A simple guide of things to consider for offboarding. In this context, offboarding is the process and experience of someone leaving a company.
This guide won’t include everything (for example it does not cover policy/legal/formal-HR implications) though hopefully will be helpful.
Why care about offboarding?
Do you care? The offboarding experience is part of the people experience in your company. How much do you care about the experience someone has can guide how much you care about the experience they have as they leave. Particularly at this time where they leave. How much people care about your company can be a reflection of how much they feel your company cares about them. People may see how people who leave before them are treated.
Memorable: The experience of leaving a company is often one of the moments that are most memorable.
Word of mouth and reputation: People speak about their experience. This could affect how people perceive your company and how attractive it is to be part of it.
How do you want the experience to feel?
Values or principles: Do you have values or principles to guide the experience people have and how you’d like them to feel?
What could you do?
Compliance and audit trail
– Check what legal/compliance responsibilities you have. What must you do, send and receive? What must you not?
– What are the things you don’t necessarily need to do, but would like to do?
– Where will you store the information about what has been sent to, shared with, and received from the colleague?
Checklist for Managers
– Do you have a Leavers checklist that Managers have so that they are clear on their responsibilities?
Checklist for Leavers
– Do you have a checklist that Leavers have so that they are clear on their responsibilities? e.g. making sure the following are up to date: contact details, expenses, leave/vacation; printing or saving copies of payslips and other relevant documentation not company intellectual property; being clear on whether any sponsorship for education continues; and other responsibilities…
Responding to a Notice of someone leaving
– If someone is resigning, what do they need to do?
– What format do they need to give it in (e.g. email/letter/else), to whom, and how much notice?
– When you receive someone’s notice notice of resignation, how do you respond to the leaver?
– Which communication channel would you use, what will your tone be?
– Is there a People/HR system you need to update, or someone to inform about someone leaving with relevant information, e.g. dates; emails/letters, etc.
– State outstanding leave/vacation/other days, and if there are any options related to these e.g. receiving payment, and if there are any constraints around when they are taken.
– Will the Leaver be sent letters of formal confirmation? If so, from whom, what will it state, who will they receive it from, who should they contact with any questions or concerns?
Key responsibilities that the Leaver had
– What responsibilities does the Leaver have? e.g. Management of People; being responsible or accountable for particular work or outcomes; etc. Do they lead working groups, meetings, communities that need to be handed over to someone else to take an active leadership/organizational role? What will the route be to ensure that these are continued by someone else or decided to not be continued?
– Does the leaver have any key relationships with external suppliers or other teams that it would be good to introduce someone else to, so you can continue the relationship?
– Would it be helpful to provide a ‘Handover template’ so help capture everything that could be handed over to someone else?
Communicating to others that someone is leaving
– Will you communicate that someone will be leaving?
– Who will you communicate it to?
– Who will communicate it?
– How will they communicate it?
Keeping knowledge within the company
– How much of what someone knows regarding their work, and how they did it, is already stored within the company?
– For example, have their processes, approached, activities, systems they use, files, etc. already been documented and accessible for people with the company after they leave?
– If not, how can you achieve this in the time you have remaining?
For example, would they do it independently, would it help to set up a meeting with someone?
Returning physical items
– What do you need to receive from them? e.g. physical items (computers, phones, access cards, payment cards, keys, other equipment, online access/files, etc.)
– Will you send packaging for them to send it by post? What instructions do you need to provide?
– Clean/wipe the items, physically and/or digitally.
Products and Services before and after they leave
– What products or services do you want to offer to people before they leave e.g. Wellbeing or Career assistance programmes; support with writing CV/Resume or applications.
– What products or services do you want to offer to people after their employment has ended?
– Which do you need to end? How will you end them?
External supplier contracts
– Does the leaver have any contracts with external suppliers that they need to end or handover?
– What will you pay, and how/when will you pay it? For example: salary, bonus, commission, expenses, any other additional payments?
– What access permissions did the person have, and which should they no longer have when they leave? e.g. for physical locations, and for digital access e.g.online accounts, software, etc.
– Who do you need to contact to set these, or who will check they have automatically happened?
– Does the leaver need to confirm they have deleted/destroyed any company intellectual property that they must when they leave?
Updating documents / websites
– What internal or external documentation needs to be refreshed given the person leaving? e.g. organization charts that do not update automatically?
– Is it still appropriate to have their photos, work, comments on company website?
Leaving (exit) interviews or surveys
– Would you receive valuable and authentic insight you have not received from the colleague up to that point?
– If interview, who should the conversation be with?
– If survey, how long, what will be asked?
– What will you do with the information your receive? Who should see it? Are there people accountable for different topics the feedback is related to?
– Will these be organised?
– How inclusive do you want them to be?
– How much fairness is there – does the company organise things equally for everyone, or are people treated differently?
Communication after leaving
– How can the former employee keep in touch with the company and current/former colleagues?
– What is the best way to contact for People/HR questions?
– What will be sent to the leaver after they have left? How will it be sent? Do you need any further permission?
– What contact details will be retained and how would they be updated?
– Is there an alumni network and activities? e.g. Will you invite them to share their stories of what they did next?
– If the leaver writes for a reference, is there any guidance for how people should respond?
Hiring someone new
– Can/should someone be hired into the role the Leaver is leaving? Or is it actually desirable that the role is no longer filled? Where should someone contact to discover this?