Employers quite rightly place a lot of emphasis on their onboarding processes – making sure that candidates are the right fit for the business, that they are educated on the mission, vision and values and that they understand the organisation’s culture. However, employers tend to overlook the importance of the offboarding process, when someone is leaving the business.

There are of course some key steps that should be actioned, not least of which is ensuring that you cut off the data access for any departing employee. On occasion, you may need to put staff in certain positions on garden leave with immediate effect, in order to prevent them having access to your live data and sales pipelines, as they could potentially use this information in their new roles. Even if there is no malicious intent, it’s easy enough when trying to impress a new boss to mention that lucrative contract which is coming up for renewal. Contract covenants aside an employer’s offboarding process should be there to protect and reduce risk as much as possible. Ensuring that once an employee has left there is no way for them to access your systems is crucial and this can also be applicable to staff in development, data management or IT roles as they may have back door access to your systems.

The checklist is not just an admin task; there are elements here which can expose your business to risk if they are not checked off in good time. It’s a real opportunity for you as a business to get some valuable, honest feedback from a departing employee, to put an arm around those who are left behind (metaphorically speaking of course – otherwise please refer to our blog on harassment in the workplace!); and a chance for you to show that you valued your departing colleague’s contribution to the business and how much they will be missed. How you treat them will be noted by the remaining workforce and will speak volumes for your employer brand.

Be sure to circulate a best wishes card for the team to sign and make arrangements for flowers, leaving gift or farewell lunch. Where relevant, let them know that the door is open for a return if the grass is not greener.

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