Best practices in employee offboarding
Start by hearing them out
When an employee informs you that he or she is leaving, make time for them. Make it your priority to hear them out and understand why they are making the decision. How you treat your employees when they decide to leave you says a lot about you as an employer. Extend all the help you can to make sure they have a swift transition. This time period can also allow you an opportunity to change a valuable employee’s mind and retain them in the organization.
Prepare your people for the move
Communicate the change to all the concerned people as early as possible. This can stop rumors from spreading. You don’t want your employees to run on assumptions. For example, hearing that a co-worker was fired, or is leaving for a better offer might spread negatively if not communicated on time. So encourage your managers or team supervisors to let their team know. The communication can include simple details such as:
- When the employee is leaving
- Why they are leaving
- Who will be filling in their shoes
- Any other transition measures you are taking
This might be your last chance to tell them how much they mattered to you. Have an honest conversation with them. Highlight their strengths, achievements, and significant contributions in the company. Tell them what you see in them that they don’t - hidden abilities or unnoticed skills so they can hone it as they continue their professional journey elsewhere.
Facilitate knowledge transfer
Your employees bring in skills and abilities and gain so much institutional knowledge on their role. Unless it’s documented, it’s going to simply be lost once they leave. The next person in their role will have to start from scratch.
The knowledge transfer process allows them to document the vital pointers for your future employees or others in the team. It could include details such as repetitive projects they work on throughout the year, systems or software they use every day, POCs for different departments, any training material they received, etc.
As a part of the knowledge transfer process, you could also ask your new hires or other teammates to closely work with them and observe them in action. Conduct sessions where your departing employees can share wisdom on how they handled difficult situations or problems in the past.
Write an attractive recommendation
It’s sad to see good employees leave. Even when it’s for the better. You want to do everything you can to help them transition into a new job or the next step in their professional venture. An attractive LinkedIn recommendation would clearly make a statement. You could also introduce them to your other connections who can offer them a good job, especially if they were terminated or laid off during a difficult season.
Show them how they can keep in touch
It could be as simple as getting their personal email and phone number or asking them which social media platform they are most active on. Even after an employee moves out, send them a message or an email once in a while, invite them over to lunch, reach out when you have professional events. Show them you truly cared and still do.