Offboarding refers to the process of transitioning an employee out of your company. It is an important aspect that is often overlooked. When done correctly, offboarding employees can assist your company in protecting its reputation, minimising legal risks, and preserving relationships with former employees.
Even when circumstances are not ideal, sending an employee off can be relatively straightforward. Making sure that you and your team follow best practices will ensure the transition goes smoothly.
Here are some best practices for employee offboarding:
Determine reasons for exit and plan ahead
The process of offboarding an employee will likely depend on the reason for the employee's departure. Offboarding an employee who is retiring may be relatively straightforward, while an employee who is resigning to work elsewhere may yield valuable insights into your organisation. It is important to note that offboarding employees who have been fired or laid off may also require a different set of steps.
Taking the time to ensure that offboarding is conducted in a respectful and professional manner can help ensure a positive relationship with the employee even after their time with the organisation has ended. That's why it's crucial to plan ahead and standardise the process! Start planning the offboarding process early, so you have time to prepare all the necessary paperwork, access permissions, and any other required tasks. This will help to ensure that the process runs smoothly, and that the employee's departure does not disrupt the rest of the team.
Although communicating the departure of an employee to the rest of your company can be difficult, the sooner you communicate the news, the better. Waiting too long increases the likelihood that other employees fill in the details for you.
It’s even more important to communicate with the employee leaving about the process and the reason for their departure. Be honest and transparent about why the employee is leaving and what their options are. Provide a clear timeline and let them know what is expected of them during their remaining time at the company.
Collect company property
Collect all company property from the departing employee, such as laptops, keys, and access cards. Make sure that they return everything they have borrowed from the company and have them sign off on the list of items they are returning. This ensures that all the company property is accounted for and that the departing employee has no access to company accounts or information. It also allows the company to track who has access to physical resources, like keys and access cards.
Conduct an exit interview
Employee exit interviews allow a company to gather feedback on what went well and what could be improved from the perspective of the employee. This feedback can be invaluable in improving the company's processes and policies.
Protect confidential information
Ensure that the employee does not take any confidential information or company data with them. This includes physical files, electronic files, or even information stored in their own personal devices. Have them sign a non-disclosure agreement and remind them of their obligations to protect company information.
Offboarding should be done in a way that preserves the relationship between the company and the employee. Be courteous and respectful throughout the process and offer support where possible. This can help to maintain a positive relationship with the former employee, which may be beneficial in the future.
Ensure that the departing employee has a clear sense of closure. This includes processing their final salary or offering severance pay, providing them with any references they may need, and informing them of their post-employment obligations, such as non-compete clauses.
It’s important to ensure that the offboarding process for departing employees is conducted with professionalism and care. This process can impact the reputation of your company and your ability to attract top talent in the future. By following best practices for employee offboarding, you can help ensure a smooth transition for the departing employee, protect your company's confidential information, and maintain positive relationships with former employees.
Ultimately, by prioritising the offboarding process, you can demonstrate your company's commitment to its employees and create a positive culture that values respect, transparency, and professionalism.