Why offboarding matters – the benefits of a great goodbye

By / September 19, 2017 / , / 0 Comments

It’s never easy saying goodbye. A new hire can quickly become an integral part of the team, and every team member brings with them a unique set of skills and traits.

People inevitably move on and take with them many of the valuable skills that you’ve nurtured along the way.

However, dedicating the time and effort into ensuring staff have a positive offboarding experience can provide significant ROI for the business.

‘In today’s world, it is important to ensure the offboarding experience is as positive as the onboarding process’ – Alec Bashinsky – Chief HR Officer, Deloitte

Just like onboarding ensures new hires get off to a great start, offboarding should be used to ensure that an employee leaves the business in the best way.

Let’s take a look at some of the perks that come from a great offboarding experience.

The boomerang employee

Just like a boomerang;  once somebody leaves, you’d be surprised how often they come back. According to Kronos Workforce Institute, there’s a changing attitude toward boomerang employees.  Nearly 40% of workers indicate they’d consider going back to a company where they’d previously worked.

Boomerang employees can bring a host of benefits back to your company; from added skills and experience and professional maturity.  As Amanda Green of PwC put it:

“Some of the greatest opportunities lie in situations such as where people leave for an overseas experience, and come back with strong experiences that they bring to the company.”

Boomerang employees also present less risk to hiring managers.  They’re familiar with your organisation’s culture and quirks and require less training; enabling your team to get back to productivity quickly.

WIth a positive offboarding experience in place, companies are maximising the opportunities to re-engage past employees who are more than happy to return.

Nurturing brand ambassadors

Take a quick glance at a website such as Glassdoor, and it’s  clear that how you approach our offboarding can have a lasting impact. And your brand ambassadors aren’t just current employees.

The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer; a trust and credibility survey that collects data from more than 30,000 people, found that regular employees have more credibility than executives.

With brand advocacy being such a powerful tool to grow the business and attract the best new hires, engaging positively with exiting employees through the offboarding process can have a tangible effect on the bottom-line.

Employees don’t just leave because they are unhappy.  By taking the time to engage positively with exiting employees you’re  boosting the chances of positive reviews and referrals from ex-employees.

Getting the basics right – de-provisioning

There is always value in getting the basics right. Whether the employee is leaving voluntarily or not, there’s a lot to remember and do (often with very little notice).

Notifying the team, recovering assets, following legal guidelines – all these tasks are the solid foundations of a great offboarding process.

The benefits lie in risk minimisation.  Disgruntled former employees are suspected to be the biggest source of data security breaches – all because they never had their access to systems revoked. As more and more businesses move to the cloud, it’s vital IT’s included in the offboarding process from the beginning.

Mobile phones, laptops, uniforms, security passes – all of these assets need to be recovered from the exiting employee. In many organisations, this process can be very prolonged or even forgotten.

Make sure you have a record of the assets each team member  has so when the time comes, you know what you’ll need to recover.

Next steps

Want to get started? 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.