Just because an employee is exiting the business, it doesn’t mean that you should take your foot off the gas when it comes to enhancing your employer brand. Protecting your employer brand is like shielding your organisation from future aftershocks – aftershocks from the pandemic but also from departed employees.

Let us explain. Your employer brand reflects the employee experience (EX) and encompasses everything within an employment journey, from the first impression to the last goodbye. It is, by definition, how an organisation promotes itself to attract, recruit and retain desirable professionals, and relates to popularity and reputation from the perspective of former, existing and prospective employees. It’s about being an “employer of choice”. So, when an employer brand is strong, an organisation can withstand a negative experience and bounce back quicker.

In relation to offboarding, employees that have been treated poorly on their way out the door can wreak havoc on your organisation’s reputation. With just one bad review on Glassdoor, LinkedIn of Facebook, etc. your organisation’s ability to attract and retain talent can be shot. In fact, a Glassdoor survey found that 70% of job seekers look to reviews before they make career decisions!

On a bigger scale, strengthening the employer brand through tough times like the pandemic will build resilience, convey organisational health, and allow your organisation to scale up more quickly once a sense of normal is restored – even if there are aftershocks. This will aid your retention and talent acquisition efforts in the future.

So, how do you ensure the offboarding process results in a pleasant aftertaste instead of something bitter and presents a positive employer brand to the wider world? First, let’s look at the 10-steps of offboarding:

  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, equipment)
  4. Update your org charts 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

If you follow these 10 steps, your organisation will appear organised, respectful, considerate, diligent and professional – traits that people want to see in an employer. 

Following these steps will ensure an employee’s exit is a smooth and positive experience, meaning they are less likely to spread negative messaging about your organisation later down the line. And, from a compliance perspective, exit interviews are a good way to uncover any unfavourable matters before termination, such as discrimination, workplace harassment, etc., lessening the risk that reputation-damaging legal action will take place in the future.

Another reason to protect and nurture the employer brand during the offboarding process is because it increases the chance of “boomerang employees” – employees who return the organisation after a period spent elsewhere. Such employees are valuable as they can share positive sentiment and a wealth of knowledge.

Your offboarding process is your final chance to give a positive lasting impression – it’s an opportunity to demonstrate the great things about the organisation and to set right any wrongs. The desired outcome is that your departing employees remember all the good times they had with you – meaning they’ll be more likely to say positive things about the organisation. After all, people trust word of mouth, and often a positive recommendation about a company – from an existing or past employee – can be better than complex and costly marketing efforts!

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.

ELMO Software offers innovative cloud-based HR & payroll solutions to more than 1600 organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, helping them to manage, engage, and inspire their people. Our solutions span the entire employee lifecycle, from ‘hire to retire’. This includes a comprehensive suite of complementary solutions that further enhance the onboarding experience, namely Recruitment, Learning Management, HR Core, Survey and Connect. For further information, contact us.

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