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Offboarding: how to best handle the departure of an employee?

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Every company should know how to manage the arrival of an employee as well as his or her departure. The former is called onboarding, while the latter is called offboarding.

In this article, we will focus on employees who leave the company.

You will understand why it is important to manage this process as well as possible. 💡

What is offboarding?

Offboarding is the departure of an employee. This term encompasses the entire process used by companies to end an employee's contract positively, for both the company and the employee concerned.

Managing the end of a contract is particularly important today in the age of social media in order to maintain a good employer brand. Indeed, an unfavorable opinion from a former employee can have a devastating effect on a company's image. And this has a direct impact on its ability to recruit new talent. 🤝🏽


What are the key challenges of offboarding?

The challenges of offboarding are multiple. Especially in an uncertain economic and professional context.😟

Indeed, since the lockdowns related to the COVID-19 crisis and the Great Resignation phenomenon, it has become more difficult for companies to retain their employees. If, in addition, the departure of an employee does not go well, you may also have problems recruiting. Which can jeopardize the business.

The challenge of a successful offboarding is to offer the leaving employee a quality experience built on human values and care. The objective here is to help them bounce back if needed (especially in case of layoffs) and/or to facilitate the handover of projects. 📁

The image of the company and the quality of life at work of the other employees are at stake. Because you are not without knowing that the departure of an employee can have a more or less important effect on team spirit. Actually, it is not uncommon that when an employee resigns, other people decide to follow suit.

offboarding benefits


Why integrate offboarding into your strategy?

Implementing an offboarding process is essential to ensure a complete and high-quality employee experience.

We often observe that French companies have difficulty managing the departure of an employee. Since they no longer participate in the life of the company, they will be put aside or, worse, blamed for their departure. The employee's departure will then turn into a wrestling match and power relationship that can, sometimes, end up in court. 💪

When you realize that today, every employee can be an ambassador for the brand (whether they are still part of the company or not), it is highly unwise to let this type of situation fester.

The goal of the offboarding process is to leave on good terms so that your former employee can talk about you positively with his or her contacts.

Not to mention boomerang recruitment, which is an increasingly common phenomenon. That is, in other words, the return of an employee after a few months or years spent in another organization. 

The benefits of implementing an offboarding process

An efficient offboarding process is a real advantage for both the company and the employee.

First of all, handling this type of event allows you to have a precise record of the things to do. Because a departure is never easy to apprehend, having a detailed roadmap helps you anticipate this often unpleasant situation. 📃

Moreover, by taking an interest in your employees' departure, you will send a positive signal to all your teams. Indeed, today, the atmosphere in the office has become a key factor for employees. Controlling the entire employee journey from onboarding to offboarding shows that you value your human resources. This can prevent collateral resignations in case of an employee's departure, or the disorganization of the department involved or even of the company itself. 💥

Also, the offboarding process allows the departing employee to participate in his or her departure. They will be able to organize a farewell party and take part in the handover process, thus ensuring that their replacement has all the necessary information to take over their position. 

Lastly, as previously mentioned, each person working in your company is an ambassador of your employer brand. Many companies forget that before thinking about satisfying their customers, it is essential to offer their employees a high quality work environment. This will have as much impact on work performance, motivation and well-being as it will on the company's image and its ability to recruit new talent. 🌟

Template for an impressive onboarding experience


How to prepare for the departure of an employee?

Now that you are (no doubt) convinced of the importance of the offboarding process, let's get down to business by looking at how to prepare for an employee's departure.

Although this may differ depending on the size of the company and the situation (mutually agreed termination, dismissal for serious or gross misconduct...), here is an example of the different steps to follow :

  • Organize a One on One with the employee to find out more about his will to desire the company or to explain the reasons of his dismissal ;‍
  • Communicate to the people in the team and the department about this departure (the colleagues and the manager, but also customers and suppliers if needed...);‍
  • Organize the handover, allowing the employee to actively participate in the recruitment and training of his replacement (this should be avoided in the case of conflictual dismissals);‍
  • Restitution of the professional equipment (computer, car...) and deactivation of access keys on the day of departure ;‍
  • Carry out administrative procedures (balance of all accounts, sharing of important documents...) ;‍
  • Ask the former employee to provide constructive criticism on the company in order to learn more about his or her feelings. This can relate to the offboarding process as well as to his entire career ;
  • Some companies have set up a platform dedicated to former employees who can always exchange with each other. This is ideal for keeping in touch and, therefore, promoting boomerang recruitment.

Do you need help creating a quality offboarding process? The Hey Team teams are at your disposal to support and guide you. Ask us for a free demo of our HR software and create customized programs for each of your employees right away. 

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