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employee offboarding checklist

Leaving a company can be challenging for both the person quitting and the company itself. Someone may decide to resign because of a family matter, retirement, a career change, or they received a better job offer somewhere else. In some cases, the company may also have to lay someone off. There could be many reasons for the termination of an employment contract, such as the company doesn’t feel the employee is the right person for the job anymore. This all leads to the process of employee offboarding. It ensures that people aren’t affected by the company or person. It is essential to make a smooth transition, so no one gets affected negatively. Having an employee offboarding checklist ensures that you do not miss any important steps when an employee is leaving your firm.

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What is Offboarding?

Onboarding is when you hire someone to join the company, so offboarding will be the opposite; the person is leaving the company.

Why Prepare for an Employee Offboarding?

Employee offboarding can be just as important as onboarding a new employee. Offboarding gives managers a better understanding of how to handle different situations. 

It is crucial to create a successful transition because poor offboarding could affect the company negatively. The organization should keep the employee in mind when transitioning them out of the company. You still don’t want them to leave angry or upset because that puts a bad light on your business reputation, or worse, you could get sued and face a lawsuit based on wrongful termination, or improper payments toward the employee.

Benefits of Offboarding Employees

Employee Satisfaction

Employees need to feel they had a good experience from the first day of employment to the last day. Employee satisfaction at the workplace will create a work environment that will impress any new employee. This will make people want to work for you.

Security Risk

When terminating an employee, you want to make sure that you are taking away any employee access to ensure that there is no security risk. Keeping their information could lead to a security breach, which could cause serious damage to the business.


When an employee is leaving the company, make sure that you ask them what they think about their time at the company. When the employees leave, they are much more likely to tell you how they truly felt about their experience with the company. Considering employee feedback will create a better experience for new employees.

Favorable Impression

If the employee left on their own because of family matters or because they needed time for themselves, you want them to leave with a good impression. You want the resigned employee to tell others about a positive employee experience and organizational culture. If the resigning employee leaves with a favorable impression, chances are higher that they would want to return. 

Employee Offboarding Checklist

When preparing for an employee to quit, it is essential to have clear guidelines on procedures that will be a part of the offboarding process. This can be done in an employee offboarding checklist.

Knowing what to include in the employee offboarding checklist may depend on how big or small the company is. It is the responsibility of the HR department to create and maintain the checklist. The employee offboarding checklists will ensure that no supervisors won’t miss any critical pieces of information for making the offboarding process successful. 

The HR manager or human resources should lead the offboarding process and don’t pass the list through everyone’s hands at different departments. Try to keep it to one person to keep track of the list, so nothing is missed until the very last farewell message!

HR Software

Using HR software when creating your employee offboarding checklist will streamline the process. Once you have created the checklist, you can use the management software to automate parts of the process in workflows, such as recovering assets and compensation. The automating done by the HR management system will remove stress from managers and ensure that you never miss important sets on the checklist.

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What to Include in Your Employee Offboarding Checklist

1. Tell the Employee What is Going to Happen

To inform the employee what is going to happen next is the first step of the process. It all depends on whether they are getting laid off, terminated from the company, retired, or left alone. However, the one consistent piece of dealing with these situations is to tell them what will happen next and walk through the offboarding process. This can be done orally or through a formal letter.

2. Prepare Paperwork

Preparing the necessary paperwork will ensure that there aren’t any concerns, especially regarding compensation. Some types of paperwork to include in the employee offboarding checklist would be:

  • 401(K) information
  • Health insurance information
  • Noncompete agreement
  • Non Disclosure Agreement 
  • Reimbursement information
  • Tax documents

3. Knowledge Transfer

The human resource department and supervisors has most likely provided resources that the employee could use during their employment and would need to be taken away during offboarding. This includes:

  • Important contacts
  • Useful resources
  • Status report from ongoing tasks
  • Location of records
  • List of outstanding tasks

4. Recover Company Assets

This is all the technology that their employees use while at the company. This may vary depending on how much you provide for the employee. You spend money on this equipment, which will need to be used for future use. This would include the following:

  • IT equipment
  • Mobile phone
  • ID cards or badges
  • Parking tags
  • Uniforms
  • Access card or keys 

5. IT Permissions and Access

Having work remotely has become much more popular over the years. It is not a new idea, but since so many companies have changed to remote only or partly remote, they may forget this step. IT must recover any IT permissions and accesses that the employee had. If an employee has outside access to the company, which could cause security breaches. To ensure IT safety, have an employee offboarding checklist that strips the employee that is leaving of authorization the second they leave. This includes:

  • Update passwords
  • Revoke employees access
  • Remove employee from payroll
  • Update directory
  • Update company website
  • Redirect calls and emails

6. Exit Interview

Simplify everything that was done and needs to get done with the offboarding. Having the exit interview will benefit the company the most. This should also be a respectful interview so you can receive helpful feedback about your business processes and the employee experience at your workplace. This includes:

  • Exit interview questionnaire 
  • Have discussions after the survey
  • Analyze the data collected 
  • Retrieve insights

7. Compensation

You do not want to leave the employee unpaid during the offboarding process. If this step is done improperly, it could cause a lawsuit. It is good to state these actions to the employee to avoid any confusion about when the employee will receive their last paycheck. This includes:

Exit Interview

As previously talked about, an exit interview isn’t always required, depending on the company. However, all exit interviews are highly recommended. This will be your last impression of the employee, and it should be positive. Make sure that both managers and employees feel good about the interview and that it is professionally performed in a polite manner. If the exit interview is executed properly, you can find out how to improve things such as job satisfaction, mentoring, employee engagement, talent management, and much more. This is valuable information you get the opportunity to gather before the employee walks out the door.

How to have a successful exit interview

1. Why are you leaving?

If you must fire an employee, you already know the reason for employment termination. However, if the staff member resigns on own terms, you should ask the reason. Be considerate of what they respond with because if it is a problem with the company, then it will be good to self-reflect and know what to do differently in the future.

2. What was a good experience you had in the company?

Knowing a weakness in the company is just as important as knowing the strengths. If the company knows what it did right, they know what to continue doing.

3. Why are you relocating?

The question about relocation should be asked after you have learned why they are leaving. If they are relocating, it can be a good idea to understand why. Maybe a higher pay grade, closer to home, or different work hours. Any information can help the HR management team to know what was wrong.

4. Would you consider staying?

If you feel like they gave the company a lot and that it would be bad for them if they left, ask if they would like to stay. If they need higher pay, better hours, anything that they think is required. If you can accommodate that, keeping them on the team will be vital. If the employee seems to consider staying but is simply at the wrong time in their life, asking this question can open doors for the potential rehiring of the person in the future.

Finding a replacement

After getting feedback from the team member that left, it is time to find a new hire now that a new position is open. If the person has two weeks’ notice, you can be proactive by getting started on looking for a replacement. If someone puts in their retirement letter or resignation letter, the hiring manager should start looking for a replacement immediately.  

If the HR department does hire new staff, be mindful of the job that the other employees and team members put in. During the new employee orientation, inform the new employee updated on any recent changes. If the ex-employee had a project, provide as much information as possible during the onboarding process so the new hires can be successful and any deadlines that have already been created aren’t missed.

If you wait to get started on the hiring process until the departure of the ex-employee, then take some time to reflect on how you can improve your practices with the new employee. Gather all the feedback you got and provide an even better experience, starting already at the orientation process.


Making the employee experience enjoyable should be every human resource department’s number one priority since they are the reason the company moves forward. Although offboarding is at the very end of the employee lifecycle, it is still an important part of the employee experience. Even when leaving the company, please have your company memorable so you can leave a positive mark on their life. To make sure that you are including all necessary steps in the offboarding process, it is essential that you create an employee offboarding checklist. The checklist should be clear and easy-to-follow and can include procedures such as recovering company assets, exit interviews, compensation guidelines, and more. Remember, an employee’s last day of work will be their last impression of the company, so make sure it is a good one.

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