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A lot of people know what onboarding is. It’s an exciting time when a new person joins the team, full of possibilities and goals. It’s a part of the employment lifecycle that companies give much time and attention to. Although that is a good thing, organizations should give the same time and effort to offboarding. Let’s learn more about it in the following section. 

What is “offboarding”? 

Offboarding is the opposite of onboarding and refers to managing the process of separating an employee from the organization. It is composed of a series of steps that make up the employee experience as they exit the company because of resignation, retirement, or termination. 

What is the purpose of offboarding? 

The employee separation process aims for the employee to successfully part ways with the organization professionally and amicably. It is not just as simple as saying “goodbye” or “you’re fired.” An effective offboarding process protects the interests of both the organization and the employee and makes a seamless transition. When done well, offboarding can end the employee experience on a positive note, making them an advocate of the company. 

Why is it important? 

Employee separation is more than just collecting the departing employee’s company-issued items like their ID badge, manuals, and laptop. Having a thorough offboarding process in place is an opportunity to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

HR will be able to complete the needed paperwork and provide the employee with useful information and assistance on important matters. HR can discuss things such as paid time off (PTO) balance, final pay, unemployment benefits, health insurance coverage, and letters of reference. 

For employers, the offboarding process can help prevent legal and security risks and obtain feedback from the employee during the exit interview. Their feedback can help drive company improvements. Finally, offboarding helps keep a positive relationship between the departing employee and the organization.

Overall, offboarding can take additional effort and time from the HR team. However, it has many benefits which make everything worthwhile.

How can employers conduct offboarding? 

The offboarding process is spearheaded by the organization’s HR team. Once an employee tenders their resignation, document it with a formal letter of resignation. Ask the employee to create a list of all outstanding projects and deliverables and determine how these will be endorsed properly. Notify the team members about the resignation and communicate with relevant clients accordingly. Make sure to assure them that proper endorsements will be conducted and that the transition will be managed. 

Conduct a thorough review of the employee’s contract. Prepare all documents and paperwork for compensation, tax information, and benefits. Also, create a checklist of all the company-issued items and equipment that the employee must return and collect all these items from the employee. This can include an ID badge, mobile phone, uniform, office keys, company credit or debit card, and laptop. Another important step is to remove the employee’s access to their company email, employee portal, and all other internal systems, payroll, and platforms. Redirect all incoming emails to the manager or a new point of contact. 

Discuss any binding contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and non-compete agreements with the employee. Also, discuss details and explain their final pay, benefits, 401(k), and COBRA health insurance coverage. If requested and if company policy allows, provide a letter of reference to the employee. Conduct an employee exit interview and make time for the employee to ask any questions. Lastly, thank the employee for their service to the company and wish them well.

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