What's On Your Offboarding Checklist? 10 Tips for Data Security, Benefits, and More

The Greek word for goodbye is “yasou.” Indonesians say “sampai jumpa.” However you say it, bidding farewell to a colleague is never easy.

When an employee leaves your organization, HR professionals are often tasked with managing a sendoff that allows employees to leave with dignity while also protecting the company's interests.

The more time and care you take with exit formalities, the better the offboarding experience will be for your employees—and the better their final impression of your organization may be. And that’s important, since they will likely share their feelings about your firm in online reviews and by word of mouth.

Read on to learn how to create a sound offboarding process—plus, we'll provide an offboarding checklist to make sure none of the exit formalities are overlooked.

Good offboarding software can streamline your offboarding process, saving time and effort, ensuring compliance, and helping you make sure nothing falls through the cracks. That's why BambooHR brings offboarding into one centralized system, allowing you to build customized offboarding checklists, collect e-signatures for exit documents, manage an employee's final paycheck, and more. Discover why HR professionals love BambooHR Offboarding® today!

Why You Should Create an Exit Checklist for Employees

A strong offboarding process helps your organization by:

Despite these benefits, research by Aberdeen found that only 29% of organizations have a formal offboarding process. The 71% who don’t are missing out on important benefits. The same study found that following offboarding policies was associated with greater growth, performance, retention, and employee engagement.

Keeping the door open for boomerang employees is a trend that both employers and workers increasingly welcome. The Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee Study found that 40% of employees would consider returning to a company where they previously worked, and another 15% have already done so. It’s a win-win for employers and employees alike.

A thorough and thoughtful offboarding checklist for employees also benefits the departing worker in other ways. For example, it helps smooth their transition by providing info about such things as their final paycheck, company retirement savings account, and COBRA health insurance coverage options.

10 Actions Items for Your Offboarding Checklist

  1. Announce the employee's departure and arrange next steps for anyone who will be taking over their responsibilities.
  2. Document the departure with a letter of resignation or termination.
  3. Ask the departing employee to provide a list of their projects and deadlines.
  4. Allow time for the departing employee to train their replacement or other employees who will assume their duties. If there's not enough time to do this in person, request instructions in writing.
  5. Collect all of the departing employee's company equipment, such as their laptop, phone, and security badge.
  6. Change passwords and/or revoke access to systems and accounts the departing employee uses.
  7. Make sure the departing employee is aware of any contractual obligations, such as non-competes and non-disclosures.
  8. Arrange the departing employee's final paycheck and any severance pay, then remove them from the payroll.
  9. Provide information about the departing employee's 401(k), COBRA health insurance coverage, and other benefits.
  10. Conduct an exit interview and plan for any action items prompted by the departing employee's feedback.

Always say goodbye on good terms.

Offboarding employees isn't easy, so BambooHR® is here to support you every step of the way. What’s more, our instant reports will help you spot trends in departures, so you can stop turnover before it starts.

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Exit Interview Questions and Tips

The exit interview is one of the most important parts of the offboarding process. It serves two main purposes:

Think of the exit interview as a chance to learn things about your organization that you might never hear otherwise. A departing employee is free to say what they have seen and experienced on the job without fear of reprisal. So, they are often willing to offer frank, constructive, and insightful feedback that you can act on to improve your organization.

Here are a few good exit interview questions to ask to help get the conversation started:

» Learn More: The 15 Best Exit Interview Questions [Free Download]

An exit interview is also an ideal opportunity to thank the employee for their contributions to the organization’s progress and express interest in maintaining a relationship, perhaps by inviting them to join your employee alumni network. You can also explain details about benefits, references, and other matters that will ease the employee’s transition.

Keep in mind, an exit interview may not go smoothly if an employee is leaving on negative terms. Still, listen carefully and thank them for their input.

Next Steps: Implement Your Offboarding Process

Great offboarding doesn’t just happen because somebody made a list. By staying focused on gathering feedback, expressing gratitude, and assisting each departing employee's transition, HR professionals can transform turnover into an experience that is valuable for all parties.

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