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Free Employee Offboarding Checklist

Usually, its onboarding that gets more attention - and it's not surprising why. Onboarding has much more positive connotations, such as welcoming new employees and promising new beginnings and fresh starts, which can leave offboarding sometimes overlooked.

However, offboarding should be considered an integral part of the employee lifecycle and as important as the onboarding process. Our Employee Offboarding Template will help you focus your attention on offboarding, helping you to include all the necessary steps when an employee is set to leave your company.

To receive your free Offboarding Checklist, simply fill in the form, and we’ll email you your complete offboarding checklist.

What is employee offboarding?

On the face of it, offboarding is preparing an employee and the business for their exit, but it's much more important than that - it's a compliance and risk management tool that disengages a departing employee from a business. This means that its integral for every employee leaving the business to go through the offboarding process, whether they have resigned, been made redundant or dismissed, or reached retirement.

The goal of the process is that departing employees leave your business on a positive note, feeling satisfied with the end of their employment - as well as tying up any loose ends!

Offboarding processes will be different from business to business, but a few core features should be covered no matter what. We'll cover these in more depth later, but they include the following:

  • Transfer of Knowledge and Responsibilities - Make sure you've transferred all the departing team members' responsibilities to someone else.
  • Removing Access - Ensure you've deactivated all work passwords and accounts.
  • Collecting Equipment - Do you know what equipment is in the employee's possession, and how will you keep track of returning company assets and equipment?
  • Exit Interviews - Employees leaving the business represent a fantastic opportunity for gathering insights and feedback through Exit Interviews - Employees leaving the business represent a fantastic opportunity for gathering insights and feedback through exit interviews..

What is an offboarding checklist template?

The employee offboarding process is often managed by different people in the business so having a check-box template is an easy way for anyone to see at a glance what's been finished and what is still outstanding during the offboarding process. Our employee offboarding checklist will help your HR team members and line managers ensure all necessary actions are completed before an employee leaves the company.

It also keeps the process consistent to help make sure each departing team member has a positive offboarding experience.

Purpose and benefits of our employee offboarding checklist

While the components of the offboarding process aren't particularly complex, it can take place over varying amounts of time. Sometimes, offboarding starts as soon as the employee hands in their notice (which can be up to three months), and sometimes it needs to happen quickly. Depending on the reasons behind the departure, an employee might leave your business for the last time in a matter of days or even hours.

Either way, it can leave the team member in charge of the process scrambling to complete it, or trying to keep track of the process over a long period of time.

Having a checklist allows them to approach the process confidently and can mitigate any potential disappointment or bad feelings from the former employee. On top of this, a checklist also ensures that no additional time or resources are unnecessarily spent by your business, saving time and money while keeping the process smooth.

Here are some benefits of completing a comprehensive offboarding process using a checklist:

  • Reduces security risks and protects company data
  • Mitigates the risk of future legal issues like contract or compensation disputes with former employees
  • Helps to manage the logistics of changes to the team
  • Garners constructive feedback to help the team and the business improve
  • Help to end the employment on a positive note
  • Protects the business's reputation externally and among current employees
  • Helps to build and maintain a Helps to build and maintain a positive company culture

Key stage of offboarding 1: Preparation

Preparation is the key to an effective offboarding and exit process for departing employees. It should begin as soon as the employee resigns, starting with managing the resignation process. How you then prepare for an employee's departure will depend on your business's culture and internal processes, but these are the essential things to cover:

  • Discuss and confirm the employee's end date.
  • Ensure you have a signed copy of Ensure you have a signed copy of the team member's resignation letter
  • Talk to the rest of the team about the departure

Remember: The process can be as much about your remaining team members as the departing one. It's important they feel positive about the process too.

Key stage of offboarding 2: Knowledge transfer

Depending on how your teams are structured, there could be almost no crossover in the roles and responsibilities of the exiting employee and the rest of the group. This is particularly common with remote workers and makes knowledge transfer one of the key steps to a great offboarding process.

As it happens, it is also one that could cause the most conflict amongst the rest of the team, as they might be picking up the slack. A consistent process for dealing with this can help mitigate some of those feelings if they arise, as your current team will know what to expect when it happens.

Remember: It's also helpful to document this part of the process with a thorough handover of the employee's responsibilities that's accessible to anyone who might need it. Check back on it regularly in the weeks after the team member leaves so that nothing falls through the cracks!

Key stage of offboarding 3: Recover company assets

Recovering all your company assets helps to prevent the theft of company data. The laws around data security are strict, with good reason, and a seamless offboarding process should form a part of your data protection strategy and your employee lifecycle. When an employee leaves the business, it is crucial to collect all company property and equipment and revoke systems access.

Having a list of any company equipment your employees might have is helpful to ensure you get everything back. This will be specific to your business, but some common ones are:

  • Laptops
  • Mobile phones
  • Tablets
  • Access cards
  • Uniforms
  • Company credit cards

Remember: Employees might have access to third-party systems and platforms, which you'll also need to ensure you get the login information for and remove access from these too.

Key stage of offboarding 4: Final farewell

This stage ensures you have tied up any loose ends before the employee leaves and, perhaps most importantly, conduct an exit interview.

Exit interviews are usually held by someone from human resources rather than the former employee's line manager. They should cover their reasons for leaving, the overall impression of the company, areas for improvement and their insights into the company culture, team and management style of their line manager and the leadership team.

Remember: This is also a time to celebrate the time your departing employee had at your company. Marking the occasion with a gift or a leaving party not only ensures they leave feeling positive about their experience, but shows the rest of the team you value your people.