What is Offboarding?
The Vital Role It Plays in the Employer-Employee Relationship


You may have read an article describing whether effective onboarding can set you up for success and have stumbled across the word offboarding. But what is offboarding — and what is the importance of offboarding? This article will give you an introduction to the definition of offboarding and why it is an important part of the employee lifecycle.

What Is Offboarding?


Offboarding plays a vital role in the end of your employee lifecycle. A formal offboarding definition is as follows: offboarding employees is the process that leads to the formal separation between an employee and a company through resignation, termination, or retirement.

Offboarding refers to all the activities that ensure a smooth transition for an employee out of an organization and, in some cases, it facilitates the transfer of knowledge to other employees. 

Offboarding’s meaning extends beyond the formal administrative processes related to an employee departing. While it does also contain elements such as handing over equipment and clarifying final financial payments, it also serves as insight to the HR department. 

A well-planned offboarding programme can establish a strong connection between the departing employee and the organization, leaving no bad blood between them and leaving open a window of opportunity for future collaborations.


What does an offboarding process entail?


If an employee has resigned, retired, or been terminated, the offboarding process can begin. To achieve as smooth a transition as possible, the employee in collaboration with the company’s HR department should perform a series of tasks. 

This is also referred to as the employee offboarding checklist

The employee offboarding checklist details every necessary task that must be performed when an employee is departing a workplace. This should be followed in order to ensure that the exit of the employee from a company is without malice from either side. 

The tasks from the employee offboarding checklist include:


Communication of the Employee’s Departure

The employee offboarding checklist assists companies in planning the communication of your exit. This is done to preserve your dignity as a departing employee, as well as display continued respect even at the end of the employment relationship.

Communicating the departure of the employee should be preceded by an agreement between yourself and the employer (HR department, line management etc.) on how and when the exit will be announced. Once an agreement is reached, your departure will be communicated to the workforce of the company. 


Facilitation of Knowledge Transfer to the Successor

When an employee leaves the company, it is crucial that they transfer their knowledge regarding their occupation to their successor. This ensures that no operational vacuum is created. The departing employee will hand over and train (if necessary) the successor in some critical aspects of the role.


Recovery of Company Assets

Before an employee departs a company, it is crucial that they return company assets. HR can draw up a list of company assets together with you and the systems administrator or workforce manager to make sure there is a clear inventory drafted ahead of time, which includes all the items that have to be recovered.


Update IT-Permit and Access

This step in the employee offboarding checklist is to guard against security breaches. The IT-department will disable any access relating to the departing employee to prevent you from accessing any information related to the company once the employment is concluded.

An IT-offboarding checklist could also be utilized to streamline the IT-offboarding process. An IT-offboarding checklist template is a tool used to manage the information regarding technology-specific aspects of your offboarding. 

Regardless of your type of job, chances are that there is at least an IT-system in place to manage your work. For example, a scheduling platform where you can also interact with coworkers regarding your shifts is a classic example of IT-system credentials that need to be revoked for departing employees.


Conduct an Offboarding Exit Interview

Conducting an offboarding exit interview is another important activity from the employee offboarding checklist. The exit interview can be performed either as a face-to-face discussion between yourself and the HR manager or via a questionnaire. 

The data collected from an exit interview allows an organization to discover where it needs to intervene in order to further enhance its image with current and future employees. It also helps to gain a better understanding of the overall employee experience within the company, regardless of the employee’s stage of the employee lifecycle.


Preparation for Future Reference Requests

In the future, even after the employment is formally concluded, you might need the employer as a reference for another job offer. Hence, any organization should endeavor to keep accurate and detailed records relating to the employment in order to correctly answer such requests if solicited.


Payment of the Employee’s Entitlement

You have to receive all the information related to any financial entitlements upon the conclusion of your employment. You need to be aware of your rights — for example, are you entitled to severance pay?

Once you receive all the necessary information, you will know the time frame for receiving any financial benefits. This may not occur right when the employment relationship is concluded, so it is essential to know what to expect and when to expect it to happen.

Benefits of Offboarding Employees Properly


Whenever an employee leaves an organization, they might leave some tasks unfinished, presenting dangerous security breaches and potential data leaks. However, when the process is properly managed, it ensures that there is nothing lost and there are no opportunities for any data or security breach.

At the end of your employee lifecycle in an establishment, offboarding is an unavoidable process. It is essential for business owners and managers to know how offboarding fits into the employee lifecycle in order to define the whole process, plan accordingly, and make strategic changes that benefit the company in the long run. 

Some of the main benefits of offboarding include: 


Confidence in the Employees

Offboarding says a lot about an organization. When an employee departs on good terms with the company, it will be reflected as positive employer branding. 

A well-performed offboarding process will boost the confidence of other workers. Especially as current employees get to see that changes are enacted inspired by the feedback collected from exit interviews of departing workers.

According to a Glassdoor U.S. Survey, 70% of job candidates look through a company’s reviews before making their career decisions. Considering that the reviews are left both by current and former employees, a professionally handled offboarding is essential for maintaining a positive employer reputation.


Enhanced Productivity

A good offboarding process will boost the organization’s productivity by simplifying the activities of every department in the company that has to participate in offboarding employees – in this way nobody will end up wasting time on activities (for example meetings) where they would not be able to contribute in any way.


Increased Security

An effective offboarding process prevents the organization from the risks of data leaks or security breaches.


Employee Offboarding Template


When leaving a company, having a structured process can ensure a professional exit that leaves no loose ends or potential for misunderstandings. 

Both parties will benefit from a positive offboarding experience, especially if the employee eventually decides to return to work for that employer after a period of time. Additionally, your experiences as an employee within the company will qualify you as an ambassador for the employer branding even when you no longer work there. You can recommend or, on the contrary, deter a friend or acquaintance from pursuing employment in that organization if you felt like you were mistreated.

To make the process of offboarding as smooth as possible, Introdus has created an offboarding checklist template. Introdus offers a variety of templates in different formats: 


Employee Offboarding Checklist Template — Word Format

A properly structured offboarding process with vital checklists will guide the departure of an employee. An employee offboarding checklist template in a Word format can be easily customized to afford organizations a better employee experience for departing employees. It is an employee offboarding template that, among other things, assists in achieving a constructive professional assessment of the roles and responsibilities handled by the departing employee. 

Furthermore, whether the employee resigns, retires, or is dismissed, the employee offboarding checklist template in Word format will make the offboarding process easy to comprehend, and it will make the right impression on the employee. In turn, this could make you share positive views about an organization among your professional career network.

You can download your offboarding checklist template word format below:

Get word template


Offboarding Checklist Template — Excel format

An offboarding checklist template in Excel format is another example of an offboarding tool that can be downloaded and used with ease by companies to manage the exit of their employees. It is an offboarding instrument that assists employers in managing every step of the offboarding process to ensure nothing is left out. 

An offboarding checklist template in Excel format can promote your employer’s branding, while it deals with you as a departing employee fairly and professionally. Also, it is a time-saving offboarding instrument that can be modified to suit every organization’s offboarding needs. 

In addition, an offboarding checklist in Excel format will prevent organizations from being vulnerable to cyber-attacks and security breaches because it details the process of denying access to the departing employees.

You can download your offboarding checklist template in Excel format below:

Get excel template


Employee Offboarding Checklist Template: IT Focus

Just as IT-onboarding is a crucial component of a structured onboarding programme, it is just as essential to focus on IT-offboarding when you are exiting a company. After all, being an employee grants you access to sensitive data and business information, so it makes sense for this access to be revoked when you stop working for that particular organization.

Similarly, any company property has to be returned, unless a different agreement has been previously made. For example, if you received a mobile phone as part of your employment package with the clear clause of becoming your private property, then there is no need to return it.

It is, however, customary for companies to require the return of all equipment on your last day at the office. Or, in case of remote workers, to ship all equipment within a specific timeframe from the last day on the job. Failure to comply might affect your final salary compensation.

We thought it would be helpful to provide you with an additional employee offboarding checklist template focused on IT-offboarding. You can decide for yourself whether to draft and implement two separate checklists inspired by both of our employee offboarding checklist templates.

However, we considered that a separate IT-offboarding checklist template can provide a very clear overview of the IT-offboarding process, separate from other administrative or social activities that will also belong to a general offboarding checklist template.

You can retrieve and download the IT offboarding checklist template below:

Get the checklist


Step into a successful Offboarding with the proper tool.


Get a free demo

We are using cookies to gather statistical data in order to improve your user experience. Read more.