Top Practices for Smooth Employee Offboarding


One of the worst parts of HR responsibilities is employee offboarding. Employee offboarding is tedious and inconvenient, whether it is voluntary resignation or involuntary departure like a layoff.

Attrition and layoffs are common in the corporate world. Some employees will want to leave no matter what your organization does. So instead of locking down doors and fire exits, organizations need to make the most out of the offboarding process and gather useful information for the future.

To prevent negative buzz, employee churn and even create a win-win situation, a smoother employee offboarding process is necessary. By doing the best employee offboarding practices and automating the offboarding process, organizations can provide employees with the gift of meaningful exits.

Organizations need to understand the reason behind the employee’s decision, offer fruitful solutions and provide aid wherever they need it. No, calling a cab when an employee wants to doesn’t help your organization.

1. The nature of exit

Every offboarding process is unique and has its fair share of complications. It is because, for every employee, their nature, designation and the reason for their exit (contractual, layoff, resignation, retirement) are different. So, we can’t use the same offboarding process for all exiting employees.


Maybe the employee couldn’t smoothly handle the organization’s growth, perhaps they don’t fit in your organization’s long-term evolving culture, perhaps they wanted to exercise a career-changing opportunity. In any kind of case, businesses need to understand the reason why an employee wants to exit and have a clear path in place to handle each and every type of exit.


Some organizations use HR automation tools while many prefer manual checklists to understand the employee better. But post the pandemic crisis situation, most companies have started to prefer using HR automation tools.

2. Offboarding has to be memorable

When an employee exits the organization, it is really important that the employee gets treated amicably, irrespective of the reason behind his/her departure. Often, HRs in the organization treat the employees less cordially when they leave. Your organization might actually want the employee back in the future for the betterment of the process.


To make the offboarding process memorable, speak about and cherish their achievements during the employee’s tenure in your organization. Also, arranging a farewell celebration for your employee will be beneficial for your organization in two ways.


One, employees will have a warm experience while leaving the organization leading them to talk positively about the company after leaving. This helps in word of mouth and branding of the organization.


Two, when employees have a memorable experience during their offboarding process, there are high chances that they might return to your organization in near future.


Also, keeping in touch with the former employees is crucial to forming an alumni network as it will help the employer in brand reputation management and talent acquisition.

3. Get Insights

Organizations find it difficult to know what’s wrong in the system, especially when there’s employee churn. Getting insights from an exiting employee is vital to this problem as most departing employees will be honest about the organization while giving feedback. Usually, most employees fearing their job and livelihood would fear to complain regarding the existing issue whereas it is the other way round for the employee leaving the organization.


If not most, many organizations conduct employee exit management programs like it’s a mundane run-of-the-mill task by asking the employees to fill questionnaires or conducting a telephonic interview by asking hardly two questions.


The best way to get insights from a departing employee is by organizing a face-to-face interview allowing better scope for understanding, communication, interpretation and effective two-way communication. The organization might find the root of the employee’s reluctant and sensitive feelings.


If all other departing employees give similar feedback, the organization might get an idea as to what is wrong and plan for future development.

4. Compliance management is crucial

Let’s say one of your employees who had access to the network server and databases is leaving your organization. What if the employee has access to them even after leaving your company? Do you think all the data and information of the company will remain intact?


Well, though some organizations trust their former employees, most of them don’t. If your company trusts your previous employees, well they shouldn’t. Just one glance at a piece of sensitive information about your company can ruin your company’s reputation, lose out to competition and the whole business itself. This is why it is crucial to follow the legal compliance standard.


One of the major parts of establishing a compliance standard is by protecting your company’s physical assets. If an employee had departed from your company due to a massive layoff or some internal conflict with his team members of the company, chances that he/she might incur significant reputation damage from Glassdoor review to leaking sensitive data. In order to prevent all these, protecting the physical assets of the company is very important.

5. Reduce productivity drops

When an employee leaves the organization, it is normal to expect a productivity drop as the morale of the team gets affected. There are several factors amounting to productivity drop, but majorly, it is either the fear of losing their jobs too or ignited minds with ideas to switch companies.


In order to avoid these, team members should be informed about the employee’s departure as soon as possible to avoid rumors and gossip disrupting your workplace. Engage the existing team members by organizing a team lunch, office vacation, or an outbound activity to improve the team spirit.


When an employee exits, it is important that knowledge transfer happens from the departing employee to the one who will be handling his role. This ensures that the transition is smooth and there is no slump in the performance of the team.

6. Be kind and open

Instead of treating the departing employee like a traitor, listen to their future plans, see how you could help and end the relationship with the organization on a positive note.

Provide a letter of recommendation to your departing employee if he/she has been laid off or has been contractual. This will help them find a new job faster and will help them have a better opinion about your organization.

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