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Off-boarding, the Proper Way to Send Employees Off

We are all familiar with the on-boarding process and the benefits it brings. However, have you heard of a company implementing an off-boarding process? According to research from Aberdeen’s 2012 Strategic On-boarding reports, only 37% of organisations have an off-boarding process in place. Clearly, many businesses are overlooking the importance of off-boarding.

Too often, employees are disengaged within weeks of leaving and productivity consequently plummets. This is addressed in our earlier newsletter “Every Ending has a New Beginning”.

Employees also hold significant power after they leave. Through a multitude of communication channels to voice their opinions, an unhappy former employee could be a detractor for your business and potentially damage your business’ reputation.

Therefore, it is very important to understand the value in transitioning employees out of the workplace and re-align our thinking to have stronger off-boarding processes.

Director of HCM Essentials, Erin Cushing, adds that “successful offboarding programs have dramatic impact on organizational growth and performance. In fact, organisations that have a formal offboarding policy are more likely to improve employee retention and engagement.”

They should include the following three considerations:

1. Ensure that the employee has left with a smile on their face; there is always the saying that you should ‘never burn your bridges’ but this should also be said for employers. You have to remember that your departing employee could one day be your client, or at best, your employee once again. Make sure they feel appreciated for their contribution.

2. Ensure there is a consistent process in place which can assist with transition processes such as final pay details and arranging a suitable handover process for both physical and intellectual property. Cyber security breaches cost an estimated $8.3M in Australia each year, and a large proportion of those breaches are believed to be from former employees who never had their system access revoked.

3. Undertake an Exit Interview; this is a great opportunity to understand if there are any undercurrent cultural issues in play, confirm that your company is heading in the right direction and whether the management team is performing favourably. Exit Interviews are cost effective and they might identify a negative trend that you can reverse to stop further resignations. Keep the questions concise and encourage honesty.

Take Home Message:

Off-boarding is just as important as on-boarding. It is more than returning the company’s keys, swipe cards and computers. You have to ensure that when your employee leaves your business that they remain a positive influence for your company.


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