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A common mistake made by many employers is putting a great deal of time and resources into an employee onboarding process, but often neglecting the offboarding process when the time comes for an employee to leave. The right employee offboarding process is equally as important as the onboarding - allowing you to establish good lasting relationships with employees, gain honest and valuable feedback and mitigate any legal risks.
With many businesses having to make redundancies in the current period of huge financial uncertainty, it’s more important now than ever to make sure you’re giving your employees the best guidance and support as they leave your company.
If your business has made redundancies or is planning on, or you have employees resigning, we’ve put together our complete offboarding guide with an employee offboarding checklist and some of the offboarding best practices to follow, so you can efficiently manage an employee’s departure, stress-free.
To further help you support your employees who are facing redundancy; we’ve launched our Employee Outplacement Services. Our experienced Head of People Operations will work alongside your employees to ensure they receive practical, tailored and independent advice to give them the confidence and motivation they need to tackle the job market.
What is an employee offboarding process?
Offboarding is the opposite of onboard and crossboarding, it’s the process of transitioning employees out of a company smoothly, whether the employee leaves voluntarily or involuntarily.
Offboarding encompasses all the decisions and processes that take place when an employee leaves, to ensure that the individual is given the necessary resources and information and the company can successfully move forwards.
Looking to update your onboarding process as well as your offboarding practices? Check out our step by step guide for how to onboard graduates.
Why is the employee offboarding process important?
Whether it was a personal decision to leave or an employee is made redundant, leaving a job is tough and can have huge strains on an employee’s wellbeing. The offboarding process is a great way to provide your employees with resources and helpful information to support them throughout this period.
The right offboarding process will also have a positive impact on your current employees, showing that you genuinely care about your employees and you are giving departures the best chance of landing a new career.
The offboarding process is a great opportunity to gain useful information about your company and an insight into employee’s opinions.
When working for a company, employees will often keep opinions to themselves, however, when leaving they are often more open and willing to share their thoughts. A good exit interview is a great way to ask insightful questions to an employee and gain their honest feedback to help improve your company.
Negative reviews of a company from past employees, whether online or in-person can have a damaging effect on your company. An Indeed survey revealed that 83% of job seekers are likely to base their decision on where to apply on company reviews, and 46% will weigh a company’s reputation heavily before accepting a job offer.
Negative employee reviews can put off potential applicants to roles within the company and it may also result in customers trusting your business less.
A strategic offboarding process in place will allow you to help departing employees leave with a more positive view of the company, reducing the risk of negative comments.
Employees who have chosen to leave a company or have been made redundant will most likely not want to be contacted after they have officially left being asked a question about their role or to carry out an admin task.
A well planned offboarding process will allow you to get all you need from an employee before they’ve left, whether it’s handing in equipment, signing paperwork or creating a handbook for future employee’s.
Employees departing is an inevitable part of your company's life-cycle, however, if multiple employees are leaving your company after a short period of time, you might need to revise your employee retention strategies.
Check out our video below for some great tips on employee retention and how to optimise your employee progression plans:
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Employee offboarding checklist
Wondering how to successfully offboard employees? Here’s our 9 step employee offboarding checklist template…
To put the departing employee at ease and to be transparent with the rest of your employees, it’s important to quickly let your team know that an employee is moving on. Whilst there can be a temptation to hold off communicating the change, the longer you wait, rumours may start disrupting your workplace.
The most important people to inform first are the employee’s manager, direct team, along with HR, payroll and IT who can then begin their own offboarding processes. Then be sure to let the rest of the company know and any clients they were primarily working with.
To make the employee feel comfortable, it’s best to inform the news to small groups of teams rather than a whole company announcement where the departing employee will be present.
You can communicate the departure in an email or with a quick announcement. Whichever you choose, be sure to let everyone know the employee who is leaving, if appropriate mention why they’re moving on and be sure to wish the employee well. If you already know who will be taking over their responsibilities be sure to also include this.
The next important step is to organise your paperwork and send relevant documents to ensure an employee’s departure is official and logged. Here are some of the important documents to send an employee:
When an employee leaves, they take their skills, knowledge and specialism in the role with them. It’s important to harness this knowledge so it can be passed onto existing members of the team or a new employee taking over their role and they can successfully pick up where the employee left.
To best make use of the time you have with the employee, it’s important to decide what needs to be achieved in the time frame you have left and make a plan of action for a handover and training. Here are some useful steps to follow:
If an employee has been made redundant, it’s most likely due to there being a lack of work and the company cannot afford to keep that employee on, therefore there’s a small chance the company will need to rehire.
However, if an employee has resigned it’s important to think about who will be taking over their role. Consider if a current employee can be promoted to this role or if there is a need to recruit new employees.
Getting the recruitment process underway will help if there isn’t the staff to temporarily cover the role, along with making the handover process easier if the departing employee and new hire are with the company at the same time.
If you’re looking to re-hire for a role, get in touch today and see how we can quickly and smoothly help you hire candidates who are the perfect match for your role and company. Check out our latest blog post for the ways we can help you find top talent.
An important part of your exit management policy is to carry out an exit interview. Holding an exit interview with the departing employee is a great way to gather feedback about the company and discover any unknown underlying issues.
Here are some good points to consider when holding an exit interview, along with some example questions to ask the employee:
Asking these questions may help uncover any underlying issue for the company, from problems with company culture to lack of management and views on employee training. It’s also important to ask questions about any of the company’s positive aspects, to avoid the exit interview having a completely negative tone.
If an employee mentions they are leaving the company due to a higher salary or better benefits scheme at another company in a comparable role, ask if they are willing to share their new salary and benefits. This will help you adjust your salary and benefit benchmark to meet other companies’ and prevent other employees leaving for the same reason.
If you need help setting salaries for your roles, check out our graduate employment statistics for an insight into the graduate recruitment industry and a breakdown of average starting salaries for a range of graduate roles.
For security and financial reasons, it’s important to recover any company assets from an employee before they leave. Politely ask the employee to give in any company issued devices such as phones, laptops, tablets, ID badges and keys.
It’s also important to close any corporate credit cards or expense accounts in that employee’s name and process any fees or reimbursements. It may be useful to set up an offboarding software or spreadsheet, where you can easily log which items have been returned from an employee.
If an employee is leaving on bad terms with the company, it’s even more important to ensure you have recovered all important devices and that the employee cannot access the company building, for your own peace of mind and safety of the company.
As soon as an employee leaves it’s crucial that they are logged off and denied access to any systems to safeguard the company and its data.
Make sure that your IT department is notified by HR about an employee departing so they can complete their system offboarding checklists. They will need to disable all network access, disable remote access and email accounts, making sure shared and single passwords are changed.
Phone calls and emails should also be forwarded to the employee’s supervisor or the employee taking over their responsibilities.
As part of your payroll leaver actions, it’s important that departing employees access is removed from any schemes such as healthcare, benefits and resolve any outstanding loans.
However long or short an employee is at a company, it’s nice to thank them for their contributions to the business and show your appreciation.
A nice idea is to organise a farewell card and gift for an employee, even though this is a small gesture it can mean a lot to a departing employee and how they view the company.
If a more long serving member of staff is leaving and if a company budget permits, organising leaving drinks or a leaving lunch is a nice way to have a proper farewell celebration, and to get the whole company together.
This is also a good way to keep up morale for the rest of the team, who may feel apprehensive and worried about an employee’s departure. If an employee is leaving on bad terms with the company, leaving events will be less appropriate, but a card is still a nice gesture.
Being made redundant is tough and can have a huge toll on an employee’s mental and physical health. It’s important to make sure your departing employees have the best chance of finding a new career and to support them in any way you can. Here are a few ways you can support your employees:
Navigating an employee’s departure can be difficult, especially in the case of redundancies. Follow our 9 step employee offboarding checklist to ensure you’ve followed the correct legal procedures, your employees get the support they need, and your company is ready to move on and progress.
Whether you have made redundancies already or if you are expecting to make further redundancies, Give A Grad A Go are here to help with our outplacement services to those individuals affected. Enter your details below and a member of the team will be in touch: