3 Steps for Better Employee Offboarding

Most organizations recognize the importance of successfully onboarding new employees. And they should, you have worked hard to hire the right people and it is important that you welcome, train, and set them up for success in every possible way from day one.

However, when it comes to offboarding a departing employee, organizations are way less prepared. You just sign a few forms and wish them luck with their future endeavors, right? They are leaving, anyway, so why should you spend any more of your valuable time on them?

Well, there is actually a number of crucial reasons why you should manage even this last step of the employee life cycle from the happiness perspective. A successful offboarding process can contribute to your employer brand, lead to new business opportunities, and help make your company an even better place to work in the future.

Obviously, every offboarding situation is different and there are times when it is not possible to part ways in mutual understanding. However, these situations are exceptional (or they should be, otherwise, there is something seriously off with your hiring process). Here are three steps you should consider in order to better offboard a departing employee:

1. Ask for Their Feedback

This is especially important in offboarding situations where ending the employer-employee relationship has been the employee’s decision. Make it clear to the employee that their honest feedback will not affect the future of the relationship in any negative way and then ask them about your company culture, the work environment, the relationship the employee had with their manager and peers, and so on. This feedback is invaluable to you as it may help you detect issues in your culture or other problems, such as a toxic environment or bullying that you may not be aware of.

2. Encourage Them to Spread the Word

Your previous employees are your new employer brand ambassadors. They will tell others about their experience working for your organization, either face-to-face or on online platforms, such as Glassdoor. And, unless the circumstances in which you are going separate ways are exceptional, you should encourage them to do so! Positive feedback from previous employees will strengthen your employer brand and help you attract new talent in the future. If you are worried about what your previous employees might say about your company, then you need to work on your company culture first.

3. Keep the Relationship Goin’

Although your paths have parted as an employer and an employee, it doesn’t need to mean that the relationship is over. Indeed, a previous employee can recommend your company’s products or services to others, become a client themselves, or turn into a partner. If the employee stays in the same industry and geographical area, it is inevitable that you will keep seeing each other. Therefore, find ways to help and keep in touch with them. You can build a mailing list for sending regular updates, create a Slack channel or a Facebook group for sharing and networking with your company alumni, or organize meetups where you invite your current and old employees.

An offboarding process that is designed from the happiness perspective will help you to set the basis for a new phase in the relationship with the departing employee and convert a “bye!” into a “see y’all later!”. Need help designing, documenting, or implementing your offboarding process? Reach out to The Happy Works using our contact form!


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