The Ultimate Guide to Employee Offboarding Checklist
An “employee offboarding checklist” can an important process to retain the company’s brand value if you think. The employees either resign or the company terminates them. In either scenario, there can be different reactions and repercussions. The HR as a part of the employee offboarding checklist process has to take care of various sensitive aspects, as offboarding is not closing off a chapter, but could mean revival or brand presence.
Let us Understand More About the Importance of Employee Offboarding Checklist
Companies often face the request of wilful resignation or are bound to forceful sacking of employees. The reasons that trigger them are different. However, HR has to maintain the retention rate of the company lest the recruitment budgets would exceed. In the case of layoffs or sacking, it is somehow a bitter-sweet process of letting people go. The reasons could be a company not performing well is asking people to leave or an employee not performing and asked to leave. The circumstances that follow are not cordial to all. There might be a hint of vengeance or anger or the disillusionment of an unfair practice. All this could boomerang if the “employee offboarding checklist” process is incorrect.
Preparing the “Employee Exit Process Checklist” is a very detailed process and should not be overlooked in context on the after-effects. Different positions are subject to varying levels of the offboarding process. However, let us understand the uniform process and the details of the employee offboarding checklist.
For a Resigning employee:
First and foremost, the resigning employee communicates to his senior about his decided resignation. The senior here tries to talk him out of the resignation and tries to retain the employee.
If the employee has made up the mind to leave, he/she has to further communicate about the resignation in written to the HR Department. HR tries to retain the employee through a discussion. If the employee is not ready to continue working, the HR goes ahead with the further process.
The HR then communicates to the different departments.
In the case of layoffs/Sacking
The HR communicates through emails by writing to the employee/employees about the imminent layoff/ sacking and the process thereof. When the layoff is targeted for a group or department, the news should be first shared by the department head, followed by a formal written communication from the HR.
The Employee Offboarding Checklist Process Checklist Stresses on Documenting Everything for Future Records.
- The employee has to sign the resignation form and other Non-Disclosure Agreement along with any relevant forms.
- The HR works on the benefits and salary due and conveys to the employee.
- A final pay-check is prepared, including tax documentation.
- The HR drafts Testimonial / Experience letter.
Knowledge & Assets Transfer
The Employee Offboarding Checklist Process also demands the employee to offload all the sensitive company information. The information includes password, critical data, employee files, project specifics, access control, and physical assets like cabinet keys, car keys, house keys, mobile & laptop. The reporting authority reclaims files, folders, swipe cards, ID cards, and other inventory of supplies.
The exit interview is an essential part of the employee offboarding checklist. It is necessary to conduct an Exit Interview as a part of the employee off-boarding process. An exit interview is the last communication link with the employee when he/she is still part of the organization. The HR tries to understand why and what of the employee’s situation, checking any final chances of retaining the employee.
Usually, an Exit Interview is conducted to explore the following parameters:
- Check the very reason for resignation.
- Adherence to all compliances.
- Gain insights into improving the company culture.
- Identify problem areas and work on them to improve retention.
- Manage turnover cost by trying to retain the employee
Senior Management Employee Offboarding Checklist:
In the case of Senior Management employees, the Employee Offboarding Checklist is different and entails a more planned approach.
- Senior management on-boarding and off-boarding mostly happen in closed rooms. The idea of rudderless management might shake the company’s market situation as well as bring insecurities in the employees. Therefore, until the company is identifying a successor, the news is retained in a closed circuit.
- Some companies have already identified successors, but need to groom them on the job. It should be communicated to the resigning employee to handhold the successor to fit in the block and avoid the interim gap.
- Companies they have not identified successor should, in turn, bring succession planning as a healthy and default process in the organization to ensure a gap-free off-boarding operation.
- Senior Management resignations need informing various channels like head office, associates, vendors & shareholders.
- Publishing the Senior Management resignation in Print Medium (Newspaper) as public notice is a mandatory process.
- Cross-teams, the management employee, is working in or with should be kept in the loop to ascertain the legal and obliging paperwork and permissions thereof.
- Senior Management Exit process should be carried out by experienced hands, as the image they would spread of the company could build or shatter.
Employee Offboarding Checklist also includes the offboarding guidelines that consider the finer nuances.
- What if a resigning employee is convinced and wants to retain back?
- What is the process when an onsite employee wants to resign?
- Draft the details incorporated in a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
- Who will be training the replacement for the employee?
- What if the employee wants to leave before the set notice period?
- List of documentation the employee should hand over before full and final settlement.
Perils of wrong Employee Offboarding Checklist:
Wrong offboarding can trigger a catastrophe; the company might not be able to deal. Therefore, having an employee offboarding checklist helps streamline the process and excellent execution.
- If a resigning employee does not settle with the exit process over finer nuances, discrepancies, unsettled claims, unbiased approach or other factors, he/she can go and spread the wrong word in his/her networking circles which can further impact the company’s image.
- If process or payments stretch beyond timelines, the employee might lose out on the next opportunity. Some companies hold on to the resignation letter and experience letter, which is a mandatory document to be provided to the next company the employee, is joining. This delay could deliberately jeopardize the employee’s chance of retaining the new job.
- Resigning employees have either got a better opportunity or leaving the organization due to culture clash or office politics, and this all comes out at the exit interview. There is a high chance this employee might not review the company in good books on social platforms or in his immediate industry circles.
- Consider data leaks of critical information as the biggest jeopardy an unsatisfied employee can do after leaving the company.
Company Policy of Rehire
Some companies have a policy of rehiring. Though, bringing back an employee who has left you at one point in time is an apprehensive task. However, maintaining records of an ex-employee on performance, reason for leaving, and other vital parameters can help decide if the company should rehire an employee.
Maintaining the bridges
It is imperative to remember that a resigning employee is just moving out of the organization and its influence, yet remains to be the same person. However, HR should not only maintain the employee in the database as an ex-employee but also keep in touch with records.
The circle effect
Recruitment and resignation are a circle effect and inherently part of any organization. Having a transparent process and documentation ensures an enhanced experience, be it recruitment or resignation.
The interim head
Some employees do not even serve the notice period for fear of losing the next lucrative job that demands immediate joining. For manager and above positions, an interim responsibility and reporting head be shall depute to fill in the gaps.
Handling Critical Offboarding Scenarios
When a company sacks an employee, it could be for various reasons, not only productivity. After all, we are dealing with employees who are humans. Companies terminate employees on immediate notice due to various reasons like – failing to comply with company laws, involvement in a legal matter that tarnishes the company’s image, unethical practices, sexual harassment, fraud and physical harm to fellow employees.
A sacked employee might also get into a legal battle with a client for unfair termination.
The Employee Offboarding Checklist should incorporate particular documents for the above unforeseen and exceptional cases. Legal guidance supported by an acting guideline helps aid and ease such process.
Employee Offboarding Checklist Should Also Include the Following Documentation:
- PF & ESIC transfer.
- PF & ESIC are the valued possessions of an employee that are transferrable from one organization to another. HR ensures that this transfer is a smooth process for the employees.
- The company should share transfer or offloading options, in case of employee loans if any.
- Medical claims shall settle off.
- Pending incentives and bonuses if any, should be effected under relevant documentation and cleared off.
Let the exiting employee nurture the excellent time spent with your organization. A farewell is the least any company can give to its exiting employee. More prominent companies, as a policy, acknowledge the length of an employee service by giving placards and mementos in the company award functions.
Finally, out of the company, systems, and processes, a gift of good memories and experience is all an employee can retain.