Much has been written about employee onboarding, yet employee offboarding is equally as important. Offboarding is processing someone out who is leaving the organization, whether they’re leaving voluntarily or involuntarily, and it should be defined and applied consistently.
Employee offboarding that is documented can ensure compliance with various regulations and can prevent errors (like not collecting a company-issued mobile device from a departing employee). Automating the process with workflow software is the best way to ensure consistency and completeness in the offboarding process.
Reasons Why a Strong Offboarding Process Is Necessary
Smart employee offboarding isn’t just a matter of efficiency and recordkeeping. It can have significant financial consequences too. As just one example, the University of Wisconsin overpaid $15.4 million in health insurance premiums during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, and more than half of that was paid for workers who no longer worked for the university.
Security gaps are another reason why employee offboarding should be airtight. Access to internal company networks via desktop and mobile devices must be terminated, and company keycards must be deactivated to prevent security risks.
And did you know a fragmented offboarding system can make a company vulnerable to wrongful dismissal lawsuits? Employees have been known to file lawsuits for unfair dismissal under the Family and Medical Leave Act not because they had a case, but because they knew their company didn’t have a decent audit trail. The following are 5 ways you can easy-button your employee offboarding process.
1. Create an Offboarding Checklist for HR
An electronic checklist can be part of the employee offboarding process for the HR department. Items on the checklist may include:
- Obtaining the employee’s letter of resignation
- Providing written acceptance of resignation letter
- Scheduling employee to meet with HR for out-processing
- Entering employee termination information into the HR database
- Processing any outstanding employee expense reimbursement
- Confirming employee doesn’t owe reimbursement of signing bonus or other bonuses
- Determining whether an employee has any accrued leave he or she hasn’t taken
- Providing the employee with his or her own offboarding checklist
2. Create an Offboarding Checklist for the Employee
An electronic employee offboarding checklist as part of the offboarding workflow is helpful as well. It may include items like:
- Settling any petty cash advances or other unsettled accounts
- Ensuring all critical records are labeled and organized for his or her successor
- Removing personal items from office, employee lockers, etc.
- Returning keys, keycards, company credit cards, parking permits, etc.
- If applicable, completing conflict of interest statement
- Gathering company-issued mobile devices to turn in
- Providing forwarding address so mail can be forwarded
3. Review any Nondisclosure, Benefits, or Severance Packages with the Employee
If an employee signed a non-disclosure, non-compete, or confidentiality agreement, review the requirements of this agreement with the employee before he or she leaves. Also, discuss any penalties that will apply if the agreement is breached. Ensure the employee is provided with copies, if not already having done so. These forms are often used so that company-confidential information is retained within the company and not shared with potential competitors.
Other documents may need to be reviewed, depending on the terms of the employee departure. Common severance package items include:
- Remaining regular pay, and/or additional pay for x amount of months
- Stock options
- Unused vacation time, sick or PTO
- 401K and 403B
- Re-employment assistance
- Resume preparation assistance
4. Inventory Items Issued to the Employee
An electronic checklist may be important in this part of the employee offboarding process as well. Items typically issued to employees may include ID badges, keys, keycards, parking passes, mobile devices, tools, and uniforms. Cards that generate one-time passwords for network access are sometimes issued and should be recovered to protect network security. Account for all these items before employee departure.
5. Conduct an Exit Interview
Exit interviews are important. Approximately 75% of organizations have their human resources departments conduct them with every employee departure. Why? Because the goal of every company is to retain highly valued employees. These exit interviews during offboarding give us important clues about work culture, processes, ethics and morale. By allowing departing employees to discuss their perceptions and reasons for leaving, HR can monitor these responses and determine trends and patterns over time.
Data should be collected from every employee exit interview. This can be done through the use of offboarding surveys. When common issues arise in these exit interview surveys, it may be a good idea for the company to determine the cause of these issues.
Vital to the organization, is also understanding how competitive they are with other companies- pay packages, vacation time, etc. It’s also helpful to know who is poaching your employee talent.
Common exit interview questions during the offboarding process may include:
- When, and why, did you begin looking for a new job?
- How would you rate the culture of our organization?
- Where you given enough resources to do your job?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how intensive was your workload on an average day?
- Did internal politics frequently impede on your ability to do your job effectively?
- Was responsibility well divided among your coworkers?
Watch out- data can be vague and departing employees not forth coming in fear of jeopardizing using the organization as a reference. For these reasons, it may be helpful to make exit surveys anonymous and not tied to employee records.
Streamline the Offboarding Process with HR Automation by ProcessMaker
Regardless of the circumstances, employee offboarding can be somewhat emotional. But it’s critical for companies to have a standard, comprehensive offboarding process that ensures all security risks have been addressed and that an audit trail of the employee’s exit is created in every case. ProcessMaker is workflow software that lets non-programmers create workflows that are efficient and reduce mistakes. It’s perfect for creating a custom employee offboarding workflow to improve security and prevent mistakes and omitted steps.
What’s more, you can test drive the ProcessMaker Enterprise Edition for free, or view our HR Automation software. Offboarding is too important to trust to paper forms and spreadsheets, and now you can automate an employee offboarding process to fit your needs perfectly.