Let’s face it, employee turnover is unavoidable. Almost 50% of employees leave a company within the first six months. So, what can you do to protect your company’s interests while ensuring a clear and concise transition for the departing employee?
What is offboarding?
Offboarding may be voluntary, as when an employee resigns or retires, or involuntary, as when an employee is fired.
Employees who are offboarded may have access to their company's systems for a period of time after they leave, such as to provide information about their work or to transfer data.
Offboarding can be difficult for companies because the process is not standardized and there are no legal requirements for how it should be handled.
Why should you do it?
There are several reasons why companies should make sure they have an effective offboarding strategy:
It allows you to properly document an employee’s work history and performance. This can be important for tracking purposes, and can also help with reference checks in the future.
It ensures that all loose ends are tied up before an employee leaves. This includes things like returning company property, transferring knowledge to other employees, and completing any final paperwork.
It gives you the opportunity to gain feedback from the departing employee about their time at your company. This feedback can be used to improve the workplace for future employees.
It can help you stay compliant with employment laws. By having a set procedure for handling terminations, you can avoid potential legal problems down the road.
It shows that you're invested in your employee's career growth, even after they leave your company. Given that 40% of workers would return to a company where they had previously worked, maintaining a positive relationship with former employees is beneficial for both parties
What to avoid during offboarding
Offboarding employees can be a delicate process - one that, when done wrong, can lead to disgruntled former employees and a whole host of other problems. Here’s what you should avoid:
1. Don't wait until the last minute
Once you know an employee is leaving, start gathering all the necessary paperwork and begin the process. Waiting until the last minute will only create more work for everyone involved.
2. Don't forget to update your systems
Be sure to update your HR system with the employee's new status, as well as any other systems they had access to. This will help prevent any security breaches or issues down the road.
3. Don't skip the exit interview
Exit interviews are a valuable way to get feedback from departing employees. Use this opportunity to find out what worked well and what could be improved in your organization.
How to do it right
This process can be tricky - you want to make sure that your employees leave on good terms while also protecting your company's interests. Here are some tips for offboarding employees the right way:
1. Get all the paperwork in order
Make sure you have everything you need from the employee, including any keys or company property they may have.
2. Communicate effectively with the employee throughout the process
Have a meeting with the employee to go over the next steps and what they need to do to transition out of their role.
3. Create a plan for how their work will be covered after they're gone
This could involve training someone else on their tasks or hiring a temporary replacement.
4. Schedule an exit interview
Employees may be more candid in an exit interview than they would be in other settings. They may feel like they have nothing to lose by telling you what they really think, so it's important to listen carefully to what they say.
5. Terminate access to company systems and data
This includes things like email accounts, work collaboration platforms, and any other software they may have been using for work purposes.
6. Collect company property
You will need to collect any company property that the employee has in their possession. This includes things like laptops, phones, keys, credit cards, etc.
7. Keep in touch if possible
Stay in touch with the employee after they've left, at least for a little while. Check-in with them to see how they're doing and if they have any questions or concerns about their new situation.
Offboarding can be difficult, but it's important to do it right. By taking the time to properly offboard an employee, you can help them transition to their next opportunity and avoid any legal issues down the road.