Off-boarding can be said to be the formal process of managing the end of an employee’s lifecycle and completing the employee’s exit formalities. Many companies go to a great extent in creating on-boarding programs – and it is important to do so since it’s said that an employee’s initial experience is highly influential in how long he/she will stay in the company. However, the way you deal with an employee exiting a firm can also play a big role in a company’s retention policy.  Off-boarding is important for the following reasons

  1. An employee leaving an organization is in effect a brand ambassador for the firm. An unpleasant exit can result in negative publicity for the company and hence it is important that policies and practices are created to part on mutually amicable terms.
  2. It is widely accepted that employee referrals are one of the best sources of recruitment. An employee – current or previous, can turn out to be an excellent referral source for the company. Laying out an effective off-boarding process greatly increases the probability that the employee will be a good referral channel
  3. An employee who is leaving the firm is a wealth of information on a company’s drawbacks and corrective areas. As he/she is leaving, they will have lesser qualms in sharing these than the existing staff. Tapping in on the honest employee feedback can help HR and management to focus on improvement areas in the company.
  4. Lastly an employee who has left on good terms is more likely to return to the company for work. A rehire has many advantages including familiarity with company culture and expectations.

A good off-boarding program may take weeks to complete and in the end should have all loose ends tied up. This can include administrative activities like ensuring that all company property are returned such as name tags, ID/access cards and payroll processing is stopped, to strategic ones like an exit interview to get a more in-depth understanding on the reasons why an employee is leaving.

Investing in a good off-boarding program has long term and short term benefits for the company, it also ensures a good HR practice is being followed. Here’s a step by step employee offboarding checklist to help you stay compliant and make a positive impact on the outgoing employee.

Communicate exit details immediately

  • Employees manager notifies HR and respective department
  • HR notifies Payroll, IT, Administration and other related departments
  • Be cordial to the employee in all modes of communication
  • Cite reason for offboarding, if appropriate and necessary

 

Sort out formalities and paperwork

  • Letter of termination/ resignation to be filed
  • Other agreements to be filed including non-disclosure, non compete
  • Settle all payroll related requirements – Benefits, PTO Balance, 401K, Insurance, Tax related paperwork
  • Settle any dues or reimbursements pending

 

Wrap up for the employee

  •  Lay out pending work and deadlines
  • Identify key information, files and data that needs to be transferred
  • Have the employee lay out key details for pending work, and job related details
  • Transfer and save  all significant data for replacement
  • Employ a shadow worker to outline job related nuances in the final weeks

 

Exit Interview

  • Conduct an open, honest feedback interview
  • Understand areas for improvement with relation to work, team, manager and organization
  • Share feedback with skip level managers, HR and leadership
  • HR and managers to chalk out a plan of action to act on identified areas for improvement

 

Keep it cordial

  • Keep the exit process cordial, with a customized going away gift or card
  • Engage the team in the offboarding process, taking the employee out for lunch/dinner with team

 

Recovery and deletions

  • Collect issued company assets such as telephone, computers
  • Ensure cards, keys, access cards are returned
  • Delete employee accounts, emails, contact info from all related systems
  • Change passwords where required
  • Direct calls and emails to manager or temporary staff
  • Update organization chart

 

Keep the connect

  • Keep employee contact detail up to date
  • Keep employee information in recruitment data
  • Engage the existing employee in the alumni network
  • Reach out to employees who are star performers or high potentials