Offboarding: Steps and significance

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When an employee leaves the organization, we want to bid adieu on a positive note. An employee separates itself from the organization in case of termination, resignation or retirement. As an organization we focus on having a smooth offboarding process that is in-tune with the culture, values and principles of the organization.  


What is systematic offboarding?


 A systematic offboarding procedure ascertains that the organization and the employee part their ways in good faith and move on effectively. Generally, the steps involved in systematic offboarding would depend on the type and context of the organization. However, some common steps involved in the offboarding process are: 


  • Asking the employee to sign the termination contract. 
  • Disbanding their accounts and passwords or any access rights with the organization. 
  • Asking them to turn in their organizational I-cards. 
  • De-activating their parking rights, if any. 
  • Asking them to handover any property of the organization that they may possess. 
  • Scheduling final interactions, exit interviews. 


And other offboarding formalities based on the organizational culture. 


A systematic offboarding procedure helps the organization in preparing beforehand in the departure of the employee. The HR is pre-equipped with the design and rules that they have to follow for a successful offboarding process.  


What is the significance of systematic offboarding?


A systematic offboarding procedure establishes that there is no obstruction in the functions that are conducted within the organisation.  


It is a pre-requisite that the HR prepares for the offboarding of an employee at least 3 to 6 months in advance. This is because it is essential that there must already be a replacement for the position that is going to be abandoned. It will warrant that the organisational functionalities and workflow will not be negatively impacted, given this departure.  


  • Value Addition:


 Software Advice in their research, “How job seekers use Glassdoor reviews” concluded that half portion of the job seekers use Glassdoor at least once in their job search. 


A systematic offboarding system can add value to an organization. When an employee leaves an organization with a delightful offboarding experience, he becomes the loyalist of the organization. Thus, expressing respect and praising their previous employer whenever they get the chance to. This increases the brand value of the organization as an employer. Consequently, efficient candidates get attracted to and aspire to work with the organization. 


However, in the cases employees are not given a proper farewell through systematic offboarding, there may arise a feeling of sudden abandonment. Such previous employees can potentially bad-mouth about their previous employer. In such a case, the brand value of the organization as an employer will fade. Any new potential candidates will keep such organizations at the end of their ‘preferred-workplaces’ list. 


  • Employee Feedback:


Employee feedback is essential to sustain and develop as a “Happy workplace”. For an organization to unveil its full potential, it must gather valuable feedback from departing employees. Effective exit interviews are those that include rich discussions related to the employee experience and their perspective on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the organization. 


  • Curb cyber-threats:


Did you know? 80% of employers never experience data breaches from their previous employers. But what about the rest 20%? 


In case of ex-employees, data has revealed that 25% of them still have access to accounts from former workplaces. 


Former employees, in case of a coerced exit, out of rage and with the spirit of revenge can try to slander the image of the organization. Therefore, deactivating their previous passwords and accounts and any access with the organization is of very great significance. 


A systematic offboarding process, involves a step where the employee who is parting with the organization is supposed to have their organization-related accounts deactivated. Thus, any such cyber threat is curbed during the process. 


  • Cultivate Boomerangs employees:


According to a research study, the performance of boomerang employees is as good as that of internal employees, who never left the firm. The productivity of a new hire is very low as compared to that of a boomerang employee. A new hire requires proper training and orientation and takes time to reach their maximum productivity level. While as, a rehire comes back with previous knowledge and familiarity with the organizational culture and extra skills and experience. 


A systematic offboarding process makes employees feel confident and safe in going back to the ex-employer. 


  • Lower the Compliance risk:


There are certain rules and regulations that need to be complied with and that would vary from organization to organization. 


To reduce this risk, organizations need to have a properly framed offboarding process, systematic offboarding process. 


For an instance, in the US, based on, if the employee had quit or was fired and what state the organization is operating in, there are different guidelines regarding the issuance of the final pay check. 


 Offboarding Vs Onboarding


The journey of an employee within the organization, begins with the onboarding process and ends with the offboarding. 


The steps taken to welcome aboard a new hire and consolidate them with the company culture are a part of the process called onboarding. While as, all the steps taken for a safe and warm departure of an employee are a part of the process called as offboarding. 


Onboarding gives the new hires their first impressions of the organization and first experiences within it. On the other hand, offboarding provides the departing employee with the final strands of memory with the organization. 


Therefore, both onboarding and offboarding processes should be carefully planned.  


Although, the offboarding process may not be deemed as important as the onboarding process. But a systematic offboarding process adds value to an organization, extracts beneficial feedback from departing employees, curbs cyber threats, helps cultivate boomerang employees and lowers the compliance risk.  


Consequently, thoroughly reviewing the offboarding process and investing in a systematic offboarding software is a win-win situation for an organization. 


At EMP Trust HR, our customizable offboarding packages allow both the HR and the departing employees to add and edit information and digitally plan the offboarding process. 

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