How To Go About The Offboarding Process: A Checklist To Ease Transition
It may come as no surprise if the employee offboarding process is just as meticulous as onboarding. But although we hear the latter term more often, the former is also important to note. Both processes are crucial to the well-being of your employee and ultimately, to the brand reputation of your company.
Now let us take a look at the differences. If onboarding refers to integrating new hires into the company, offboarding is its reverse. It refers to the procedure employers go through with their employees once the latter resigns, leaves or is terminated from the company.
But if they are leaving, why pay attention to that? After all, there will come a time when they will no longer be connected to the company. More importantly, why is it important to your company? We explore the reasons why offboarding is important.
Why is the offboarding process important?
Believe us when we say that the process is more than just an organized way to help your employees exit. This comes with a short-term and long-term purpose. The short-term purpose is to keep everything in check and to have everything returned. In the long-term, your employees leave cleanly and your assets are safe.
But what else is in store for companies who have this process in place? We take a look.
This brings the employee experience full circle.
The employee experience does not end at the interview process. It spans their entire working life within the company from start to finish. As such, employers like yourself have to make sure that these processes are seamless to maintain good relationships with your employees. This includes ensuring a clean exit on both ends. If you want to think long-term, your ex-employees could become the ones who can rope in the right new talent for you.
In this regard, the offboarding process can be a form of protection for you. Employees have access to employer property. This includes company assets like computers, laptops, and supplies. But what you should watch out for are the company data that employees have their hands on. Examples of these are client databases and employee access details. What used to be limited within company grounds has become more accessible, due to the shift to WFH in the post-pandemic workplace. So what you want to avoid is your ex-employees having access to confidential company data even after leaving.
Smooth transition for future applicants
Having a proper offboarding process in place can be helpful for those looking to replace your former employees. Handover documents, access codes, and a client database can be useful to someone new you are training. If you have a proper turnover with your ex-employee, you will pave the way for a smooth entrance for the one who will take over.
But we understand that the process can be intimidating. Hence, we came up with a simple checklist for you to remember what to collect on your employee’s last day.
The employee offboarding checklist: 5 things to remember
Before going through the offboarding process, you must be able to make your employee’s departure known. This is to lessen office gossip and false news propagating within the company. Speak with your employee about the “when” of the departure (e.g. effectivity and last day) and the announcement to certain members of the company.
Once you have announced this, it is now time to commence the process step-by-step.
One tip to remember is never to have any word-of-mouth commitments. Even if you trust your employee with your life, protecting yourself will save you from any possible damage.
Prepare the non-disclosure agreements, financial settlements (e.g. unpaid invoices, uncollected reimbursements), confirmation of resignation, and the like. This will keep everything in black and white and can be easily accessible in case you need to pull them up.
Aside from the documents listed above, the others also include:
Health check information
If you found a replacement for your employee, you can have them together for the handover meeting. But if you have yet to, dedicate a sitdown time for each other. This is where you talk about the balance of workload (e.g. what needs accomplishing), future projects, and routinary work that needs watching over.
Speak with your employee about deadlines and commitments they should be able to finish prior to departure. Have it written down in an email or a document, complete with deadlines and point people in case follow-up is necessary.
For positions with ready replacements, we recommend arranging a couple of sessions to get to know the position they will take over.
Some companies provide employees with assets like laptops, computers, or mobile phones. This usually applies to professionals in the sales and marketing department, where their job requires them to the desk and out on the field.
But non-equipment assets also include ID cards, company credit cards, uniforms, and access cards. This is helpful for disgruntled employees who may try to get access into the office and cause a ruckus.
Have a document ready for them to sign once they turn over the assets. Make sure to list the company assets one by one so you do not overlook or miss anything else.
This section is equally as critical as the assets to return. In the hybrid workforce, your employees have access to the company drive and database from anywhere in the world. What is even more daunting to note is that their access is so flexible, that they can log in using the credentials that have been saved onto their personal equipment. Even if you take away their assets, chances are the data is still saved with them.
Therefore, collecting their access passes is just step one of the processes in this section. The second most important step is to deactivate them immediately. This includes logins to their email suite, company drive, and the like. Deactivation allows your data not to be carried over should they switch to a competing brand or for their personal gain.
Lastly, every offboarding experience should end with an audience with the company. This comes in the form of an exit interview.
While this could be an opportunity for your employee to share the positive and negative aspects of their time here, this is crucial for you too.
Think of exit interviews as the comment cards you receive at the end of a meal or a hotel stay. Take your employee’s words as constructive criticism to improve aspects of the company.
While it depends on what you want to find out from your former employee, here are questions you can ask:
What were your reasons for leaving?
What did you like about your experience with us?
What did you not like?
How was your relationship with your supervisor?
With your team members?
Did you feel like you grew within the company?
What company policies did you think needed improvement?
Saying goodbye to your ex-employees can be difficult, but it does not have to be. But it does require effort from both sides – yours and theirs. The offboarding process is the bow that ties up neatly to their work experience and the journey they had with your company.
What is important to note is this process can be completely customizable, depending on the position or industry your employee and your company belong to, respectively.