Knowledge Management

Employee Offboarding Checklist: Key Steps for Graceful Exits

An employee offboarding checklist is vital to great employee UX. Here are the top components to create a successful checklist.

Introduction

As important as an employee onboarding checklist is to your business, so is an employee offboarding checklist.

Though you may wish against it, your employees will leave your company for better opportunities, sooner or later. And when that inevitable time comes, you should have a well-thought-out offboarding process in place. 

Employee offboarding is a systematic procedure to manage employee departure in a consistent and secure manner.

To ensure pleasant employee UX even while they are leaving your company, you need to put together a comprehensive employee offboarding checklist. 

A smooth and well-planned employee offboarding process can help build trust, mitigate risks and legal issues and end the relationship on a positive note. 

If that’s the kind of employee experience you want to render, you need to take note of the vital components of a successful employee offboarding checklist. 

So, let's dig right into it. 

Components of a comprehensive employee offboarding checklist 

Employee offboarding process may slightly vary from industry to industry. But here are some essential components of an effective employee offboarding checklist. 

1. Communicate the departure 

The employee offboarding process generally begins when an employee intimates the HR about their departure with a resignation letter.

As soon as you receive the letter, you should communicate the news to all the individuals concerned. 

Officially inform the team manager and teammates that this employee is moving on. The message should also be communicated to the payroll, IT and any other concerned department. 

This first step in the employee offboarding checklist helps put an end to rumors or miscommunication within the team and fosters transparency.

Timely communication also ensures that the vacant position can be filled as quickly as possible.

2. Get the paperwork ready

Similar to onboarding, the offboarding paperwork can be a lengthy process too, depending on your company policies.

So the next step on your employee offboarding checklist is to get all the concerned documents ready for the exiting employee. 

Some of the important documents to be prepared include: 

  • Employee resignation or termination letter. 
  • Acknowledgment letter from the manager or team lead. 
  • Employee contracts.
  • A signed non-disclosure and non-compete agreement. 
  • Benefits documents. 

This is an important stage in the employee offboarding checklist. Proper documentation protects both employees and the company in case any legal issues arise. 

If the employee works from your office, he can sign these documents physically.

For work-from-home employees, the right technology can make your remote offboarding as smooth as your remote onboarding. 

For instance, you can leverage the best Docusign alternatives to get all the paperwork signed in a quick and secure manner. 

3. Initiate knowledge transfer 

When employees move on, they create gaps in their team or the responsibilities they were handling.

To ensure that such gaps don't slow down the workflow in your company, you need to plan for a smooth and successful knowledge transfer.

Identify the right successor or replacement for the existing employee who is efficient enough to take up the responsibilities. 

Your employee offboarding checklist must insist on detailed knowledge transfer before the employee leaves the organization.

Adopt some of the top process documentation best practices to create resource repositories that can be used to train the new hires. And take advantage of tools that can make handover documentation faster, and easier than ever.

Instead of spending hours on video tutorials or manually writing out step-by-step guides, all you have to do is turn on the Scribe extension and go through the process you want to document.

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Scribe takes care of the rest, automatically generating a guide complete with text and screenshots. It's a huge time-saver and can also help your team find answers to questions faster and boost productivity. Here's a Scribe in action.

Whether the knowledge transfer is to an existing employee or a new recruit, the process should be detailed, practical and effective

4. Recover company assets 

Now, here is an important component to be added to your employee offboarding checklist. You must have provided your employees with a variety of equipment to help them work more comfortably and be more productive. 

When they are leaving your organization, an important task to tick on your employee offboarding checklist is the recovery of these company assets.

 Some common company assets could include: 

  • Laptop.
  • Smartphone.
  • Credit card. 
  • Vehicle. 
  • Keys and access card. 
  • Uniform. 

Irrespective of the kind of assets you had provided, the employee should return them in the same condition that they were given to them. If not, a certain amount could be deducted from their final settlement amount. 

5. Reset & revoke access 

Security breaches not only originate from an external source but can happen from within the company too. That's why resetting and revoking access is a necessary step to be added to your employee offboarding checklist. 

Here we are talking about access to your building, resources as well as to various tools you use and the sensitive data you may possess. 

Let's say you are an ecommerce business with plenty of valuable customer data and secret tips for ecommerce site. Before an employee serves their last day in your company, the IT department should revoke their access and reset it for security reasons. 

6. Schedule an exit interview

For the period that an employee worked in your organization, they could have learned and observed a lot of things.

By arranging an exit interview, you can gather insightful feedback from such employees and use it to improve the overall employee experience in your organization. 

You can ask them on employee satisfaction, performance appraisal process, work environment, team work culture and other recommendations for better performance of your organization.

The exit interview is also a great platform for employees to share their grievances and resolve issues before leaving the company.

Also, you can create an feedback from using the online form builders to collect employee feedback in secret mode. In this way, you can get real feedback from them.

When such matters are discussed without any inhibitions, there are more chances of resolving them and saying goodbye to your employees on a positive note. 

7. Settle the employee accounts 

This is an integral part of your employee offboarding checklist. This is where all the financial matters are settled to clear the final payment to the employee before exit. 

A good payroll system should be able to consolidate all the financial details of an employee and come up with the final calculations. 

Matters like insurance amounts, pending tax payments, credit card payments and expenditure reimbursement need to be settled at this stage.

8. Arrange a farewell 

It's time to add a fun element to your employee offboarding checklist. When your employee is leaving the company, send them away with fond memories. 

Make all efforts to arrange for an official farewell.

You can throw a small party and give a personalized gift to leave a lasting impression on that person. Take time to appreciate all the valuable contributions this employee has made to your organization. 

This gesture can go a long way in impressing and influencing your existing employees to stay with you for a longer time. 

9. Keep a channel of communication open

The last point on your employee offboarding checklist is to leave the door open in case your employee wants to come back.

The concept of rehiring your past employees or accommodating boomerang employees is pretty much prevalent. 

This technique carries multiple benefits, which makes it preferable to both employees and employers. So, every time an employee exits your company, keep a channel of communication open in case they want to rejoin you in the future. 

Create an all-inclusive employee offboarding checklist 

It is evident that the employee offboarding process is as important for your organization as onboarding.

While employee exits are not one of the most pleasant events, you should plan to make it as positive and enjoyable as possible. That's why it is imperative that you put in place a comprehensive employee offboarding checklist for HRs to follow.

When executed successfully, it elevates your employer brand. 

So go ahead and use the points shared above to create a core employee offboarding checklist for the entire organization.

You can then create different versions of it by adding components that address offboarding challenges related to specific departments. 

Once you see the benefits of an employee offboarding checklist, you will realize why it is worthwhile spending your time and energy creating it.