When it comes to welcoming new hires to your organization, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure that you’re providing the best onboarding experience and training possible. Why? First impressions are important and hiring talented A Players and retaining them is the backbone of building a strong base for your organization.

Nevertheless, organizations need to place the same efforts as they do in employee onboarding in the offboarding process. Whether an employee is resigning or is let go, many organizations don’t have an effective, automated offboarding process put in place. Only about 29% of organizations have a formal employee exit process implemented.

Goodbyes are hard, especially when an employee is leaving your organization. @ClearCompany has the most effective tips to ensure that you have the right #offboarding process implemented. Check it out today!

Every person you hire is eventually going to leave your organization, so why not embrace this phase of the employee’s lifecycle as an opportunity to improve your organization and its employees? Here are some practices you can adopt to deliver a thoughtful and strategic process and make the most out of your offboarding process.

Why Creating a Consistent and Repeatable Offboarding Process is Necessary

From the moment an employee involuntarily or voluntarily departs from your organization, it’s paramount that a quick, dependable, and effective system is in place during their departure. Ultimately, offboarding is a strategic process meant to transition employees out of an organization. Despite the reasoning behind an employee’s leave, offboarding should be a positive experience for both HR managers and the employee.

As an HR professional, it’s important to understand the value that an exceptional offboarding experience can bring to your organization. An offboarding process that offers a smooth and consistent experience for both the professional and former employee will provide security to your brand. If an employee has a negative offboarding experience, they are more likely to speak negatively about your company. Whereas, if your former employee encounters a positive experience, they’ll speak highly of your organization, giving your brand an extra boost to prospective candidates.

Establishing an effective offboarding process can allow HR managers to identify opportunities to improve employee engagement and retention. Furthermore, your company can gain insight on processes that may need re-evaluation such as improving talent management, onboarding, training, and performance. Just like onboarding ensures that new hires are starting off the right foot, offboarding should be used to ensure that the employee is leaving your company in the best way possible.

Create an Offboarding Checklist

Obtaining an organized, automated procedure around offboarding is the best way to verify that a seamless process is in place to reduce any overall risks. Before the employee’s final days draw near, HR managers should construct a master list of offboarding steps for themselves, and the exiting employee to corroborate delegated tasks that need to be completed before the employee has left your organization.

Here are some components to consider for HR Managers:

  • Acquiring the employee’s resignation notice.

  • Providing written acceptance of the employee’s resignation letter.

  • Scheduling a meeting with the employee regarding their out-process.

  • Inform payroll and IT about the employees exit and enter employee termination into the HR database.

  • Review conflict of interest statements, non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, and confidentiality agreements. Discuss any penalties that have occurred if any agreements have been breached during the employment period.

  • Process any fees or reimbursements and close out any company-issued credit cards.

  • Determine whether the employee has any accrued leave that he/she hasn’t taken.

  • Process the employee’s last paycheck.

  • Schedule a meeting with the exiting employee and review his/her benefits (insurance, 401(k), etc.)

For employees:

  • Discuss any pending or ongoing work requirements and due dates that are expected to be met before you leave.

  • Construct a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for your position. You’ll need to include workflow processes and tasks that will set your successor up for success in their new position.

  • Ensure that your successor has files he/she needs to reference while on the job. As for your team members, make sure that they have any additional files that they need from you before you depart.

  • If applicable, train your replacement.

  • Settle any expenses/reimbursements.

  • Return any keycards, keys, company-issued credit cards, and mobile devices, etc.

Following a checklist that’s tailored to your organization will ensure that you’re adhering to the best practices while reducing your risk of any legal implications once an employee has been offboarded. When offboarding an employee, you’ll want to be sure that their performance is well documented up until that point. For this reason, organizations should consider utilizing performance management software to track employees’ performance, good or bad, especially during the offboarding process.

Communicate the Change

The last thing you want in the workplace are rumors and gossip of why an employee is leaving, disrupting your everyday workflow. Don’t delay in letting your team know that an employee is moving on from your organization. Sometimes busy managers overlook this step, leaving the rest of the company surprised and questioning when it’s a departing employee’s last day.

For example, it’s beneficial to notify the employee’s direct team and inform them of the change, as well as payroll and IT, as they’ll have several offboarding processes to carry out themselves. If the employee works directly with clients or vendors, it’d be beneficial to notify them of the change as well, so they’re not surprised when they begin dealing with a new person.

Goodbyes are hard, especially when an employee is leaving your organization. @ClearCompany has the most effective tips to ensure that you have the right #offboarding process implemented. Check it out today!

Any resignation and termination letters, non-disclosure agreements, and tax documents should be organized and kept in a paperless, processed system. HR managers may also want to consider providing any documentation regarding the employee’s retirement benefits and how they can transition them moving forward when benefits will become void, and if they will be paid for any unused time off.

Listen Carefully to What the Departing Employee Has to Say

Wouldn’t you like to know what you could’ve done better to keep a departing employee? Or how you could improve your organization? Well, exit interviews can give you that insight. According to Work Institute, about 80% of companies conduct exit interviews internally. Just think if you’re actively measuring employee engagement, productivity, and performance through peer reviews and surveys, an employee’s departure won’t be the first opportunity about addressing any workplace concerns. In the beginning stages of onboarding, automated software such as onboarding and performance management can ultimately aid HR managers to uncover key strengths and weaknesses to refine employees’ skills so that they’re able to perform to the best of their abilities throughout their role, and even after they’ve left your organization.

When the time comes for an employee to depart, exit interviews allow space for the employee to candidly talk about their experience at your company, highlight the company culture, employee morale, and other processes that need further improvement.

Here are a few exit interview questions to consider:

  • What did you dislike/like about your role?

  • Did you feel you had the tools, resources, and working conditions to be successful in your role? If not, which areas could be improved and how?

  • How would you describe the culture of the company?

  • What do you feel the organization did well?

  • What can the organization do moving forward to improve morale?

  • Do you have any concerns about the company you’d like to share?

  • Is there anything you feel we should know or that you’d like to say?

Once an exit interview has been conducted with the employee, it’s important to follow through on improving highlighted areas addressed during the exit interview. Summarize which points have been discussed with your leadership team and keep track of repetitive themes so that HR managers are able to address common problems first-hand to prevent future turnover.

Offboarding doesn’t have to be complex. With the right technology and tools enforced, companies can systemize employee offboarding the right way. At ClearCompany, we provide a variety of automated systems such as talent management and performance management platforms to make certain that your employees are leaving your organization on the right foot. Want to try it out? Contact us for a demo today!

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Sara Pollock
Sara Pollock
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As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent hundreds of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.

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