Team leaders and HR personnel strongly emphasize the onboarding process, and for good reason. A proper onboarding process is essential for quickly bringing new employees up to speed and setting them up for success. But what happens when employees eventually leave? That’s when you need a solid offboarding process.
Although onboarding receives much more attention than offboarding, having an effective system in place when employees leave the organization is just as important. Taking the time to craft a formal offboarding process will protect your company from security and legal threats and offer insights into what your organization could do better.
Understanding employee offboarding
Onboarding, as you may already know, is the process by which new hires are brought into a company. There are several ways to manage this process, including using an onboarding tracker, but the key to onboarding is setting new hires up for success in your organization.
Offboarding is, in many ways, the opposite of onboarding. Instead of dealing with the beginning of the employer-employee relationship, it’s all about managing the end. When an employee leaves your company, whether by resignation, retirement, redundancy, or firing, you’ll need to go through the offboarding process. This process should lay the groundwork for a smooth, stress-free exit.
Even when you have an offboarding process in place, it’s easy to forget essential components. That’s where an employee offboarding checklist comes into play.
Creating an employee offboarding checklist
An employee leaving the organization, regardless of the reason, can lead to significant changes for other employees and the company itself. As soon as possible, you should communicate relevant details to the affected parties. Employees will need to know the exiting employee’s last day, who will take over their responsibilities when they leave, and if or when a replacement will arrive. A simple email with these details will keep everyone from having to fill in the blanks themselves.
Prepare exit paperwork
Just as new employees need to complete forms during the onboarding process, exiting employees also need to do the same. The forms you will likely need to include in your offboarding process include 401(k) details, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, tax documents, and any outstanding payment forms. The exiting employee may also need to sign a letter of resignation or termination, depending on the reason for their exit.
Facilitate a knowledge transfer
Regardless of whether you bring in someone to replace the leaving employee, you should try to keep their knowledge in your company. You can ask them to create a handover document outlining their daily routine, tasks they complete in order of priority, and the names of people they work with inside and outside of the company. This document will help the leaving employee’s successor—or whoever takes over their responsibilities—get up to speed.
Recover company assets
Depending on your industry, your company’s employees will likely be in possession of several company assets. These may include IT equipment, like computers and phones, access cards and keys, uniforms, and ID cards. Be sure to collect these assets from the employee exiting the organization before the end of their last day. If the employee has been working remotely, provide instructions for shipping back any equipment.
Retract system access
Not only should exiting employees return company assets when they leave, but they also need to forfeit access to any of your company’s systems. Revoke all the employee’s system access once they leave to protect your security. Access to your company’s email, CRM system, internal platforms, and social media accounts should all end on the employee’s last day. However, they may still need access to part of an employee portal to access tax documents, even if they receive paper copies.
Update organizational charts
Organizational charts are diagrams that display reporting relationships or hierarchies within an organization. They’re useful communication tools, but only if you keep them up to date. When an employee leaves, be sure to reflect this change in all your organizational charts.
Complete an exit interview
Exit interviews are often overlooked as valuable sources of insights about your company. Take the time to develop an exit interview questionnaire with questions like “Why are you leaving your current position?” and “How was your relationship with your manager?” Analyzing the employee’s answers can help your company improve by reinforcing what works and correcting what doesn’t.
The steps outlined above serve as an employee offboarding checklist template that you can customize to fit your company’s needs. Include these and any other steps specific to your company or industry in your new employee offboarding checklist.
For more assistance in both onboarding and offboarding employees all over the world, turn to a global employment platform. Oyster’s platform streamlines paperwork, payroll, and communication to make managing team members simple.
Try Oyster today to change how you handle onboarding and offboarding for the better.
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