You may have read quite a bit about onboarding new employees, but equally important is making sure that they’re able to exit smoothly. That’s what employee offboarding is all about.
It’s that final goodbye when the two parties decide to part ways, and needless to say, you will want to ensure that it’s smooth for both. The last thing you want is to be emailing or calling the employee about company assets or asking them about stuff that you should already know.
This just creates disruption and prevents your team from working effectively. In this post, we’re going to provide a step-by-step guide on employee offboarding, including the different procedures involved.
What is Employee Offboarding?
First things first, it’s important to explain exactly what employee offboarding is. To put it simply, it’s when you formally end business relationship with an employee.
It’s like the last day of working together with someone; you want to make sure that you tie up all loose ends before both parties go off on their merry ways.
Employee offboarding is rarely as simple as it sounds, mainly because there are so many things to care for. From turning over all assets, to account credentials – and making sure that uncaptured knowledge is documented and accounted for. There are a series of steps and procedures you need to run through.
The Importance of Employee Offboarding
Many agencies and companies often downplay the importance of offboarding employees properly. In fact, most don’t even have an effective strategy in place for this.
The fact is, if your offboarding doesn’t go smoothly, it’s quite possible it may cause disruptions for several months to come. There’s always a risk that things will slip through the cracks, which could affect the relationship you’ve worked so hard to build with your clients.
Remaining employees may not know about specific processes that the offboarded member of the team used to follow, which will affect general performance, and may result in bottlenecks.
Offboarding is important for several reasons:
- Reduce security issues: Proper offboarding ensures all company assets are returned, and access to company accounts is revoked.
- Contract signoff: To avoid any legal troubles in the future, the company usually gets sign off from the employee.
- Get feedback: Employees may have valuable feedback to give that managers can use to improve operations before they leave the organization.
- Maintain positive relationships: You don’t want to let an employee go on bad terms. It’s bad for your company’s reputation and may affect morale within.
Employee Offboarding: A Step-by-Step Guide
Here’s a step-by-step guide that you can follow to create an effective employee offboarding strategy.
1. Streamline the Resignation Process
Your HR department will play an important role in streamlining the resignation process. When an employee tenders their resignation, and their notice period begins, the first step is to document it.
The employee should be asked to sign a formal letter of resignation, which the company can keep in its records. Once the formal letter is signed, the manager must notify the team members, and ensure that roles and responsibilities are divided until a new employee is hired.
2. Exit Interview
An exit interview is of vital importance before an employee departs. It’s your way of ensuring that the employee leaves on good terms.
This is a great opportunity for you to gain feedback about their time at the company, and to ask about their reasons for leaving. You could gain invaluable feedback from this interview, especially because at this stage employees aren’t hesitant to hold back.
3. Notify Their Clients
Offboarding a client-facing employee also requires you to notify their clients, and introduce them to another employee they’ll be working with in the interim. Make sure you hold a formal introductory meeting so both parties can get acquainted, and let them know about the reasons for the employee leaving.
4. Finalize the Paperwork
This is where your legal team will have to step in. Any contracts that need to be signed should be done so now, and you may want to discuss any non-disclosure agreements that the employee has signed, and answer any questions they may have.
You’ll also need to make sure that you clear their dues. Their final payroll processing and tax information should be organized properly to ensure any outstanding amounts are paid.
Information related to tax and benefits needs to be prepared so that the employee can access it when they’re leaving.
5. Work Handoff
Minimizing disruption is vitally important in the workplace, especially when an employee leaves. There are several things that you need to do during this phase:
- Identify replacements: Who will take over the tasks and responsibilities of the employee? Who will work with their clients?
- Access to accounts: Make sure access to all accounts in the employee’s name is revoked, and the company has all the credentials they require.
- Training gaps: If another employee will be taking over their duties, you need to identify any training gaps that may exist, and create a suitable plan for this.
6. Gather Company Equipment
Any equipment that you may have issued to the employee will need to be returned. You’ll need to ask them for standard equipment, such as:
- Company identification
- Laptops or mobile phones
- Any security devices, such as a Yubikey
- Any company assets they may be using
- Company credit cards
This is also the time to ask the employee to remove any personal items that they may have on premises.
7. Revoking Account Access
This has been mentioned earlier, but it’s imperative that you check whether employee access to company accounts has been revoked, including any tools that they were using.
Any emails that they are receiving should be routed to specific employees, and their names should be removed from company meetings and calendars to prevent any problems later on.
Atarim Makes Employee Offboarding Easy
Atarim is an excellent tool that agencies can use to determine any active tasks assigned to employees, review their responsibilities, and identify the hours they have worked. This information can prove to be vital when it comes to offboarding employees.
You can use it to calculate their billable hours and makes it easier for you to reroute requests to other employees working on the same project. And, if you want to improve employee turnover and productivity in your organization, you may want to read The Impact of Human Resource Management Practices on Turnover, Productivity, and Corporate Financial Performance by Mark Huselid.