A Quick Guide To Employee Offboarding

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A Quick Guide To Employee Offboarding

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Human resources (HR) teams often give a lot of attention to the onboarding process, providing a warm welcome to new hires and helping them settle in the workplace. But, what about the employees leaving?

It seems that the care offered to employees upon their arrival often disappears when leaving. Don’t do this. Don’t just wave them goodbye either. Having a formalized offboarding process not only shows you care until an employee’s last day, but it mitigates security and legal threats as well.

Whether you’re creating an offboarding process from scratch or want to update your existing process, this guide offers an employee offboarding checklist, from completing paperwork to coming up with ideas for going away party for coworker, to ensure a smooth transition when an employee leaves your workforce.

What’s Employee Offboarding

Offboarding is a comprehensive process that streamlines the formal separation of a worker or employee from your company. The offboarding procedure should be consistent and in sync with the ethos of your organization.

An employee might leave your company through resignation, termination, or retirement. That said, your offboarding process should align with any of these scenarios, providing employees with a positive experience and making them feel valued even if they’re exiting the company.

6 Steps To A Good Employee Offboarding Process

Employee offboarding is believed to be one of the most essential parts of company management. The following the steps in carrying out a sound worker offboarding strategy:

  1. Share The News

An employee’s exit should stay between them and their manager until it’s finalized. Once it’s finalized, the news should be conveyed to all relevant parties immediately, including HR, Admin, Information Technology (IT), and other departments.

You may be tempted to hold off the news but the longer you wait, the more likely colleagues and co-workers start filling in those details on their own, resulting in the spread of misinformation and rumors.

You can communicate the news through email, meetings, or any other means that fits your organization's policy.

  1. Paperwork Preparation

The next step is lots of documentation. Offboarding documentation is a cross-functional process. Businesses should facilitate portals and forms for employees to submit any necessary documents relevant to their exits.

Further, you should offer tools to generate letters of resignation, post-exit communication to all relevant departments, benefits and taxes documentation, and non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, if applicable.

Having an audit trail of paperwork protects both employer and employee against legal issues and other tussles in the future.

  1. Start Knowledge Transfer

As the leaving employee process all the requirements and paperwork for their exit, it’s important to initiate the knowledge transfer right away.

There are several ways to capture the necessary knowledge to transfer to a new employee. You can do this through mentorship, work shadowing, documentation, and informational interviews.

In addition, you can require exiting employees to log their know-how in a series of process documents or use a comprehensive knowledge management system where daily routines, best practices, and role experience are archived and shared throughout your company.

  1. Do The Final Interview

Most companies do exit interviews as some sort of formality. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most important steps of your offboarding process.

Asking the right questions allows you to obtain valuable information, revealing potential gaps between what you perceive workers think about the company versus what they really do. It can help you discover weaknesses in your company, understand the reasons for employee turnover and learn more about employee experience.

An exiting employee may be hesitant to give you honest feedback. So, in addition to having a one-on-one exit interview with their manager or HR, you can provide them with a detailed questionnaire. Also, if you assure them that their answers will be confidential and won’t burn bridges, they may provide you with more detailed answers.

  1. Retrieve Assets

During an exit, it’s critical to take back any company asset–both physical and digital–from a leaving employee. These assets may include:

  • Company devices and equipment including laptops or phones;
  • Uniforms;
  • ID badges;
  • Security cards;
  • Keys;
  • Expense accounts and corporate credit cards; and so on.

To add, you want to tie up any loose ends such as removing the employee’s credentials on relevant systems or updating the team’s organization chart. This step should be taken on or before the last working day of the exiting employee.

  1. Have An Appreciation Party

Beyond the cold, formal side of employee offboarding, you need to take care of the human side too. An exiting employee may have spent months and years with you. Regardless of the length of their tenure, they’ve become family members in your company as well deserve recognition and appreciation.

So, consider asking the employee’s team or department to plan a farewell party or simple get-together. Whether you give them a simple farewell celebration in the office or schedule a team party event in a restaurant, this gesture can create a positive imprint on a leaving employee.


Whether you're laying off workers or an employee is leaving for another opportunity, the required paperwork and processing can be difficult to organize. Nonetheless, with a good employee offboarding process, you can ensure that you retain your relationship, data, and reputation while ensuring HR efficiency.

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A Quick Guide To Employee Offboarding

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