When an employee resigns, is terminated or retires, the offboarding process starts. Depending on the arrangement this period could be very short, just a few days, or relatively long stretching over several months.
Why is good offboarding important?
Knowledge transfer and handover: The transfer of knowledge and processes to those employees left should be taken well care of. Don't let anyone leave without having a plan on how their tasks should be handed over to others.
Access control: Today most companies use several external systems that require access control. There are many examples of former employees that several years after they left a job, still could access sensitive and business critical software systems.
Asset management: Make sure that company property and hardware is returned.
Learn: When people leave they usually can afford to be very frank as they don't have much to lose. Use this possibility to learn what what works and what should be improved. Setup exit interviews to take advantage and learn how your business can improve.
Reputation and brand management: Even if you're not considering someone for rehire at a later time, a professional leaving process could mean much for your reputation and how an ex-employee thinks back on you. When she talks about you to friends and others in the industry you'd like that to be in positive terms. It's important to take good care of your your brand as an employer and potential business partner and offboarding is one of those crucial steps.
Also existing employees will see how former employees are treated and a professional process would mean increased job satisfaction and increased pride in their workplace. It's a win-win.
How to offboard an employee
We've made a detailed checklist that you can use for inspiration. In general there are some considerations that you need to take and that should guide you through the whole process:
- Make the exit process and experience positive
- Take charge of the process and communicate quickly how the offboarding will proceed
- Focus on knowledge transfer and a proper handover
- Have exit interviews to learn as much as possible
- Stay in touch and encourage them to do the same.