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Being small is no reason not to be thoughtful or resourceful when transitioning your workforce. As a startup owner, I believe it is even more crucial for startups to provide a positive and solid offboarding process when it is time for talent to move forward. Yet, this is one area that we startups, and even larger businesses, overlook. Sure, you will sit the employee or consultant down and list why it is not working but can more be done to help move employees forward?

Are you a bad break-upper?

One of my favorite episodes Sex in The City showed Carrie’s reaction to having her boyfriend breakup with her by leaving a Post-It Note. This sent Carrie into a tailspin feeling broken and that the breakup could have been “thoughtful and decent and honored what we had.” And, she was right. What was wrong with feeling like what was shared in the relationship could have been considered higher than leaving a Post-It Note on the mirror?

Today’s climate has predicated a host of bad breakups between employers and their employees. From in-personal emails to hosting over 1000 people on a Zoom call to break the bad news. Companies of all sizes should go through the same lengths to offboard an employee as they did when onboarding them. Especially startups.

Here is why

  1. Set an offboarding process is good business. Implementing positive offboarding protocol speak volumes about how you do business. Your peers, customers, investors, and advisors are always watching how you conduct your business. Investors tend to finance companies who have strong and great leadership. This may mean knowing when to cut ties with an employee, for the good of the business, to how you maintain your workforce.
  2. People like to gossip. The streets like to talk so no matter how much you are liked, respected, and loved. People instinctively revel in negative information. It is just human nature.
  3. Karma is real. Whether you believe it or not, doing right by others promotes positive energy back into your life.
  4. Protect your overall brand. Lacking a solid offboarding plan actually diminishes a startup’s young brand.
  5. Everyone needs closure. Just like Carrie needed closure to move forward from a relationship that was not working on one end, your employee or consultant deserves the same courtesy.

What’s Next?

Once you have committed to including an offboarding program, commit to doing as much as possible for the employee moving forward. Be consistent with all employees no matter the level and look for resources that will assist them transition in the most positive way.

So where should you start?

For those who have utilize the services of an employee benefits company like, Namely, Bambee, or Zenefits, be sure to utilize their offboarding services of exit interviews with the HR/hiring manager, a review of the severance package and COBRA information. Additionally, including an offboarding supplement like’s Employer Offboarding Subscription is a great gesture to your transitioning workforce in moving forward and will be viewed as a compassionate resource.

Being that we are all alumni of the companies we worked for, our experience upon our departure, adverse or positive, can leave a lasting impact on how your company is perceived in the marketplace. No matter how much severance compensation you provide a former employee, once it runs low and, if the employee does not feel they were treated fairly, many turn their disappointment, fear, and resentment towards their former employer. Do not leave your employees like a jilted lover. Honor those who you shared ideas, life events, blood, sweat and tears.

At, we are changing the way career transitions happen by creating a positive connection between technology and the human touch.

We’re here to help. Reach out to us if you’d like to talk.

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