For organizations looking to elevate their employee experience in 2024, incorporating more offboarding best practices can be a game-changer.
More than 2/3 of businesses have a formal onboarding process.
But only 29% have a formal offboarding process.
That’s despite the potential risk of security breaches, loss of knowledge, and damage to employer brand that not having a formal process can lead to.
76% of IT leaders strongly agree that not utilizing offboarding best practices presents a significant security threat.
And when you consider how hyper-connected we are at work, and how many of us now take work devices home with us or use work logins on personal devices, it makes you wonder how much of a security threat not having an offboarding process could really be.
So how can you mitigate that security threat? And ensure the offboarding process is as seamless as possible for employees, managers, and HR?
Take a look at these offboarding best practices to set you up for success.
When an employee leaves, you risk their years of experience working in the industry, and getting to know the business, leaving with them. Especially if they work in a small department.
Some of the information that can leave with them includes:
- How to use a particular software
- Important contacts
- Industry knowledge
- Company knowledge (for instance, how to maintain legacy products or other company history)
It’s important that when an employee leaves—for any reason—you have a way for them to transfer their knowledge to their replacement or other people within the team. This is where offboarding best practices come into play. You don’t want to end up losing knowledge that could benefit you in the future.
Some of the ways you can transfer knowledge, and protect it going forward, include:
- Writing guides
- Delivering (and recording) workshops or webinars
- Handover calls
- Video tutorials
If any of the information is likely to change, be sure to schedule in review dates so it’s always kept up to date, and no one person is responsible for it in the future.
Revoke access to accounts
Failing to revoke employees’ access to software and hardware creates a huge security risk and puts you in danger of future leaks or hacks. It’s any company’s worst nightmare.
So, make a list of every tool the departing employee has access to (or better yet, maintain a list so that you don’t have to create one when they leave) and notify your IT department so that their access is revoked.
Reclaim or wipe equipment
If you’ve given employees a laptop, tablet, phone, or other device, make sure they send it back or wipe it remotely.
Wiping devices remotely ensures that if you don’t want it back—for instance, if it’s old—no confidential documents are kept on a device that doesn’t belong to an employee.
That way, they can keep the device for personal use without the risk of anyone finding confidential data or files.
Make sure any useful information is backed up elsewhere before you wipe it, though. Otherwise, this is one of the offboarding best practices that could come back to bite you.
Stop automatic paychecks
Let your finance department know the employee’s last working day. They can then work out if the employee gets any extra money from PTO they didn’t take, bonuses, etc. And, of course, organize their final paycheck.
Make sure any clients who work with the departing employee directly know that that person is leaving and who their new point of contact will be.
This will help ensure a smooth transition and reduce the anxiety clients may feel about the upcoming changes.
Reassure them that the new person can still cater to their needs, particularly as they may not have the same level of knowledge about the client as their departing contact.
If they don’t feel reassured or supported, they may take their business elsewhere at the end of the contract. Certainly, this is one of the offboarding best practices you can’t afford to skip.
Conduct an exit survey
Exit surveys can give you crucial insights into why an employee left and how you can improve.
This helps them feel listened to and can improve your employer brand, as they’ll feel more positively about the organization. As a result, they’ll also be more likely to praise you to their networks.
If they left for negative reasons, you can put steps in place to fix things. That way, future employees in that role don’t leave due to the same issue.
Preventing avoidable turnover can be a key benefit of implementing offboarding best practices.
Let the team know
When you need to tell employees depends on how closely they work with the person who’s leaving.
Immediate team members should know once the person has handed in their notice to help ease the transition period and facilitate knowledge-sharing.
The rest of the company can be told via an email on one of the employee’s final days.
Hire their replacement
Take the learnings from the exit interview, update the job description, and start hiring their replacement.
If you have enough notice, you could even start hiring before they leave, using the exiting employee’s knowledge to help with the hiring process.
After all, they’ve been successful in the role. They know what the right candidate needs to succeed. If anyone can identify it in a potential new hire, it’s them.
Keep in touch
Do you plan to stay in contact with your departing employee?
How can you do so in a way that improves your employer brand and leaves them feeling positively about their time at your company?
For larger businesses, an alumni network can be a huge benefit.
Yet only 15% of companies have a formal alumni network. Compare that with the 67% where employees organized their own, informal alumni group instead. That’s a huge missed opportunity.
Could you set up an alumni network as part of your effort to incorporate more offboarding best practices?
It’s always worth staying in touch with former employees. They may be able to recommend someone to work for your business who’d be a great fit.
They may even return themselves, with more knowledge and experience, later in their career.
Offboarding is a crucial, if often neglected, part of the employee journey. Handle it right and it can boost your employer brand and improve internal security measures.
Staying in touch with former employees could even help you find your next great hire. The only question is: which of these offboarding best practices will you start with?
If you want an easy way to keep current employees engaged, manage alumni, and more all in one place, Workrowd has what you’re looking for. Our suite of tools offers a user-friendly way to keep everyone connected, while giving you real-time analytics to ensure you always know what’s working.