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What is one thing you should do when offboarding an employee?

To help HR professionals during the employee offboarding process, we asked HR experts and business leaders this question for their best advice. From conducting exit interviews to setting up knowledge transfers, there are several tips that may help you navigate the end of an employee’s time at your organization. 

Here are 10 things to do when offboarding an employee: 

  • Conduct an Exit Interview
  • Follow Up With Them
  • Make the Process Intentional 
  • Provide Necessary Paperwork
  • Wish Them Well
  • Update Access Privileges
  • Ask for Training Improvements
  • Find a Replacement
  • Leave a Good Impression
  • Set Up a Knowledge Transfer

Conduct an Exit Interview 

When offboarding an employee, you should conduct an exit interview. The exit interview can provide you with insight into the employee’s thoughts on the company. An exit interview can: answer why the employee is exiting the company, garner the employee’s thoughts on management, determine any benefits that the employee liked or thought were missing, determine if compensation was a factor, and help the organization determine if improvements need to be made to prevent future employee exits. Conducting an exit interview lets the employee know that their tenure and opinion of the company matters. It also provides an opportunity to retain current and future talent by understanding the underlying factors in employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

Annette Harris, Harris Financial Coaching

Follow Up With Them

When offboarding employees, make sure to follow up with them. Send all the forms necessary, and check in on how they are handling everything. There can be a lot of work involved in handing off projects and re-aligning work. Make sure that the handoffs are going smoothly and ask how to help out if needed.

Kiran Gollakota, Waltham Clinic

Make the Process Intentional 

The offboarding process can be complicated and knotty. But at the end of the day, always remember you are managing relationships with people. Like what you do with people close to you, make offboarding very intentional. Treating employees with respect will make your last impression a good one. Demonstrate how much their contribution to the company was valued during their tenure.

Alexander Shute, FaithGiant

Provide Necessary Paperwork 

When offboarding an employee, make sure to complete all of the necessary paperwork. This can include a letter of termination, non-disclosure agreement, severance package agreement, and a letter of recommendation if the employee did a good job. This helps ensure that you and your employee have all the same information.

Fred Gerantabee, Foster Grant

Wish Them Well

If someone has already invested the emotional energy to job search, interview, and negotiate an offer, they’re gone. A counteroffer might delay the inevitable, but it’s rarely helpful to either party. So, resist the urge to offer golden handcuffs or pry into their next adventure. Just thank them for their efforts and wish them well. The world is small and when your paths cross again, they’ll remember the kindness.

Tim Toterhi, Plotline Leadership

Update Access Privileges

When an employee leaves, you will obviously get rid of their email. But it’s important to also go through your tech stack and remove them from your tools to ensure they don’t maintain any access and you don’t get charged for a user who doesn’t exist. I suggest you look for their personal email, too. The easiest way to do this is just to create an SOP or checklist so it can be done easily with each departing staff.

Quincy Smith, ESL Authority

Ask for Training Improvements

Even though the focus of offboarding an employee is often on ensuring the proper paperwork is signed and exit interviews are completed, it’s also important to take a moment to find out how to better the role and the training as a whole. One of my favorite things to ask is what did they learn while on the job that was missing in the initial training? You’d be surprised what can be overlooked and what improvements you can make for the next person stepping into the role!

Brandon Brown, Grin

Find a Replacement

As the time winds down until an employee leaves your company, you need to work on finding a replacement as soon as possible. Do not procrastinate. If there is no replacement by the time an employee leaves, this could add to the workload of others at the company, which they may not appreciate.

Ben Teicher, Healthy Directions

Leave a Good Impression

It’s worth it to leave a good impression on departing employees. Even for those employees whose work performances have not been the strongest, you can still express gratitude for their time and effort and best wishes with their future endeavors. This can go a long way in terms of maintaining your company’s reputation. Employees who leave a company on a positive note and who feel appreciated will be more likely to speak of the company in high regard to others.

Maegan Griffin, Skin Pharm

Set Up a Knowledge Transfer

When you are offboarding an employee, be sure to set aside some time for a knowledge transfer. This means having an employee who is leaving share their knowledge with the remaining co-workers. There is no one right way to do this. Just be sure that the knowledge of how they do their job is transferred to the right people before they leave.

Ajay Mehta, Birthdate Co.

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