Interestingly, Aberdeen research shows that only 29% of organisations have formal offboarding processes. Professionals believe that focusing on employees who are leaving is a waste of resources in today’s environment. This is because talent gaps are growing, and it is even more important to retain talented employees. Offboarding programs that are successful, however, can have a dramatic impact on organisational growth and performance.
In the employee life cycle, offboarding is one of the most overlooked components. A well-managed, effective exit strategy, however, is beneficial to the bottom line of your business. Our goal here is to provide practical tips on how to create an effective offboarding process.
What are the benefits of offboarding?
- Increased productivity. When colleagues leave, a well-executed offboarding process can enable team members to be more productive.
- Reinforce employee confidence. This can also extend beyond the workplace! Job candidates can feel confident and excited about joining the company when they hear positive word-of-mouth.
- Ensures that organisations learn and improve. Exit interviews are an important part of an effective offboarding process. Organisations can improve their corporate culture and operations by learning more from departing employees.
Develop a smooth offboarding process
Offboarding an employee involves numerous other steps, regardless of the circumstances under which they leave their position.
On an organisational level, it is important to be aware of a person’s scope of responsibility and their connections within the company. This allows the company to re-distribute tasks, expect equipment back, and/or revoke access to its systems.
At a social level, it is important to find out the reasons for the resignation or termination of an employee. It is critical for a company to take advantage of feedback and to leave as positive a final impression as possible.
The following steps should be incorporated into your company’s offboarding process…
- Conduct a formal exit interview if possible
- Finalising documentation early in the offboarding process ensures that all relevant paperwork is exchanged before the employee departs. To confirm the employee’s resignation, collect a letter of resignation from them
- Promote employee contributions and achievements both internally and externally
- Create a consistent process in terms of farewell parties, gifts, and social media posts for all departing employees
- Establish a partnership between the company and its past, present, and future employees
- Access to organisational systems should be revoked
By creating an offboarding checklist, you help build a valuable employer brand, minimise unpleasant challenges when departing, and strengthen employee cohesion.
Whenever an employee leaves, it is a good idea to conduct an exit interview. Offboarding interviews are typically conducted by a human resources specialist. By doing so, former employees will feel more comfortable and will be more likely to provide honest feedback.
When conducting an exit interview, ensure to ask the following questions…
- How long have they been considering resigning?
- What influenced their reason to leave (i.e. compensation, leadership, work culture, etc.)
- What did they like and dislike about their job? What would they change?
- What could their leader/manager do to be a better leader?
- How would they describe the company culture
Former employees are the best source of insight into why employees leave their companies. When you analyse, you should look for common themes, trends, or consistent reasons for leaving.
Onboarding and offboarding play a decisive role in creating first and last impressions. Maintaining a positive culture within your organisation requires respecting employees, even after they leave.
Looking for tips on retaining quality talent? Take a look at our blog on top employee retention strategies and make a plan to incorporate them in the new year.