Benefits of Effective Offboarding

Historically, resigning employees from a company was viewed as a tedious but necessary administrative task as opposed to an intricate process that contributes to improving business and HR results.

Dr John Sullivan, an international HR author and thought leader specializing in strategic talent management highlights how awareness is developing around the employee offboarding process as more and more HR professionals are looking to increase measurable business impacts.

High-Impact Outcomes

Implementing an effective offboarding process creates opportunities for data-driven HR professionals to accomplish strategic goals, such as:  

  • Reducing turnover through honest feedback regarding the employee’s experience with the company, their managers, colleagues, and their role and responsibilities. This allows an assessment of the organizational health that may require further action to resolve negative issues and make necessary improvements.
  • Strengthen the company’s brand as a good employer through building and maintaining healthy relationships with current and ex-employees. This enhances recruiting efforts through word-of-mouth recommendations and online reviews.
  • Contribute to overall business results with retained employee knowledge, deeper company insight, better risk management, minimal disruption, and continued progress with raising the bar across the organization.

Offboarding Checklist

When a valued employee resigns, the obvious initial reaction would be to find out what can be done to keep the individual at the company. However, if the resignation remains in place, then it’s time to activate the offboarding process as positively and efficiently as possible.

This 8-step employee offboarding checklist will support HR’s efforts in proactively managing all areas of an employee’s exit and ensuring proper audit trails are in place while minimizing any perceived level of discontent.

  • Communicate the Departure

To avoid any rumours from disrupting the work environment, inform everyone in the team and if it’s appropriate, include the reasons why the person is leaving. If relevant, inform the customers as well. Make a point of thanking and praising the individual for their work and contributions and congratulate them on their new job offer. In an effort to calm the team, offer clarity on the plan of action to find a successor.

Agree upon and document the last working day.

Establish an interim support process until a replacement is found.

Initiate the recruitment process to fill the position.

  • Knowledge Transfer

When an employee leaves a company, they leave with a lot of knowledge that is made up of experience, data, processes, skills, values, and in-depth information about customers and colleagues. This knowledge can span decades and include critical trends, perspectives, and projects that are an important part of a company’s history.

While it may not be possible to retain every last detail, it is possible to ensure time is allocated for the individual to have discussions with key people and to create comprehensive documentation (especially for technical roles and process-driven responsibilities).

  • Recover Assets, Revoke Access

Systems must be set in place to ensure company assets are returned before the last working date and access is monitored or limited to prevent the illicit use of the company’s data and resources.

Recover assets like phones, computers and accessories, access cards and keys, and any other physical property that belongs to the company. Revoking access could entail disabling login and email accounts, and changing any shared passwords for internal systems.

  • Update Org Charts and Directories

Any references to the leaving employee must be updated to prevent any confusion with internal and external communication. Update telephone and digital directories, organizational charts, and web and brochure mentions.

  • Complete Final Payroll

The closing pay process must be carried out where employee records must be updated for accuracy and settlement are accurate and settled before the employee file is archived and the person is removed from subsequent payroll runs. Provide the individual with the relevant documents covering benefits, retirement, insurance, healthcare, tax, etc.

  • References and Exit Documentation

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the employer-employee will depend on what references or service certificate is supplied. The termination or resignation letter must be formalized with dates and any agreements as well as non-compete and nondisclosure agreements where applicable.

  • Perform the Exit Interview

This is a crucial step that must be carefully considered in order to gain the most benefit from the exit interview and truly understand why the employee resigned. The goal is to encourage honesty so the data can be used to prevent valued performers from leaving the organization.

Let the employee choose who they are most comfortable with to give the interview.

Provide the reference beforehand to assure the feedback won’t influence any testimonials.

Inform the employee how the information will be used and communicate a commitment to make the necessary improvements.

Develop a well-thought-out questionnaire that will offer thorough insight.

  • Setup a Company Alumni

Former employees may one day become future clients, providers, or suppliers, or they may ‘boomerang’ back to the company later on in their careers and bring added knowledge, experience, and connections. Engage the employee in the organization’s alumni to build a network of key players with whom you can maintain communication and a good professional relationship.

Modernizing the Process 

KRIS document management system (DMS) offers a positive offboarding experience for HR and employees through a structured document workflows. Instead of inundating personnel with heaps of paperwork and individual documents, our software offers a simplified and organized solution that ensures everyone involved is on task.






Find out how a Document Management System can simplify your everyday office processes.