Whether this departure is by resignation at his initiative, dismissal, or end of the contract, a break always leaves a bitter taste to the protagonists.

However, in an increasingly globalized and competitive economic context, the flexibility of employees and organizations has become the norm.

It is not uncommon to see employees change companies every 3 to 5 years to give new impetus to their careers.

So, if this change is inevitable, we might as well anticipate it as best as possible with an effective off-boarding process.

What Is Off Boarding?

Off-boarding, or “employee exit management, describes the entire process of leaving a company employee.

This off-boarding process is often accompanied by efficient HR. It ensures compliance and monitoring of all stages.

This may include:

·      Ensure the transition of the workstation, by training a newcomer a few days before the departure of an employee

·      Make sure that the employee returns all sensitive objects to the company on the day of his departure (pass, keys, company bank card)

·      Guarantee the deactivation and protection of sensitive data, whether from the point of view of the employee (securing personal data) or the company (deactivation of access privileges, strategic documentation)

·      Allow the transition of other management concerns (reallocation of parking spaces or the number of employees in the cafeteria)

In short, off-boarding is a complete process, which helps to support the employee's exit and business continuity in the best possible way. And this, even beyond the presence of the employee in the company.

Why Implement An Offboarding Strategy?

Whether it is for the arrival of an employee or when they leave the company, these are important stages in the employee's life that must be properly taken care of by HR managers and managers. The number of contractual terminations continues to increase and companies are therefore increasingly faced with departures of employees.

The search for talent is increasingly tense between companies and recruitment firms. We also must not neglect the “boomerang employee” effect.

Each field of activity is a microcosm. It is not uncommon to see former employees return to their company a few years after experience in another company.

An employee who leaves in good conditions, thanks to a good offboarding process, is an employee who will return to your company with pleasure!

The moment of departure is crucial so that the end of the adventure goes as well as possible and so that the employee can speak well of the company, the importance of the employer brand. And if this employee was an asset and the company did not know how to keep him, it is to be hoped that he will be able to return to work in the company one day.

We must not forget that a former employee will not hesitate to talk about his old company around him, whether for good or for bad.

If the exit process is: well-executed, respectful of the people behind the employee, then he will speak positively about his old experience. And this, even if the departure of the employee was difficult for him!

Well-being and recognition in the company are increasingly important topics to retain employees overtime!

So have the right attitude to ensure them a dignified and respectful outing.

Offboarding Strategies

Here is the process in a few steps to follow:

Train The New Employee With The Help Of The Former Employee.

This step is absolutely crucial for the smooth running of the business. Even if no one is irreplaceable, the expertise and knowledge accumulated by your departing employee is invaluable and should as much as possible be passed on to his successor.

It is therefore important to plan for a transfer period worthy of the name in order to have time to transfer knowledge effectively.

In the event that this is not materially possible, ask your departing employee to prepare support for his successor detailing the intricacies of the position, its best practices, and any other information that may facilitate taking up the position. These precautions will be useful both for the replacement, but also for the team in place, which will not feel abandoned.

Ask The Employee To Return All Company Property And Sensitive Files To You.

A successful company outing must be thought out down to the smallest detail :

The equipment loaned to the employee must be recovered: computer, work phone, tablet, etc. A point on the state of wear of the equipment must be made.

Remove employee access and accounts from all company networks (internal and external) and all collaborative tools.

Close the last payments: balance of any account, possible reimbursement of expense reports, etc.

Make sure that the employee has had the documents he needs administratively: work certificate, a receipt for the balance of any account, etc.

Consider updating the organization chart of the teams.

Make Sure You Deactivate All Access.

In any case, the access you gave to the former employee. Do it the day after leaving.

Warning: be careful not to deactivate them a few days before. The employee will feel excluded and will not even be able to work!

Ensure Continuity Of Security And Support To Help The Employee To Reposition Himself On The Job Market.

If you have not anticipated, the employee will have to come and collect certain documents, They can also register you as a reference during a job interview. So be sure to keep your file accessible at all times.

Manage The Logistical Reorganization.

This is especially true when several employees leave or arrive at the same time.

To avoid, for example, a lack of space in the cafeteria, it is essential to ensure reassignment quickly.

How to Best Manage An Offboarding

Even if the announcement of an employee's departure could have the effect of cold and hostile reactions on the part of the employer, it is rather advisable to think about the well-being of the employee and the atmosphere within the company.

Take Care of Communication

The basis for successful offboarding lies first of all in thoughtful communication :

Notify as quickly as possible the team or teams that will be directly impacted by the departure of the employee.

It is a good way to avoid the circulation of rumors and above all, it will reassure those who remain.

The departing employee will also appreciate this transparency, which will avoid the embarrassment of having to conceal this sensitive information.

Depending on your employee's preferences, you can let them announce their departure. If you are in charge of it, stay as neutral and objective as possible.

Note: make sure that any external service providers are also notified, and that they have the contact details of the successor.

Don't Forget To Thank

Once the departure information has been disclosed, you must send a positive message: this means saying thank you:

To the departing employee: whatever the degree of satisfaction given in the position, everyone brings something positive to the equation. Know how to identify and value it when your employee leaves.

To the team that stays: it's always easier for those who leave than for those who stay. The team will experience a more or less long floating period, during which the workload of the outgoing employee will be transferred to the other employees, at least until the newcomer is fully operational. Taking the time to thank them and involve them is therefore important to show them your recognition.

Collect Constructive Feedback

A departure is also an opportunity to take a step back. During the exit interview:

Ask your employee to give you an assessment of the positive and negative points that he noted during his time in the company. Departing employees have more freedom to speak than those in the post, mainly on sensitive subjects.

To make sure you get relevant feedback, be open and attentive. This assessment will allow you to identify the strengths, but also the areas for improvement in the functioning of the team.

These elements will be invaluable in adjusting the company's talent management strategy.

Work On Your Network Of Former Collaborators

Keeping in touch with former employees is essential to create a network of ambassadors for your employer brand :

The company is responsible for running this network by sharing news (in the form of a quarterly newsletter for example), organizing one-off events, etc.

By maintaining some form of involvement with your former employees, they will be better able to open up their network to you and recommend your company to other talents.

One Last Tip:

You have to know how to be happy for the employee who is leaving. Knowing how to support him in his new professional goal is a human side that employees appreciate. It should not be forgotten that the departure of an employee can affect the atmosphere and the motivation of the employees who remain.

Usually, at the initiative of the company or the employee, organizing an event or planning a goodbye are practices that are highly appreciated by the departing employee. But also the rest of the team. From now on, the departure of a company can be carried out in a particular way for a year. Some employees do not see their colleagues when they leave and this situation is unprecedented and linked to teleworking. The starting pots are also canceled in order to respect the barrier gestures.

To Sums It Up

Employee departures are the life of a company, you have to know how to manage them professionally while maintaining human contact. The off-boarding process must be well prepared, whether it is to enhance the employer brand or to maintain a good relationship with the employee, any departure must be experienced as best as possible, despite the special circumstances linked to the health crisis.