Off Boarding: Ensuring a Smooth Transition

Terminating an employee is never an enjoyable experience. At worst it can violate certain compliance laws. Here’s how to conduct off boarding appropriately.

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off boarding employees

Does your organization have an effective off boarding process? 86 percent of IT leaders say they don’t. Here’s what you need to know to ensure a smooth transition.

Why does offboarding matter?

If your organization doesn’t have an airtight off boarding strategy, you could be risking your company’s reputation and financial health. Forgetting to cross T’s or dot a few I’s could result in a loss of assets, fees, or even a lawsuit.

Failing to properly execute off boarding procedures could result in legal implications if you don’t:

  • Give a reason for firing,
  • Follow company policies,
  • Respond to employee complaints,
  • Address pending investigations,
  • Document bad performance, and more.

Protect your organization by developing a proper off boarding protocol. Beyond assets, fees, and legal ramifications, there are several reasons that exit procedures are important. Make the departure quick and painless for the employee. There’s nothing more awkward than dragging a terminated employee around the office for an extra week while HR scrambles to find all of the necessary paperwork to let the individual go.

How to offboard an employee

Now that you understand the importance of off boarding, here’s how you can properly execute procedures.

Establish an exit timeframe

Before initiating the transition, establish a realistic timeframe for exiting the company. Map out all of the steps required to off board a team member. Once each step is laid out, establish timelines for each priority and stick to them. Taking extra days to complete paperwork will leave a bad taste in the employee’s mount. Planning for each step of the process also removes any feelings of panic from management.

Set a meeting

Once timeframes are established, set a meeting for the employee and the HR team to review the exit strategy. Take this time to give reasoning for the termination (if necessary), outline the paperwork process, and discuss company procedures.

Once the employee understands the expectations, sign the paperwork. HR leaders should come prepared with a letter of resignation, nondisclosure agreements, and final documents.

Retrieve company property

After the paperwork is settled, retrieve on-the-job materials from the employee. This can include uniforms, company-issued laptops or phones, building keys, security passwords, or company credit cards. Depending on the employee’s role, you may need to collect several items. This step is typically the most lengthy so allow sufficient time for gathering.

Conduct an exit interview

Employees who leave on good terms or bad, deserve a professional transition. After all of the paperwork is completed and company property is returned, schedule an exit interview. An exit interview is a professional opportunity for the former employee to submit feedback. This is also a great time for the organization to reflect and make improvements for the future.

The Harvard Business Review explains “The greater goal for any company, of course, is to retain valued employees. If people are leaving an organization in ever-increasing numbers, figuring out why is crucial.” Exit interviews help employers get answers.

It’s also a great way to tie up any loose ends and set expectations moving forward. For example, some employers may want to extend an invite to the employee to return in the future. Regardless of the expectations, an exit interview helps the staff member leave on good terms.

Follow the steps above to ensure a smooth transition for employees leaving your company. Below is a video created by the head of our HR services on how to handle poor employee performance and termination;

This article is meant to be informative, but not necessarily exhaustive. It does not constitute legal or tax advice. Always check with a qualified legal advisor for more complete guidance on terminating an employee.
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