards, and company vehicles.
You can also incorporate an option to obtain electronic signatures on exit documents to make the offboarding process easier for both parties. Workforce management software facilitates this requirement of the offboarding process.
3. Ensure knowledge transfer and succession planning
Your employees develop unique insights into institutional functions that can serve your company tremendously if transferred to replacements. Knowledge transfer and succession planning are essential for the continuity of projects and facilitate the smooth transition of responsibilities to other team members.
The replacement might need formal training sessions, documentation of procedures, or mentorship from departing employees. Make sure you are facilitating the knowledge transfer through succession planning. This will include identifying the critical skills and expertise needed for the role and creating a plan to promote such knowledge transfer.
4. Conduct exit interviews
Exit interviews are compelling tools that provide valuable insights into your company’s strengths and highlight the areas for improvement. Providing a secure and confidential setting for exit interviews facilitates candid conversations.
It encourages department employees to share honest feedback about their experiences with the company. Analyzing the conversation, you can identify patterns and make necessary changes to improve the employee experience. Exit interviews during the employee offboarding can be conducted in person, over the phone, or through surveys.
5. Secure property and revoke access
A prominent concern during the offboarding process is the security and integrity of the information and resources. Immediately suspending the departing employee’s access to all critical and sensitive company systems, accounts, and databases is necessary for preventing unauthorized access or potential data breaches.
Abrupt termination of access can seem hostile. That’s why your IT department should communicate the protocol regarding deactivating accounts and changing access permissions to departing employees.
Also, Truein’s workforce management features can help identify with accurate working hour calculations. It is a cloud-based time and attendance tracking software that automatically marks employees inactive if they are not using time tracking in Truein.
It is advantageous if your company hires contractors frequently. A contract worker could be left within the employee pool without concern for false pay because they will be counted as billable users only if their status is ‘active.’
Additionally, all company property, such as laptops, mobile devices, and access cards, should be collected to minimize the risk of lost or stolen items.
6. Ensure there is no loss of productivity
Department of employees – sudden or planned – affects the productivity of teams. The tasks and projects such an employee is responsible for can come to a halt. It would help if you delegated to ensure no disruptions to ongoing projects and operations.
Identify the individuals or teams who can temporarily take over the responsibilities of the departing employee’s role. Keep open communication with the other employees about the transition and what change in responsibilities they can anticipate.
The ideal way to ensure no loss of productivity when an employee resigns is to promote cross-training. It will ensure that team members are versatile and can handle additional tasks.
7. Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
A delicate part of employee offboarding is legal and regulatory compliance. To avoid potential legal issues and maintain your organization’s reputation, following local and federal labor laws guidelines is mandatory.
Always provide written notices outlining the rights and responsibilities of the departing employee, such as policies about the return of company property, final paychecks, and any benefits changes.
Discuss and review any non-compete or confidentiality agreements with them to ensure they understand their obligations and legal restrictions once they leave the company.
Finally, accurately calculate and disburse the departing employee’s final paycheck. Again, Truein can be a valuable tool as it accurately monitors and calculates work hours and shares data with the payroll software.
8. Celebrate employee contributions and organize a farewell
Employee offboarding is an opportunity for a company to showcase departing employees and how their hard work and expertise have impacted the company. Celebrating their contributions with a proper farewell leaves a positive last impression and helps maintain goodwill.
Organizing a farewell is a small token of appreciation that allows employees to part ways with a sense of recognition and warmth. Ultimately, celebrating employee contributions as a last step of the employee offboarding process makes them potential ambassadors of your brand.
9. Stay in touch
Human resources are valuable, particularly employees with the right talent and skills. Preserving ties with departing employees can serve well in the long run. Encourage communication between ex-employees and current workers through various mediums, such as social media platforms.
Do not turn into a hostile environment that deters current employees from staying in touch with former workers. You can also organize alumni networking events to allow former employees to keep in touch with each other and the organization.
10. Integrate continuous improvement in the offboarding process
Effective employee offboarding is dynamic and must evolve with the changing work culture. It is essential to keep improving the offboarding process through exit interviews to ensure any negative patterns are identified and corrected.
Periodically review your company’s employee offboarding process to align it with changing employee expectations, current best practices, legal requirements, and organizational needs.
Some best practices can ensure that your employee offboarding process is a smooth process and lead to a positive experience for both the departing employee and your organization.
Here are the do’s and don’ts to consider for the employee offboarding process.
Do's of employee offboarding
1. Start the employee offboarding process when they announce their departure to allow time for a well-organized transition and knowledge transfer.
2. Maintain a professional environment for the employee irrespective of the circumstances of the departure. Your employees deserve kindness and professionalism.
3. Communicate the departure with the rest of the team. Maintain open and honest communication with the rest of the team and discuss expectations and timelines about changes in responsibilities.
4. Maintain a positive relationship with departing employees. It will serve the company in the long run, leading to potential rehiring, referrals, and continued goodwill.
5. Be aware of knowledge transfer, as it can disrupt workflow and productivity. Facilitate training, onboarding, and mentoring to ensure critical information is handed over appropriately.
6. Take advantage of exit interviews, as they provide valuable feedback. Use the departing employee’s perspective to understand your organization’s strengths and weaknesses.
Don'ts of employee offboarding
1. Don’t burn bridges with messy employee offboarding. Departing employees can become vendors, clients, or boomerang employees. You must avoid hostile or adversarial interactions during the offboarding process.
2. Refrain from believing that the employment rules and laws you know will apply in every country. Each jurisdiction has laws and regulations, so you must consult professionals.
An effective employee offboarding process is how you maintain and advertise your company’s positive work culture. With the tips shared here, you can ensure the smooth transition of departing employees and make the whole experience positive for them.
1. What is the difference between onboarding and offboarding?
Onboarding is hiring new employees, while offboarding involves procedures to manage an employee’s departure from the company.
2. What are the benefits of a good employee offboarding process?
A positive employee offboarding process maintains productivity, preserves the company’s reputation, promotes a positive work culture, ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and facilitates knowledge transfer.