Business | Offboarding

Successful Offboarding Processes – Why they’re vital

Words by Alex Matheson
Successful Offboarding Processes – Why they’re vital

Creating a successful offboarding process can be just as important as a productive onboarding process. The journey your staff take with your company should be a positive one from start to finish.

It should leave them with a positive road to travel in new ventures and leave your company with the valuable knowledge and experience gleaned from a productive relationship with an engaged professional.

What does ‘offboarding process’ mean?

An offboarding process describes the means of getting an employee ready to leave your company. A good offboarding process should result in an employee feeling satisfied with the end of their employment and ready to move on to new challenges.

It’s also the process of making sure any teams that a person is leaving are ready to continue in a productive way. It’s about filling the gaps that have been left, ensuring duties are rolled over and that morale is kept high.

Why is offboarding important?

Offboarding is important because it ties up any loose ends that losing an employee leaves. It gives companies a chance to evaluate how successful a role has been and how valuable a person has been in that role. A good offboarding process also means you have a happy ex-employee who could become a useful future contact.

It’s also an opportunity for the company they’re leaving to learn and grow. It’s a chance to evaluate an employee’s impact and how their role has changed for the better or worse over their time with you.

On top of the mechanical aspects of signing off contracts and returning materials, an employee’s exit opens up the floor to real, frank conversation. Hopefully you’ve managed to foster an environment where employees feel they can speak freely, but even then, some people might feel uncomfortable unloading any negative impressions they might have while still working for an organisation.

The open forum of an exit interview can lift that weight off a particularly cautious employee’s shoulders and allow them to speak freely about their time with you. Be prepared to discuss the highs and lows in an adult and interested way as this can be an incredible learning opportunity.

What should an offboarding process include?

Every company’s offboarding process is going to be unique, just like their onboarding process. There are some things that will show up more often than not though.

The paperwork

This is everything from co-signing letters of resignation, reviewing NDAs and any ongoing clauses, and signing off on company benefits to be terminated. All of the nitty-gritty that comes with starting and ending a role.

Notifying their team

In most cases, an employee’s direct supervisor will be the first to know they’re leaving but their teammates might not know straight off. A modern company comes with dozens of connections for every employee. It’s important that anyone dependent on the employee leaving or affected by their absence is kept up to speed on the process.

Returning materials

Not long ago, this would have been as simple as packing up your effects and leaving the desk as you found it. But the modern workspace can span from head office to onsite locations to the home office and back again. Any mobile devices, laptops, or other work equipment needs to be accounted for and returned to the correct department.

The exit interview

This one’s an important one. While the rest of these steps are relatively formulaic, the exit interview is a much more personal experience. This should always be viewed as an opportunity for the company to learn something more from their departing employee.

It can be a learning experience and could be an opportunity for you to turn an employee you’ve spent years training into a solid gold contact for the future. Just because they’re leaving a role, doesn’t mean your business relationship is coming to an end.

How do you create a successful offboarding process?

To create a successful offboarding process you need a way of making sure all of the above points are ticked off, as well as anything bespoke you’d like to include.

You need to be sure that everyone from HR to the employee in question are completing the necessary steps and that everyone’s as happy as possible at the end of it.

One way to take the pain out of things is to make use of our award winning software. In Atlas Play you can design an offboarding process that grows and adapts as your company does. You can integrate everything from payroll to resource tracking so you don’t miss anything crucial.

With the busy work taken care of by automated, integrated processes mapped out in Atlas Play, you can focus on the human aspect of offboarding an employee. You can get the most out of the experience and ensure they move on with satisfaction, ready to start something fresh and hopefully continue their relationship with your company in new and exciting ways.

To try Atlas Play now, give the button below a click and start your 30 day free trial today.