Did you know that only 5% of companies have an automated employee offboarding process? Given the benefits of having one, that number should be a lot higher. An employee offboarding process can create a smooth, stress-free experience for helping an employee transition out of your company and into their next role. It also saves HR departments time and resources. The result? A consistent, high-quality experience that maintains compliance without any extra effort.

HR project management solutions like Wrike help streamline employee offboarding processes. In this article, we’ll go over what an employee offboarding is, why you need one, and what steps you’ll take to perfect it.

What is an offboarding process?

Often, companies will have to go through offboarding processes, whether it be client offboarding or employee offboarding. Client offboarding can have a real benefit to both you and your customer, as it can provide insight into where improvements can be made in your client relationship management system. If you're wondering what is a client relationship management system, it's the process of guiding your organization's strategy of managing client relations.

An employee offboarding process is the exact opposite of employee onboarding. Onboarding covers tasks related to bringing an employee into the company. But offboarding helps transition them out of the company. Both use a series of tasks you can carry out with a repeatable project management system. Traditional offboarding often takes place in person. But if you have remote employees on your team, you can do virtual offboarding too.

These tasks tie up loose ends both professionally and personally. Professionally, you’ll need to cover any legal concerns like paperwork and non-disclosures. Personally, you’ll want to help the employee feel as good as they can about the company despite the split.

Why should you have an offboarding process?

You could offboard employees on a case by case basis. But doing so makes it harder to standardize the process. An offboarding process uses a repeatable list of actions and expectations. This saves an HR department a lot of time so they can focus on higher ROI tasks instead.

It will also maintain compliance and make it easier for HR team members to communicate and coordinate efforts for a quick and streamlined experience. Share sensitive information ahead of time through an automated offboarding process. Doing so makes it easier for HR team members to handle each unique situation without missing a beat. 

Not every company can pay employees to leave like Amazon does. But you can create a high-quality process to ensure everyone’s satisfaction on their way out the door.

If you don’t have an offboarding process, you run the risk of compromising sensitive information about your business, leaving loose ends unattended to, and not keeping proper and up-to-date employment records. It can also leave a bad impression on the former employee.  

Creating an offboarding process with Wrike

If you’re a fast-growing company, you’ll need to automate as much of your employee offboarding process as you can. As Amazon’s senior VP of human resources, Beth Galetti, says, “If we’re going to hire tens of thousands — or now hundreds of thousands — of people a year, we can’t afford to live by manual processes and manual transactions.” The same principle applies to offboarding.

Here’s how to create an offboarding process with Wrike:

  1. Add the employee offboarding as a project. Include status labels for various stages of the employee separation process.
  2. Templatize your documents checklist. Assign this as a task to a relevant team member. Give them a due date for signature acquisition. Then set up an Approval to go over the documents once they’re completed.
  3. Include your employee offboarding checklist as subtasks. Assign each one to a team member. Have them update the status of each as they go along. Connect related checklist items together by setting up a task dependency.  It will trigger the next step and notify relevant parties for you.
  4. Make an offboarding timeline. Visualize an overview of the offboarding process to get real-time updates automatically. Aim to finish your entire offboarding process before the employee’s last day.
  5. Move the employee file to a new folder. Once the offboarding process is complete, you need to store their documents and relationship details. To do this, move their file to a new location. Your team can also refer to it if needed in the future.

What do I put in an offboarding checklist?

Your offboarding checklist should include:

  • An official notice of resignation acknowledgment or termination. Define when their last day is and what’s expected of them before they go.
  • Gathering any NDAs and benefits documentation they may need to review.
  • The transfer of any knowledge needed for the next employee to pick up where this one left off.
  • Informing clients, partners, and suppliers the employee interacts with on a regular basis. 
  • A documented recovery of any company property the employee has in the office or at home (laptops, tablets, monitors, hard drives, vehicles, etc.).
  • Updating all company website bios, directories, and org charts.
  • Asking IT to begin their cybersecurity offboarding process.
  • Completing any outstanding payments.
  • Conducting an exit interview to get honest feedback on the organization.
  • Thanking the employee and adding them to any existing corporate alumni groups.

What do I put in an exit interview checklist?

The exit interview should go over the employee’s work with the company. It should also address their relationships with managers or coworkers. You can also ask whether they met their original goals for taking this position and get their real opinion on how the company could better serve employees.

Offboarding best practices to remember

Remember that offboarding is more than filing paperwork. It’s about saying a proper goodbye and leaving a positive last impression. To do this you need to organize your process and automate tasks wherever you can. You can also provide value to the employee by making it all stress-free.

The perfect employee offboarding process uses tools like Wrike. Streamlining this type of project will improve the experience for everyone involved. If you’d like to execute employee offboarding best practices, use Wrike’s free two-week trial. Discover how to templatize your process and find new ways to end relationships on a high note.