Offboarding an employee may not always be a fun task, but it is a necessary one. Like any other HR process, it’s important that offboarding is done accurately and effectively.
Well-executed offboarding helps you maintain a positive employer brand by supplying employees one last good experience to remember you by -- particularly valuable in a world where descriptions of employee experience on websites like Glassdoor can directly influence prospective hires.
Making sure that your offboarding process is streamlined and efficient is critical for HR and for the reputation of your organization.
Providing a Positive Offboarding Experience for Employees
The advent of social media and websites like Glassdoor have made employer brands highly visible; negative word of mouth has the potential to do real harm to your employer brand, which can impact your recruiting and retention efforts.
The offboarding experience is especially critical for workforces that have high turnover or are made up of a large amount of contingent workers. For these organizations, large volumes of employees are coming through your doors with frequency - stories of negative experiences travel at lightspeed.
Creating a positive experience for an employee’s offboarding can be as important as a positive onboarding experience. Handling the offboarding process well can be a powerful way to support your brand, especially if you would like an employee to come back and work for you in the future.
Increasing the chance of future rehires directly impacts your bottom line - rehires mean lower talent acquisition costs and faster onboarding, which could be particularly beneficial if your workforce is seasonal.
There are many ways to leave employees with a good impression and elevate your employer brand. For instance, making the process transparent for employees can help them feel they’re supported with the resources they need.
Providing them with personalized content can help smooth the transition as well - for example, the policies related to offboarding, how to join the alumni network, or how to take advantage of outplacement services. And of course, automating offboarding whenever possible helps make the process go quickly while also accounting for every necessary step, such as notifying employees of tasks they need to complete to finalize the process.
Empowering HR to Implement Good Offboarding
A good offboarding process also helps your HR team run more efficiently. Automating processes helps shift the work away from repetitive offboarding tasks so you can spend more time on value-add activities, such as conducting exit interviews, generating content for offboarding FAQs, or managing your employer brand.
Automation also reduces errors by ensuring that all required steps are completed, such as revoking access to email and other web-based systems, as well as physical locations at the right time.
An automated offboarding process helps you ensure that any necessary paperwork is completed and filed – and you’ll also need a way to manage documents for former employee for the duration required by company policy or local regulation.
Depending on the employee type or geography, there may be variations in the offboarding process. With personalized process automation, HR teams save time tracking down the different offboarding steps and reduce the potential for errors, ensuring the offboarding process has been completed correctly for the specific employee.
With a solid offboarding process that minimizes repetitive, manual work for HR and helps employees navigate their exit, you have the opportunity to strengthen your employer brand, expanding the pool of prospective candidates and increasing the chance of future rehires.
Nicole Lindenbaum is the Director of Product Marketing at PeopleDoc. She writes and speaks about HR service delivery, HR technology, digital transformation, and the future of work. With significant experience in enterprise software, Nicole has worked in both HR technology and document management software.
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University and a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. You can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.