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Employee Offboarding Checklist: How to Create A Smooth Exit

Whether you just hired someone new that wasn’t a fit, or someone on the team is leaving that has been on the team for many years, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Turnover is a reality in every industry, but it’s never the right time to lose an employee.

Although it’s never easy to unload an employee, no matter the reason, some tips from talent acquisition professionals can make it less painful. This article features a helpful checklist for creating a smooth exit during the employee offboarding process.

When firing employees

Break the news to them gently and be respectful

The first order of business on your employee offboarding checklist should be to break the news to the employee as gently and respectfully as possible. No one wants to be fired, and when people get the news, they understandably react to it poorly.

The more abrupt and inconsiderate the news feels to the employee, the more likely they will react poorly. Respect the employee’s time and feelings by gently bringing the news and explaining next steps of leaving.

Hard as it may seem, you should try to bring something positive to the conversation, especially if they still have work worth finishing for an ongoing project before leaving.

Make sure employees cannot become security risks

When it comes to employee termination, another concern is that former employees could become potential security risks. You can avoid turning old employees into security risks by having company passwords changed after their termination. Essentially, whenever an employee leaves the organization, there should be a revocation of their security access to the building and workspaces.

You should also make sure that they turn in anything they could use to access company data, assets, or facilities.

Quickly reclaim company-issued property

In the spirit of preventing former workers from presenting a security risk, there should be a handover of keycards and company-issued laptops. Valuable company-issued gear and equipment should be returned to the company during the offboarding process.

Businesses lose money by allowing terminated employees to keep assets such as laptops, company phones, or tablets. That’s money that you can easily recover by ensuring that there is a return of company-issued property.

Always make sure that company property is returned at the time of their exit. One of the best ways to ensure a smooth transition is to ask an employee to bring in any company property in advance before sitting them down and telling them that there has been a termination.

When employees quit

Ask them to complete exit surveys

The offboarding process is also a learning process both for businesses and employees. One of the best things you can do for your employee experience when employees leave is to ask them to complete exit surveys.

When someone is leaving the organization, they can help you learn more about fostering a more supportive work environment and improving the employee onboarding process. These improvements can lead to higher rates of employee retention.

Exit surveys can help you learn about factors in your organization that you might not have been aware of. That said, you should always take the information from exit surveys with a grain of salt as many employees won’t be exactly honest when completing them.

When people are on their way out, they will either be brutally honest or could trash the reputation of a perfectly good company. Likewise, they could leave disparaging remarks about former co-workers to pursue a personal vendetta.

If you find anything concerning in the exit surveys that departing workers fill out, be sure to investigate and see if anyone else in the organization can corroborate their claims before taking action.

Provide references when appropriate

Sometimes, businesses can stay on relatively good terms even with workers who leave. If you know that a worker had valuable skills but nonetheless decided to pursue other opportunities, you can show good faith in your former coworkers by providing references to aid them in their future careers.

By helping employees find work after they have been terminated, you can limit any sense of resentment they may feel towards your organization.

How to avoid offboarding employees

Now that you know more about how to offboard employees smoothly and successfully, you might be wondering what you can do to avoid offboarding workers. In truth, the best way to avoid the offboarding process is to create and follow an onboarding checklist for new hires.

One thing that should be on your onboarding checklist is to make a habit of asking new hires questions like, what did you like most about your job exit interview.

You should also invest in a robust onboarding portal. If you follow an onboarding checklist, use an onboarding portal, and ask employees the right questions early on, you’ll have a higher employee retention rate. That means you won’t have to engage in the offboarding process as frequently.

Remember, hiring and firing talent is an expensive process. Anything that can increase employee retention rates is good for the company, which means it’s worth investing time and resources into.

Meet Jobvite, the smart way to hire people!

At this point, you have probably gleaned that it is more cost-effective to hire the right people from the get-go as opposed to going through an endless cycle of hiring and firing. That’s where Jobvite comes in. It’s the smart way to hire people! Companies that source talented candidates through Jobvite enjoy higher employee retention rates and productivity increases.

Reach out to us today to watch a product tour or learn more about Jobvite’s services.


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