When an employee’s time at your company comes to an end, having a cohesive offboarding process can help your company and the former employee. The employee offboarding process allows organizations to collect feedback and company property, reduce security risks, and help ease the transition for the employee and the rest of their team.

Creating your own offboarding process is the key to seamlessly parting ways with an employee, whether they’ve been terminated or have resigned—and SixFifty’s Employment Docs platform can help. Here’s an overview of the offboarding process to get started.

What is employee offboarding?

Employee offboarding is the opposite of onboarding, where you welcome a new worker to the business and help set them up for success. It’s essentially a professional breakup. Once you know an employee’s time at the company has come to a close, you can go through your offboarding checklist to wrap up loose ends. At the same time, you can solicit valuable feedback to assist your team in better serving the next employee.

The offboarding process

The offboarding process begins as soon as an employee resigns or you start the termination process. This typically includes the following steps:

  • Notifying internal teams: When employment ends, you’ll need to notify the appropriate teams of the departure. This usually includes human resources, IT, and the finance departments. These teams can notify the employee of termination (where applicable), process final payments, conduct exit interviews, make appropriate disclosures, and revoke access to accounts where needed.
  • Transferring duties: Next, you’ll want to make provisions to transfer the employee’s duties to others, until you can hire a replacement. This may include setting final deadlines for projects, asking for a progress update on key duties, and asking your employee to guide you through each task they were responsible for handling during their time with the company.
  • Collecting company equipment: If your employee is in possession of company equipment, such as laptops, company phones, business credit cards, uniforms, ID badges, company vehicles, and keys, be sure to collect and log these items as part of your offboarding process.
  • Revoke account access: To reduce the chances of a data or other security breach, revoke the employee’s access to company email, software licenses, databases, project management platforms, and communication platforms. This step is typically performed at the end of the employee’s last day on the job, and can reduce risk to the organization—especially if your employee is disgruntled.
  • Offer a separation agreement: Depending on the employee’s tenure, duties, access to confidential company information, and other factors, you might wish to offer them a separation agreement. Separation agreements can set terms for their departure, offer severance payments, and include non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-disparagement clauses, among other protections, though each state has its own restrictions making it important to know your jurisdiction’s rules.
  • Exit interviews: Finally, conduct an exit interview. This allows you to collect valuable feedback from the employee and reinforce your company values. Employees tend to be more candid when they’re leaving, since the risk of losing employment is no longer a factor.

Why you need an offboarding process

The benefits of offboarding employees can help everyone impacted, from the employee to their managers, team, and company leadership. It helps businesses provide a better exit experience for the employee, which can help leave them with a positive final impression—they’ll be less likely to give your company a poor review or warn colleagues away from the company.

Offboarding also allows you to account for “boomerang employees,” or employees who leave and return to the company later. When their experience is positive, they’re more likely to come back later.

Finally, a formal offboarding process helps employers reduce the risk of a data breach, stolen work product and company property, and other security concerns. You’ll also be sure to make all necessary legal moves, from offering a separation agreement to making the appropriate disclosures under state and federal law.

Offboarding best practices

Offboarding is most successful when you actively manage the process. When saying farewell to an employee, remember to document each step of the way, from an initial separation notice (where applicable) to a final exit interview and signing the final paperwork.

Second, make communication a priority: from notifying team members and clients to getting your departing employee’s feedback, there are lots of loose ends to tie up. Keeping the lines of communication open not only makes the experience more pleasant, but can also help you identify and address potential pain points.

Finally, make sure you have legal support on hand. SixFifty’s Employment Docs platform is designed to guide employers through every stage of the employment lifecycle, from hiring to separation. You can create top-tier employment documents like separation agreements quickly and cost-effectively. Plus, our legal team keeps a close eye on employment legislation nationwide. Each time you generate an employment separation agreement or other employment document, it’ll be current with all state and federal laws.

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