The Best Employee Offboarding Checklist for 2024

Employee Offboarding Checklist

Right after discussing strategies for onboarding new hires last week, let’s shift the discussion to employee offboarding. The idea of employee offboarding is never pretty. If we are discussing employee offboarding, that means someone is leaving the company and more often than not, it isn’t the happiest occasion.

That being said, following the right employee offboarding protocols can end up being beneficial for both the employer and the exiting employee alike. That is why we put together this employee offboarding checklist to help you navigate the waters of employee offboarding. So today, we will be answering simple questions such as:

  • What should be included in employee offboarding?
  • What are the offboarding tasks?
  • And more!
Employee offboarding checklist

The Employee Offboarding Checklist

1. Relay the news

It’s always tough to say goodbye to a team member. Whether they’re leaving for a new opportunity or moving on to something different, it’s important to communicate their departure in a way that is respectful and professional.

Remember: How you communicate the departure to the individual will have a strong effect on employee engagement among your existing team members.

Schedule a meeting with the employee to discuss their departure. Be transparent about why they’re leaving and thank them for their contributions.

Ask if they have any questions or concerns, and let them know that you’re available to help with the transition.

It’s important to inform colleagues and other parties invested about the departure. Depending on the employee’s role, you may need to schedule a team meeting or send out a company-wide email, informing everyone of the recent departure.

One thing you have to do here is to maintain a clear and consistent message about the employee’s departure to avoid any confusion.

It is always a great idea to make sure to express gratitude for the employee’s contributions and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. If appropriate, invite them to stay in touch and keep the lines of communication open.

2. Training a successor

Training a successor to your exiting employee is a box you definitely have to be checking off of your employee offboarding checklist.

When an employee leaves the company the transition process to a successor should be smooth and efficient.

The transfer of knowledge mentioned here is critical for the new employee to understand their role, learn about the company’s operations, and continue the work that the previous employee had done.

A great place for you to start can be to identify the employee’s successor. This individual should be someone who has the skills and experience necessary to take on the role.

Schedule a knowledge transfer session with the departing employee and their successor, and create a clear agenda for the meeting.

During the knowledge transfer session, the departing employee should provide an overview of their duties and responsibilities, as well as any ongoing projects or tasks.

Even if you are filling the position with an internal candidate who knows how the company works, they should still inform the successor on certain procedures and best practices.

If the departing employee had any unique skills or knowledge that were critical to their role, consider providing additional training or resources to the new employee to ensure a smooth transition.

By providing an atmosphere for the efficient transfer of knowledge and providing support to the new employee, you can set them up for success and minimize any disruption to the company’s operations.

3. Taking back any company assets

There are many comparisons to be made between employee offboarding and breakups. Effective employee offboarding should be the closest thing you can imagine to a perfect breakup. Well, this is the part where you take your CDs out of their car and ask for your keys back.

To start, create a list of all company assets that the departing employee had access to. These may include:

Keys, security cards, or company vehicles, as well as digital assets, such as email accounts, social media accounts, and access to company databases.

Once you have identified the assets, communicate with the departing employee to arrange for their return. If the employee is local, consider scheduling a time for them to return the assets in person. If the employee is remote or unable to return the assets in person, provide instructions for how to ship the assets back to the company.

4. Update your org charts and company directory

Let’s keep the daisy chain of relationship jokes about employee offboarding rolling. Now that you are properly broken up and you hopefully have all your stuff back, it might be the right time to change your relationship status on Facebook.

Start by reviewing all of the places where the employee’s name appears in your organization’s documentation, including org charts, company directories, and any other materials that may be relevant. Update their status to “terminated” or “inactive,” and remove any references to their role or responsibilities.

In some cases, the employee’s departure may create a gap in your organizational structure that needs to be filled. If this is the case, it’s important to start the hiring process as soon as possible, to avoid any disruptions in your company’s operations.

You might find that many performance management software relies on your organizational chart to effectively function.

There are many different digital collaboration tools that use the data from your org-chart to function effectively so keeping your organizational chart up to date throughout the employee offboarding process is key.

5. Manage systems access

We are not naming any names but we’ve all had those breakups where we felt like we might have to change the locks in our house, alongside our phone numbers, our entire identity and maybe just move to an entirely new country. You don’t need to do anything that extreme. Just be safe with your data and your systems access:

Revoking systems access is an absolute must in protecting your company’s sensitive information when an employee departs. Now that almost everything your organization does is digitized and hidden behind passwords and usernames, it’s important to ensure that the departing employee no longer has access to any company systems or applications.

Make sure you have a list of all the systems, applications, and data the employee had access to. Then, disable or revoke access to these systems as soon as possible. Identify any shared passwords or credentials the employee may have had and change them to prevent any unauthorized access.

If you have any questions regarding Microsoft Teams app security or employee monitoring, please refer to these articles.

6. The final pay

Making sure that the departing employee receives their final pay on time is just might be the single most important part of the employee offboarding process. You want to make sure that the employee is paid for all the work they have done and that there are no outstanding payments. You’ll need to calculate:

  • Any unpaid wages
  • Holiday pay
  • Other outstanding payments

Once you have all the necessary information, process the final payment through your payroll system. Make sure to deduct any taxes, social security contributions, or other withholdings as required by law.

Completing the final payment process promptly and accurately guarantees a positive and smooth offboarding experience for the departing employee.

7. Conduct an exit interview

Performing an exit interview is a valuable opportunity to gain insight into why the employee has decided to leave the company. It can help you identify areas of improvement and identify any issues or concerns that need to be addressed.

Schedule a meeting with the departing employee to perform the exit interview. You have the option of holding this meeting in person, on the phone, or via video conferencing.

Ask the employee a number of questions about their interactions with the company during the meeting. Depending on the objectives of the survey, these questions could be open-ended or closed-ended.

Ask the employee, for instance, why they left, what they liked and disliked about working for the business, and if they have any recommendations for enhancements.

Be sure to take notes during the interview and thank the employee for their time and feedback. Use this information to make changes and improve the employee experience for future employees.

A Digitized Solution

Exit interviews, alongside stay interviews and employee engagement surveys, provide leaders with extremely helpful data that they can use to improve their retention rates or other key performance metrics. That is why using performance review templates in order to conduct these interviews and surveys is the right way to go.

This is where Teamflect comes in:

screenshot of teamflect Exit Interview Template

Teamflect is an all-in-one performance management solution that provides users with access to some of the best customizable performance review/employee interview templates available in the Microsoft Teams ecosystem.

With Teamflect, you can conduct your exit interviews, then see Power BI reports that provide you with further insight.

An official Microsoft partner, Teamflect functions as the best task management, employee engagement, and OKR software for Microsoft Teams.

Use the best performance review software for Microsoft Teams.
No sign-up required.
Teamflect Image

8. Provide letters of reference

A helpful resource for the departing employee, as they start their job search, can be letters of recommendation and other outgoing documentation. These records can both assist the employee in finding their next position and act as proof of their time spent working for your business.

Reach out to the employee’s manager or supervisor and ask them to compose a letter outlining the employee’s accomplishments and skills in order to supply letters of reference. Make sure to find out from the employee what kind of reference they’re wanting (generic or one that focuses on their particular skills).

A great way to start is to use the data from your performance management system.

Sample Employee Offboarding Process Flow Chart

Employee offboarding workflow chart

Above, you will find the sample employee offboarding process flow chart. While every organization’s employee offboarding process flow will be different, the offboarding flow we’ve set above are all pretty much universally applicable.

So what does an exit interview process flow include?

The offboarding process flow includes:

Receiving a formal resignation: Regardless of how the partnership is coming to an end, a formal resignation is what initiates the employee offboarding process.

Communicating the decision with HR: The next logical step on the offboarding process checklist is to communicate the departure with HR. This is one step where the employee offboarding process may differ from organization to organization as well as the circumstances of departure.

Start documentation: There is a lot of documentation associated with employee offboarding. This is another case where the documentation required for employee offboarding can vary based on the organization’s policies, the nature of the employee’s role, and legal requirements. However, some of the paperwork that may be required include but isn’t limited to:

  • The letter of resignation.
  • The offboarding checklist itself.
  • Exit interview.
  • A letter of termination & agreement.
  • Final Paycheck and bonus information.
  • Confidentiality & non-compete agreements.
  • Any form of legal documents.

Finalize last day: A rather self-explanatory step, the last day is when most of the documentation alongside the exit interview will be conducted. Mapping it out and planning when exactly it will be is a key part of the employee offboarding process flow.

Finalize payroll: With any departure from an organization, it is crucial to ensure that all parties are fairly compensated.

Ensure knowledge transfer: Succession planning is one of the most important elements of employee offboarding. The employee being offboarded has to transfer their know-how alongside any other relevant information to their potential successors.

Conduct exit interview: Exit interviews just might be the single most important step in an employee offboarding process flow. Exit interviews not only provide insight into the departure but also into the employee experience within the organization.

Complete asset recovery: Any company assets such as cars, phones, and computers need to be recovered from the exiting employee. This is more of a procedural step within the employee offboarding process flow chart.

Manage system access: Organizational security is a massive concern when it comes to everything you need to check when offboarding employees. Revoke all the access the departing employee has to company software and databases.

Ensure amicable terms: Breakups don’t always have to hurt. Ending employment on good terms is beneficial both to the employee leaving the organization as well as to the organization itself. The company maintains a reputation as a great place to work while the individual can ask for a reference if needed.

What are the benefits of employee offboarding?

Effective employee offboarding brings with it a number of benefits that we will be diving into in more detail in our employee offboarding checklist. On that note, here are some of the core benefits of offboarding employees:

  • Protecting company data and assets: When you revoke systems access and recover company assets, you can protect your company’s sensitive information from unauthorized access.
  • Improving the employee experience: By conducting an exit interview, you can gain valuable insight into why employees leave and identify areas of improvement.
  • Maintaining a positive reputation: Providing letters of reference and other documentation can help the departing employee secure their next job and maintain a positive relationship with your company, which can be beneficial for your company’s reputation.

Written by Emre Ok

Emre is a content writer at Teamflect who aims to share fun and unique insight into the world of performance management.

onboarding new hires featured image

Onboarding New Hires: 10 Onboarding Best Practices 2024

okr examples for growth

Best OKR Examples for Growth Teams – 2024 Guide