Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions
Offboarding refers to the process and steps taken from the moment an employer and employee decide to part ways. The employee offboarding process should always be followed, regardless of the reason for separation (e.g. resignation, retirement, or involuntary termination).
An effective offboarding process ensures a smooth and, ideally, positive separation for both the employee and the company.
Offboarding is the process that includes all the steps and tasks to be taken as soon as the decision has been made that an employer and employee will separate. This could be due to resignation, termination, or retirement.
The employee offboarding process includes, but is not limited to, the following tasks:
More about what should be included in the offboarding process further below.
Although most companies have an onboarding process in place, many forget to create an offboarding process. Yet an effective and well-thought-out offboarding process is just as important.
Here are the five main reasons why every company should have an offboarding process in place.
The offboarding process ensures that all the necessary administrative work is dealt with and nothing is forgotten. This includes examples like recovering a company laptop and revoking access to company accounts, but also ensuring any leftover annual leave or unpaid salary is correctly compensated.
Having all such steps written down in a clear offboarding process reduces the risk of accidentally forgetting about (potentially harmful) parts of ending an employer-employee relationship. This includes following strict GDPR protocols and guidelines to ensure compliance.
An effective offboarding process includes receiving feedback from the employee that’s leaving the company. This could be done via a separate survey or as part of the exit interview.
By asking the employee about their experience with and perception of the company, the company can learn what they are doing well and what can be improved. This can help the business learn from past mistakes and ensure they do better in the future.
By providing a positive offboarding experience, the employer and employee are more likely to separate on good terms. This can increase the chances of the employee becoming a so-called boomerang employee in the future.
A boomerang employee is a worker who leaves a company but is rehired later down the line. Such rehires are preferred by businesses as they can save a lot of time, effort, and money in terms of talent acquisition, interviewing, and onboarding.
Although the employee is leaving, offboarding is still an important part of the employee experience. Companies should want the experience to be as good as possible and once the employee leaves, they do so with a favourable impression of the business.
This increases the chances of the employee leaving a positive review on platforms such as Glassdoor or referring the company to job seekers within their network. This all helps improve the employer branding as well.
An employee leaving a company will always have an impact on your team, one way or another. By providing a smooth, structured, and positive employee offboarding experience, a company can reduce disruption and damage to the rest of the team.
This, in turn, helps maintain a strong company culture.
The employee offboarding process should be well-structured, detailed, and tailored to the company in question, as every organisation has its own, unique ways of working.
That said, there are certain elements and best practises that should be included in any offboarding process.
Parts to include in the offboarding process:
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