How to offboard employees effectively

While most companies put a great deal of effort into their recruitment and onboarding process, the offboarding process can be just as important in the employee lifecycle.  Taking the time to ensure a detailed handover, return of equipment and resources, processing final payments, conducting exit interviews and communicating the departure to the wider community, each have their own advantages for the business.

Holding a friendly and honest discussion with an exiting employee can produce a great deal of information regarding areas where the business excels and also areas for a focussed improvement.

It can be tough where naturally you may wish to avoid what will possibly be an uncomfortable discussion, especially if the manager has taken a resignation personally, however the insights gained from why a new opportunity is considered a better option than staying, far outweighs the awkwardness. Remember, it is a normal part of leadership to have employees come and go. The difference is how you choose to handle this.

There are many questions that can assist in having an exiting employee open up about their considerations for leaving such as, “What are the things your new role/employer has to offer that attracted you to that position?” rather than “where do you think we can improve”.  The first question prompts a thought process from the employee that will possibly provide the answers to the second question but in a less awkward way.

In addition to exit interviews, taking the time to detail a very clear handover of tasks/responsibilities with timelines attached, will assist in ensuring ‘no stone is left unturned’.  One of the best ways to develop the handover is to sit with the employee with their position description and ask in addition to the requirements within their written PD, what else do they do that would require handover.  Hold check-ins with the exiting employee and those they are handing over to during the notice period to ensure the handover is on track.

Making the offboarding process streamlined and providing an opportunity for communicating the value you place in the efforts from that employee, will only assist in them speaking positively and recommending your business as a great place to work.  It also increases the chance that a great employee may consider returning to your business at some point in the future.

Should you invest no time in ensuring the offboarding process is treated at the level of importance you place on onboarding, your exiting employees will not advocate for your business, nor would they consider returning.

For assistance with developing your offboarding process or should you require support regarding any HR matter, please contact the team at HR Advice Online at [email protected]

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors, such as government legislation changes, may not be up to date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.


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