HR 101: Offboarding With Ease

What is offboarding?

Offboarding is defined as the reverse of onboarding, and it involves separating a team member from a firm or company they are working at/for. This can also include a process for sharing knowledge with other team members ahead of their departure.

Why is offboarding important?

There are many reasons as to why offboarding is important and here are a few: 

  • To ensure a departing team member is managed legally, fairly, and properly.

  • It can mean the difference between an amicable separation and legal implications should the offboarding be the result of a termination.

  • We want to show the same level of care and attention to team members who are leaving as ones that are arriving to the company.


Tips & tricks for a successful offboarding process:

  • Don’t panic! There is no need to go into damage control. Ideally, you have a healthy pipeline of talent to draw from and have a successor in mind for the exiting team member’s role.

  • Communicate the departure. Don’t delay in sharing the news that the team member is leaving. You don’t want gossip or rumours disrupting the workplace.

  • Transfer the team member’s knowledge. Ideally, this would be transferred to the successor. If a successor has not been identified then the knowledge should be recorded in process documents and shared with team members that are taking on the additional workload temporarily.

  • Recover any and all company assets. Someone in the company should be responsible at all times for company assets and they should be the ones that are responsible for said recovery as well.

  • Update your org chart and company directory.

  • Revoke system access on the team members’ last day. Remember to have any shared passwords reset or updated to prevent any breaches.

  • Complete the final pay process that accounts for any unused vacation days, bonuses, etc. 

  • Schedule and perform an exit interview. Taking the time to gather both positive and negative/constructive feedback can help prevent other high performers from departing as well. 

  • Offer to provide a letter of reference or offer to be that team members reference. 

  • Send through all final paperwork on time (ex: ROE). 

  • Thank the team member for the work they did and maybe even schedule a farewell lunch, so they feel valued and leave the company on good terms.


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Keira Roets