It’s never easy to say goodbye to an employee. Regardless of the reason behind the departure – e.g. the employment was terminated, the employee reached the end of their contract, the employee was made redundant, or the employee handed in their resignation – employers must recognise the value of a positive farewell.

Employee turnover typically spikes at the beginning of a calendar year. It is also a time when organisations ramp up recruitment efforts. This means that organisations may currently be dealing with increased employee churn (which isn’t always a bad thing, in small doses!). 

Nevertheless, the offboarding process must remain consistently respectful and compliant. In fact, a positive offboarding experience is just as important as a positive onboarding experience.

But first, what does offboarding look like? Below is a typical 10-step offboarding process:

  1. Communicate the employees’ departure to the team
  2. Transfer the employee’s knowledge to their successor, or at least document this knowledge for easy access down the track
  3. Recover company assets (mobile phones, laptops and equipment)
  4. Update your org chart and company directory
  5. Revoke systems access
  6. Complete final pay process
  7. Perform an exit survey or interview
  8. Provide letters of reference and exiting documentation
  9. Thank the exiting employee and make sure they feel appreciated for their contribution
  10. Engage the former employee in an alumni group

For a more in-depth explanation of these 10 steps, download HROnboard’s Offboarding Checklist.

So, why exactly is offboarding so important? Below are three good reasons…

1. Leave a positive lasting impression

If your organisation’s offboarding procedure entails a handshake and a swift walk towards the door, you’re likely damaging your organisation’s reputation. Offboarding that is impersonal and careless can prompt negative word-of-mouth and public scorning on social media and company review websites like Glassdoor.

A positive offboarding process will leave a positive lasting impression, which will benefit the organisation’s employer brand. It also creates a space for employees to feel comfortable returning to their role in the future. These are known as boomerang employees.

Boomerang employees have multiple benefits – they return with additional skills and experience and professional maturity. Boomerang employees also present less risk to hiring managers. They’re familiar with your organisation’s culture and require less training, enabling your team to reach maximum productivity in record time.

2. Gather valuable insights 

Departing employees are likely to be more forthcoming when talking about their time at the company and provide genuine feedback. This is positive, as both good and bad feedback can help an organisation identify its strengths, weaknesses and where there is room for improvement. Any insights a company can get from their employees is valuable.

3. Remain compliant

A proper offboarding process acts as a compliance and risk management tool. Exit interviews, for example, are a preventative measure to help employers uncover any unfavourable issues that have arisen during the employment (such as workplace discrimination or bullying), which can be mitigated before they lead to legal action or bad publicity. 

Other offboarding steps that protect an organisation from falling victim to compliance-related problems are recovering company assets and revoking systems access.

Want to shape up your offboarding process? We’ve put together a free 10-step Offboarding Checklist. It’s simple and easy to use, and a great place to start building a great offboarding program.

HROnboard, an ELMO company, offers a best-in-class software solution that reduces the amount of time HR teams and leaders spend securing the best candidates and undertaking the critical onboarding process for new hires. Our solution also helps manage internal employee role changes and can create a smooth and seamless process for exiting employees. To find out more, reach us here.

ELMO Software offers end-to-end solutions for the entire employee lifecycle, from ‘hire to retire’. This includes recruitment, learning, performance management, payroll, rostering / time & attendance, and more. For further information, contact us.

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