Best Practices for Employee Offboarding

Turnover is a natural part of any nonprofit organization’s life cycle, and employee offboarding should be handled with the same degree of importance as onboarding a new employee. An offboarding plan offers an opportunity for communication and manage change, to help preserve and improve your employer brand and to generate good faith with the departing employee. There can be many moving pieces involved with a termed employee and clear offboarding procedures help manage the expectations of all parties involved.

When done correctly, the employee offboarding process can offer key management insights and reveal hidden internal issues. From a management point of view, the focus is to address issues at an organization level. Whereas, employees are faced with small issues that aren’t always noticed by managers or the executive team. Not giving attention and time to these small and recurring issues can lead to larger issues which could then impact the productivity of the organization.

Here are some best practices when creating an efficient and smooth employee offboarding process:

1) Learn why the employee is leaving: Maybe the employee wasn’t a long-term fit for your company culture, perhaps they came across a career-changing opportunity, or they weren’t a fit to handle growth gracefully. Regardless of the reason, organizations need to first understand the reason why an employee wants to leave and have a clear plan in place to handle each type of exit. Having the appropriate policies and procedures in place to handle any and all offboarding reasons are key for orchestrating a smooth departure.

2) Conduct a smooth offboarding: A crucial aspect of a good employee offboarding process is to treat employees warmly, regardless of the reason behind their departure. Creating a positive farewell will encourage employees to speak to others positively about their experience which in turn, increases the organization’s brand value. Taking the opportunity to engage departed employees will help with talent acquisition and managing the reputation of the organization’s brand.

3) Ask for feedback: When an employee leaves, it can be a valuable opportunity to collect insightful turnover data. During the exit interview, the employee can offer honest feedback about the organization since they are no longer reliant on this job for financial means. When an employee expresses their desire to leave, sending them an exit interview survey can help organizations uncover areas of opportunities that need to be addressed to improve employee engagement and productivity.  

4) Avoid decreases in productivity: When an employee departs, day-to-day activities overseen by this employee will be interrupted or possibly put on pause—resulting in a decrease in productivity. Cross training with current employees can prevent a dip in productivity, such as, transferring process knowledge, document procedures and responsibilities, and login credentials for business tools.

Depending on the reason for the employee’s departure, exit interviews are an opportunity to collect important insights to improve your current offboarding strategy. The complexities involved in offboarding make saying “goodbye” to employees a challenging task—which is why consistency is the key to a successful exit interview. With the right tools in place, organizations have the ability to standardize the complexities involved in employee offboarding and help you part ways in the most efficient way.

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08/06/21 12:00 AM

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