What is Offboarding Process in HR?


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What is Offboarding Process in HR? Offboarding is the term used when an employee leaves a company. This process can be complex, time-consuming, and overwhelming for the departing employee and manager. This blog post will explore the steps involved in offboarding an employee and provide best practices to make the process smoother for everyone involved.

What does the Offboarding Process mean?

The Offboarding Process refers to the formal separation between an employee and their company through resignation, termination, or retirement. The term encompasses all decision-making activities when someone leaves work, including what happens with benefits like health care coverage.

This may happen for several reasons, such as when they decide it’s time to move on to pursue an opportunity elsewhere or if something happens that makes them feel like moving on to another position would be better suited to meeting current needs.


Offboarding Process is an excellent way to ensure that your company has no loose ends when an employee leaves. It’s also helpful in learning what you might be able to improve on so as not to have any more trouble in the future, and it can help with morale too.

What Is the Difference Between Onboarding and Offboarding?

The Onboarding and Offboarding Process are like the bookend to an employee’s time at your company. The terms come from this extended analogy that compares it with ocean voyages—they join the organization through the Onboarding Process and leave through the Offboarding Process.

The first step to Onboarding Process is ensuring people become familiar with the organization, its staff, and its culture. Onboarding helps build strong relationships by creating accountability for both individuals at their employment.

When an employee leaves a company, they go through what’s called “offboarding.” Offboarding Process is the steps taken to ensure that everything is smooth and easy for them during their exit. Offboarding Process includes congratulating managers on successful projects or caves in which new hires had no growth potential – just saying goodbye so everyone can move on to something exciting.

See more: What is an onboarding process? Employee onboarding best practices you need to know

Why Is the Offboarding Process Important?

Former employees can become future employees

This is a bit like two ex-lovers getting back together. People leave companies for various reasons, but not always because they don’t like the company or culture – sometimes it’s more personal than that. This means some employees may boomerang back into another organization after their experience with us has been positive enough.

The employment market is competitive, which means that most companies won’t say no to a returning employee. In addition to being cost-effective and allowing you to culture fit with new hires, this also ensures your team has experience working together before they start on their first day of work.

Former employees are ambassadors

It’s important to remember that your first impression lasts forever. Your last one also deserves consideration, so make sure you say hello and goodbye the right way.

It’s not just your first day at work. It is also the events that happen throughout a career. For example team-building activities and fun celebrations are essential memories for many who worked together as part of their journey with this company.

People often reflect positively on the company they once worked for. Suppose you have fond memories of your final days at a previous place of employment. In that case, this will be apparent in conversations about it with others and may even help attract new talent to that organization.

Former employees are customers

You can’t just focus on your candidates’ experience when recruiting new employees because they’ll become customers too. That means you need an Offboarding Process to ensure loyal former workers stay happy and continue supporting businesses like yours with their purchases.


The thought of an employee leaving is always unpleasant, but it’s even more so when their departure isn’t voluntary. It could be worse than just deleting all your files and leaking customer data – they might act out of spite or desperation by trying to hurt the company in some other way! For example, taking away important research with no warning will make things harder for you.

With 20% of organizations experiencing data breaches by former employees, it is clear that there are many ways to keep your company’s information secure. One way you can do this involves using an Offboarding Process that ensures people leave with no access or recollection of how they got into specific systems while working at the organization.

The Employee Offboarding Process: 9 steps

Thank the leaving employee

Thank the employee for their service and wishes them well in whichever direction they go next. Suppose it’s not for a different company, congratulations on landing such an important role.

Communicate about the departure


Communicating abundantly about an employee’s departure is the best way to avoid company gossip. Managers should share this information as soon as possible and give people ample opportunity for their thoughts on what happened or why they left so that it doesn’t come off sounding like someone was fired without any notice, which could turn into negative talk if not handled correctly.

Ensure a knowledge transfer

Whether hiring a successor or not, it is important to ensure the leaving employee’s knowledge doesn’t get lost. The specifics of this will depend on their specific position and role in your company.

Preparing for it in advance is the best way to make a transition smoothly. This includes creating handover documents and videos with tips on how the new person will take over their role and asking them if there are tasks that can be automated or fitted into standard operating procedures. So you don’t have someone wasting time doing those things when they have already left.

If you find yourself missing specific knowledge after your former employees leave, don’t hesitate to ask them for help. They’ll be happy to do what they can.

Recover company assets

Make sure all company assets are handed over before leaving. Organizations often forget about their valuable belongings, but it is essential not to let this happen.

Please make certain that any items belonging to the employee-such as badges or phones-are turned in upon separation so they can’t be used by another person impersonating you.

Revoke systems access

Ensure to revoke all employee systems access, including email and internal platforms. Depending on their role, they might need other revocations too – for example, CRM systems or company social media accounts.

Hold an exit interview

An exit interview can give employees valuable insight into their organization’s strengths and weaknesses to make improvements.

In terms of the exit interview questions you should ask during the interview you can think of:

  • If we could improve in any way, how would we do it? What’s not fun about working here?
  • Who do you admire?
  • What are we not doing that we should be doing?
  • Is there anything we could have done to make you stay?
  • Did the job live up to your expectations?
  • Would you recommend our company to job-seeking friends?
  • How was your relationship with your manager?
  • What did you think of your onboarding when you first joined?

Update your organizational charts

It is a convenient thing to do but one that can prevent quite the confusion. Once an employee has left your company, update your organizational charts and directories, so everyone knows who’s in charge.

If there is a successor, include their details. If not, just state whoever will be taking over in the meantime. The same goes for brochures or the Company website; former employees’ information should remain on these platforms to stay updated with any changes made.

Don’t forget about the payroll

The payroll process is a crucial one. It’s easy for companies to overlook this step, but you must take care of your employees and their final compensation from the company purse!

Make sure they have all the information needed, including an end date or possible holidays which may come up to complete these tasks accordingly so as not to leave any surprises on payday.

Stay in touch

Stay in touch with your former employees by sending them the latest company news and vacancies. This will allow them to stay up-to-date, through either of two options: talent pool or alums group.

Employee Offboarding Process checklist: Key components

The Offboarding Process can be challenging and daunting, but a well-compiled plan will make it easier. An equivalent written down for execution should also ensure consistency across teams or departments helping with this task throughout their respective workweeks.

Here is a sample offboarding checklist comprising the best practices and steps.

Phase 1 – Before an employee leaves

  • Receive/Issue Notice
  • Complete and file the paperwork
  • Resolve the final pay
  • Document work for knowledge transfer
  • Communicate the departure

Phase 2 – On the Day of Offboarding

  • Reclaim physical/non-physical assets
  • Update IT access/permissions
  • Complete an exit interview/survey
  • Throw a send-off celebration

Phase 3 – After the employee leaves

  • Clean the workstation
  • Employ former employees in the alum group

Best practices of Offboarding Process

Disclose the change timely

To positively manage the change that comes with departure, it is important to communicate fairly and honestly. Therefore a fair offboarding practice should be announced formally so as not to give room for gossip or fragmented information about projects which may become difficult if left unaddressed by managers who know little at each others’ end regarding what needs doing when someone leaves their team.

An excellent method in executing this decision would involve determining an official date/time and deciding on how best to disclose news of parting – based solely on compliance between employee rights versus company policies.

Perform an exit interview


The exit interview is one of the most important aspects for any HR professional. It allows you to gain insight into your employees’ experiences and know their feelings about their job before moving on. It also gives feedback that can help fill gaps in company structure or increase employee satisfaction levels even more.

  • Know the reason(s) why an employee is leaving
  • Their dynamics with the manager. It is essential to know if there reside issues with leadership.
  • Professional growth in their tenure.
  • Feedback on company policies, culture, and work ethic. Also, ask for suggested improvement measures.

Allocate time for knowledge transfer

Knowledge transfer is when someone leaving office must take his knowledge and pass it on to a colleague. This ensures smooth business operations and uninterrupted progress in work tasks with no speed bumps or interruptions.

All thanks because of this important responsibility held by HR: making sure employees complete their set before they go; otherwise, there could be problems when people don’t know what needs doing after being away from your presence too long! Set aside time slots for them each day (or week) so everything gets done smoothly while you’re gone.

Reset system access and reclaim company assets

After an employee leaves, it is important to revoke access and close accounts. This step provides for your company’s security by preventing any possible misuse or exposure in a data breach situation; plus, you’ll save yourself hours of trouble later down the line.

The IT team needs:

  • Disable all access to company emails
  • Remove them from the internal systems/database
  • Automatically redirect their emails or phone calls to a supervisor/new employee for some time before shutting it down permanently.
  • Remove them from upcoming meeting calendars.
  • Apart from this, as a Human Resource officer, it is your responsibility to retrieve all the company assets like gadgets, IDs, batches, access cards, etc.

All these security measures are for safeguarding company secrets and sensitive information.

Stay in touch

Maintaining cordial relationships with former employees is important even if they are leaving. This will help your company by making referrals from them and fostering networking opportunities for you too.

Show gratitude

Show your gratitude for the invaluable work that this individual has done. A goodbye party or sending him off with a gift will also show how much you care about their departure from the company.

The best way to make a graceful exit is by taking care of all the details. Offboarding your employees can be done professionally and with ease so that you can set up an enjoyable process for both parties involved- leaving them feeling like they have been treated fairly during this difficult time in their life.


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