Offboarding: How to manage an employee's departure?

The departure of an employee is always a pivotal moment for a team. The risks of destabilization, loss of motivation and reduced performance are high. For the moment, few companies have a real offboarding policy. And yet, this transition period is a crucial one for human resources. A well-managed departure will have a definite impact on the company’s employer brand. QuarksUp gives you its advice on how to integrate offboarding into your HR policy.

3 key points to remember:

  1. HR offboarding refers to managing the departure of an employee;
  2. A well-executed offboarding program keeps a team performing well;
  3. It also enhances the company’s brand image.

Definition of offboarding

Offboarding is an Anglo-Saxon term meaning “disembarkation”. In the corporate world, it refers to the process of managing departures. Offboarding is the key period preceding an employee’s departure, whether voluntary or not:

  • Dismissal ;
  • Resignation ;
  • Termination of trial period ;
  • End of fixed-term contract ;
  • Breach of contract.

It is the opposite of onboarding, which refers to the process of integrating a new employee.

Offboarding requires support from the employer. This process is linked to legislation (notice periods, etc.) and extends far beyond. To ensure a successful transition and transfer of skills, it must be carried out in an organized, well-thought-out way.

What are the objectives of HR offboarding?

Offboarding has multiple objectives. They concern both the company’s productivity and its brand image.

Managers are gradually realizing that offboarding is a transitional period that can destabilize a department. The departure of an employee can lead to a loss of motivation in the team. It is therefore essential to carry out this offboarding process in order to :

  • Limit the loss of information and skills on departure;
  • Keep employees motivated;
  • Ensure a fair distribution of tasks;
  • Maintaining a high quality of working life (QWL).

Attracting employees is a major challenge for many companies. They work on their employer brand, to be attractive to talent. Ending a business relationship with peace of mind is a great way to work on your brand image. Once the employee has left, he or she will convey a positive image of the company.

Good to know : Have you heard of “boomerang employees”?

This term refers to employees returning to the company some time after leaving. These are employees who have retained a good image of the company and who have undergone a fully satisfactory offboarding process.

Steps to successful offboarding

In order to carry out a successful offboarding process, it is necessary to follow certain key steps.

1 – Planning and follow-up until the employee’s departure

First of all, both the employee and the company need deadlines. It’s important to establish a timetable for departure, taking into account legal deadlines.

This schedule must include the list of documents to be given to the employee on leaving the company:

  • Balance of account ;
  • Work certificate ;
  • Payment of expense claims ;
  • Letter of recommendation.

With quarksUp, you can manage your employee’s file online. All your employee’s document management is digital: payroll data, remuneration, management of probationary period dates, etc. The Hello Paie solution can automatically generate an exit declaration. Thanks to this online tool, you can send the payroll manager the information he needs to draw up the final account balance.

Don’t forget to list the equipment you’ll be collecting (computer, telephone, etc.).

2 – Anticipating the recruitment and handover process

To limit the loss of information and skills, you need to anticipate the recruitment of a replacement. Start this process as soon as possible. Ideally, there should be a handover period between the outgoing and incoming employee. In this way, the outgoing employee can pass on vital data and train the new arrival.

Sometimes, this transition period is not possible. In this case, the employee can draw up a guide for his or her replacement. Ask him to write down the processes inherent to his position, to make it easier for him to take over.

3 – Promote internal communication

The watchword of a successful offboarding process is transparency. Announcing an employee’s departure should not be taken lightly. This communication should keep team members motivated.

When making this announcement, stress the distribution of the workload associated with the employee’s departure. Give your employees deadlines and reassure them about recruitment.

Finally, consider organizing a farewell party to congratulate your employee on the work he or she has accomplished and to thank him or her for the work they have done. Employees will appreciate the added value of their tasks.

4 – Gather feedback from affected employees

The departure of an employee has an undeniable impact on an entire team. In this period of offboarding, doubt can creep in among your employees. Why is their colleague leaving? What doesn’t he like about the company? Who’s going to handle the extra workload?

This is the time to organize team meetings and individual interviews, to answer these questions and clear up any doubts.

Question your employees to find out where your management is lacking. Dig deep to find areas for improvement and combat staff turnover. Feedback from your employees is essential to enable the team to bounce back after a departure.

5 – Reviewing the situation with the employee

The day of the outing is approaching. It’s time to conduct an exit interview with your employee. This will be an opportunity for you to give feedback on the tasks accomplished.

This assessment is also necessary for the company. Ask your employee to debrief you. Try to understand the reasons behind his departure. Take advantage of his feedback to define areas for improvement within your team.

Offboarding is a pivotal moment in a company’s life. It will have a strong impact on the onboarding of future employees, as well as on the employer brand.

The step-by-step offboarding process ensures an orderly and positive departure for departing employees:

  1. Preparing for departure: planning and organizing the departure process.
  2. Notification of departure: formalize the departure and inform the parties concerned.
  3. Closure of professional tasks: ensure the transfer of responsibilities and ongoing projects.
  4. Return of company equipment and property: Retrieve all company-owned equipment.
  5. Access deactivation: revoke access authorizations to systems and premises.
  6. Feedback session and exit interview: gather the employee’s impressions and discuss his or her experience with the company.
  7. Administrative formalities: manage administrative formalities linked to departure (last salary, end-of-contract documents, etc.).
  8. Relationship maintenance: encourage the maintenance of professional relationships and act as an ambassador for the employer brand. This can be by word of mouth, or by making a Linkedin post to announce your departure and propose the new vacancy.

Good to know! quarksUp is an HRIS solution for managing the entire employee cycle.

Thanks to this HR tool, everything can be done online. As an HR manager, you’ll be in charge of all our employees’ digital activities. With its modular offer, quarksUp intervenes from recruitment to employee off-boarding.

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