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Employee Offboarding: Checklist and Best Practices

December 18, 2020

Employee Offboarding: Checklist and Best Practices

An employee leaving is a weird time for a company. If they’re leaving for a new job or retiring, there’s a countdown of sorts until their last day. Of course, you have to say goodbye and show your appreciation for all they did at the company, but more importantly, you have to figure out how to fill the void of having one less person in the office and replacing the work they do.

When an employee leaves, there will always be some housekeeping that needs to be done. Passwords to sites they used, files they had on their computer that help with projects, keys to the building, and many other details can slip through the cracks if you’re not intentional about in offboarding them before they leave.

Here is our guide to employee offboarding.

 


 

employee off boarding checklist

The Importance of an Offboarding Checklist

Like we mentioned above, there is A LOT going on when an employee announces that they are leaving. Trying to manage it all by memory is likely going to end in disaster. Often times, employee offboarding is ignored by many companies;only 14 percent of companies saying they think they have an effective offboarding process. That is a surprisingly low number when you consider that the company is in a tougher spot once the employee leaves. Trying to ease that burden on the remaining employees is one of the biggest goals of a successful offboarding.

Offboarding can also help when it comes time to bringing in a new employee because the person leaving can explain what they do, what it takes to do it, areas where they think could use additional help, and many other things that help with the day to day of not only their job but the company as a whole. Make sure to be thorough when it comes to offboarding.

It’s also important to remember that employee offboarding is not likely to be a one-day thing. A checklist will help you remember where you are in the offboarding process regardless of how long it takes.

     

    off boarding checklist BSS

     


     

    What to Include in an Offboarding Checklist

    When an employee announces they’re leaving, there are a lot of things that they need to turn in, teach people how to do, or finish up so that when they’re gone, they don’t still have access to private information – and so that you don’t have to awkwardly track them down a week or so later to find out what the company log-in was for the Wall Street Journal.

    Having a tangible checklist – whether it’s printed or available on a shared storage drive and completed digitally – can help both managers and outgoing employees understand everything that needs to be done before they head out the door, while keeping organized. Here are some things to consider when creating your new offboarding checklist.

     

    key icon

    Supplies and Physical Access Tools

    These are the things the company gave them that they do not get to leave with and may get passed on to future employees. This can include but is not limited to:

    • Computer and Accessories (Laptop, monitors, keyboard, etc.)
    • Building/office keys and/or keycards
    • External storage devices
    • Any sort of company handbook
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    Remaining Work Tasks

    Again, just because a person is leaving doesn’t mean their job is done and the tasks they were working on don’t need to be finished. In fact, it’s the opposite; you’ll want to be as detailed as possible when taking down notes or info about what work you’ll need to do after they’re gone. Here are a few things to check up on.

    • Projects they are currently working on
    • Projects they worked on in the past
    • Upcoming items they haven’t started yet
    • How to train remaining employees to their tasks (where applicable)
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    Account and Work Tools They Use

    If the person uses a certain program that nobody else uses, they’ll want to share that information. Or if they have access to accounts that need to be used to complete tasks, their colleagues will need that information to log in.

    • Programs used and login access
    • Passwords/login information for things like social media and apps
    • Contacts that may help with work-related tasks
    • Where files are in the company storage system/cloud
    future information

    Future Information

    When a person is leaving, the company may still need to contact them for information and follow-ups. Be sure they leave behind the following information. Refer back to this part of the checklist if you’re unable to complete this on the day they leave since they may not know their new address just yet.

    • New address if available
    • Who to call for 401k information
    • Who to call for W2 and other tax information
    • Future employer (maybe, this is a case by case basis)

    And remember, much of this will be determined by the type of organization and the role the person held. You may need to tweak your checklist depending on the person. A person leaving IT will not have the same exit process or checklist as a person who is a floor worker in a factory.

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      Offboarding Agenda

      This is something that’s going to be a work in progress. It could run even after an employee leaves depending on what you include on your checklist, but here’s an example of what an employee’s last day and offboarding schedule could look like.

      • 8 a.m. – Go over their current project load. This could include a meeting that discusses the person taking over their duties. The leaving employee can explain what has been done, what needs to be done, and the manager and other employees can ask questions.
      • 10 a.m. – Fill out any necessary paperwork. This could include non-disclosure agreements, future information, etc.
      • 11 a.m. – Turn in information on apps, passwords, etc. that colleagues will need to continue doing the work after person is gone.
      • Noon – Lunch. If it’s a person who is leaving on good terms, this can be a team or company-wide lunch at (or from) a favorite restaurant if the person leaving.
      • 1 p.m. – Conduct exit interviews. These can be with the manager and then boss, or both at the same time. This is an important step because they will hopefully provide insight into what worked, what didn’t work, areas where the company could improve, or how they felt like they had support (or didn’t) in certain aspects of their job. This is an invaluable tool going forward that can not only determine what the company as a whole does but what you might look for in a new hire if it’s a position where the person will need replacing.
      • 3 p.m. – Hand in equipment and keys and say goodbyes. You don’t want the person leaving with their company-issued laptop or still to have a way into the office after they’re gone, so make sure they have turned in all important physical items. Once they have, it’s time to say goodbye. Reminisce a little! Talk about the good times you had with them at the office. Once everything is done, let them go early (if possible) and on good terms.

         

        An employee’s last day and a well-structured offboarding checklist and agenda helps set you up for success and can make a person’s exit an easier, more organized process. Having an employee offboarding checklist ready to go can be one fewer thing to worry about during the work of offboarding and can help the company going forward in several ways.


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        ABOUT THE AUTHOR

        Ron is the marketing assistant at Blue Summit Supplies and joined at a weird time - just before the coronavirus hit. His goal is to combine humor and information in his articles, which he hopes makes them easier to remember. Outside of work, Ron enjoys spending time with his wife, their dog and cat, and managing his passion project blog, BusLeagueHockey.com


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