While the employee onboarding process generally involves warm welcomes and hopeful anticipation, employee offboarding often is rushed or skipped altogether. Companies who fail to develop and optimize their systems miss opportunities to gain valuable information, placing your organization at risk for lawsuits and security breaches.
Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of employee offboarding, how the process can benefit your company, the steps you should take to offboard an employee, and how automating the process can improve employee relations and public perception.
What is Employee Offboarding?
Employee offboarding is a formal separation process that occurs after an employee resigns, retires, or is terminated. Steps in this process include reassigning job tasks, deactivating passwords, collecting company equipment, conducting exit interviews, and more.
At first glance, it can seem like a lot of work for a small return on investment. But having an efficient employee offboarding process results in many benefits, including cost savings, prevention of data security breaches, and improving team morale.
Former employees can also claim wrongful termination under the Families and Medical Leave Act. Without proper filing and documentation, your organization could find itself at the heart of a scandal. Employers may need to implement tight offboarding controls to meet industry guidelines and regulations.
An effective employee offboarding process builds a security and compliance culture that protects the employer from liability, preserves team productivity, and potentially saves the company money. Even when an employee isn't leaving on the best terms, the offboarding process is an opportunity to end the relationship on a positive note.
The size of your company, industry regulations, and the employee's role will determine your specific approach to offboarding, but having a checklist will help you complete the transition with minimum disruption, close out any loose ends, and maintain confidentiality and data security.
An Employee Offboarding Checklist
Employee offboarding is a team effort, and the HR department and the departing employee have unique responsibilities. For instance, an HR checklist may include filing the resignation letter, scheduling an exit interview, updating the HR database, preparing final documentation, reimbursements, and payments. An employee checklist may involve a transfer of knowledge plan, removing personal items from desk or locker, returning devices, and updating contact information.
2. Prepare for Knowledge Transfer
Don't wait until the last minute to start transferring knowledge; ensure that it is a part of every employee's general work responsibilities. Develop a list of duties, procedures, and tasks to help the departing employee's successor hit the ground running.
Exit surveys are an excellent way to gain valuable feedback about your work environment and identify trends in the market. The HR team should schedule and keep records of exit interviews. You want employees to feel comfortable speaking freely, so it's best to have the session led by a trusted team member.
You may also choose to administer the exit interview as an anonymous survey. Keep questions short and straightforward to get to the root of the reason for leaving. Communicate your findings to your team and, if necessary, make changes to improve company culture.
Creating an effective employee offboarding process can lead to a culture of open communication, ongoing productivity, cost-savings, and protection against certain liability. Still, it can be a lot to coordinate. Pipefy is a business process management solution that can help ensure consistency, completeness, and the best employee offboarding experience for your team. You can automate each step of the process using the Employee Offboarding template to:
Employee offboarding is a formal separation process that occurs after an employee resigns, retires, or is terminated."