How to: Effectively set up the offboarding process

When an employee leaves your company, it’s important to have a well-organized offboarding process in place. This will help you ensure that all company property is returned and that any loose ends are tied up. Here’s how to set up an effective offboarding process.

Team member working on a laptop while another team member is grabbing something from a cabinet

When the employee turns in their resignation

Some employees will struggle to tell you that they're leaving. During the conversation, try to remain calm and understanding. It's important to ask questions so that you can get a full understanding of the situation. Once you have all the information, you can begin to put together an offboarding plan.

1. Notify relevant parties as soon as possible

When an employee gives notice, let relevant parties know immediately. This includes managers, HR, and IT.

2. Put the resignation in writing

If they haven't already, ask the employee to put their resignation in writing. This will help to avoid any confusion later on.

3. Meet with the employee to go over the next steps

Schedule a meeting with the employee to go over the offboarding process and what they need to do next.

4. Inform team members

Allow other team members to know about the situation, so they can plan for the employee's departure. This is especially important if the employee was in a leadership position.

5. Update job postings

If the employee was in a role that will need to be filled, update your job postings as soon as possible.

6. Schedule an exit interview

Exit interviews are a helpful way to get feedback from departing employees. They can also help you identify any areas that need improvement in your company.

7. Create a timeline for IT

Discuss with the IT department how long they need to keep the employee's account active and what steps need to be taken to secure company data.

8. Get the employee's contact information

Make sure you have the employee's current contact information, including their personal email address and phone number. This will come in handy if you need to get in touch with them after they've left the company.

9. Return company property

Make sure all company property, from laptops to ID badges, is returned before the employee leaves.

10. Plan a goodbye party

If possible, have a goodbye party or social with the employee before their last day. This is a chance to thank them for their contributions and wish them well in their future endeavours. It also allows your team to say their goodbyes and show appreciation for the time they've spent together.

On the last day

The last day can feel charged or emotional for both the employee and their co-workers. It's important to make sure that everything is taken care of so that the transition is as smooth as possible.

1. Have a final meeting

Meet with the employee one last time to go over any final details and answer any questions they may have.

2. Share a goodbye message

Once everything is wrapped up, send a goodbye message to the employee wishing them well in their future endeavours. This could be a card signed by the team or a personal note from you.

3. Collect company property

Have the employee return any company property, such as laptops, credit cards and keys.

After the last day

After the last day of the employee, your focus should be on securing company information and helping your team to transition to a new work situation.

1. Change access to company systems

As soon as possible, remove the employee's access to any company systems they won't need access to any more. This includes email, intranet, and software systems.

2. Update company records

Once the employee has officially left, update your company records accordingly. This includes removing them from payroll and benefits.

3. Forward their email

If possible, forward the employee's email to their manager or another team member. This will help to avoid any disruptions in communication.

4. Leave a recommendation

If you're LinkedIn connections with the employee, leave them a positive recommendation. This will help them in their job search.

5. Measure the impact on the team

Take some time to measure the impact of the employee's departure on your team. This will help you to identify any areas that need improvement.

6. Keep in touch

Finally, keep in touch with the employee. They may be a valuable future contact, and you never know when they may come back to work for your company.

Things to take-away

  • A well-organized offboarding process can help to ensure a smooth transition for both the departing employee and your company.
  • An offboarding plan can be set up in advance and should include a timeline of events, as well as clear instructions for each step.
  • It's important to collect company property, update company records, and remove the employee's access to company systems on their last day.
  • After the employee has left, it's helpful to keep in touch and leave a positive LinkedIn recommendation.

About me

Hi, I’m Lilian. I’m currently the head of a design team in a digital agency in Amsterdam and love to write about leadership and share tips based on my experience over the past couple of years.

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I decided to start this blog as a way to share my thoughts on leadership. I’m passionate about helping others learn more about leadership and how to be a good leader, so I hope this blog will be helpful to those who are looking for tips and advice on leadership.

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