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A guide to employee off-boarding

Luisa Syed 22 Sep 12:29 5 min read
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What is ‘Offboarding’?

Just like onboarding employees, there is also ‘offboarding’. Offboarding is the process during which an employee leaves a company through resignation, retirement or termination. This process is usually carried out in a structured manner to allow a smooth transition for both the employee and the company; therefore, like onboarding, a few things have to be carried out when offboarding an employee.

Why should you have an offboarding process?

Every employee is essentially a representative for the company they are working for, so it is important that their support continues even after leaving the company. Therefore, having an effective offboarding process will benefit the company.

In this guide, we will look at five steps you should take when offboarding an employee to ensure a smooth transition.

Employment notice period

The employment notice period is the initial step with offboarding. Suppose an employee decides to resign or retire; in that case, they need to do so within the stated notice period (usually two weeks) in the employment contract, and the same applies to the employer. However, if either employee or employer gives no notice of resignation or termination, they have breached the agreement, and the offboarding process may end up with consequences.

Both employee and employer should be aware of the notice period and adhere to it to ensure that the offboarding process is conducted fairly and smoothly. Once the notice period is given, the offboarding process begins.

💡 Find a more detailed guide on Employment Notice Period on our website.


The moment the offboarding process starts, various paperwork has to be prepared and completed, such as:

  • The resignation or termination letter - these are the official documentation of the employee’s departure.
  • A non-disclosure agreement - this is also known as the confidentiality agreement. This is a legally binding agreement that needs to be signed by the employee to ensure that they will not share any confidential information of the company with others.
  • A severance agreement - this agreement is only needed when the employee’s contract has been terminated. This agreement ensures that the employee will not make any claims against the employer and usually involves severance pay.
  • Post-employment benefits are benefits that employees may receive after they depart from the company. These could be final payments, retirement entitlements, and outstanding reimbursements.
  • Other relevant documents

💡 Make sure that the employee has signed all of the documents.

Knowledge transfer & handover

Ensure that the departing employee documents all of their responsibilities, daily tasks, files, tips, contact list etc. Another team member could also shadow the employee whilst they document their knowledge transfer. This will make it easier for the person taking over the role.

Exit interview

The exit interview is an essential step as it will allow the company to gain valuable insight into an employee’s view of point about their time at the company. The company could find out the weaknesses and strengths of their management. During the interview, consider these questions to ask:

  • How was your time at the company?
  • If we could improve, how could we do it?
  • Is there anything that we should do differently?
  • How was your relationship with your manager and team members?
  • Did you have all the necessary resources and support to carry out your responsibilities?
  • Would you recommend the company or role to your friends or family?

Take this opportunity to:

  • Remind your employee of their contributions and achievements.
  • Ask for honest feedback and share it with the rest of the team.
  • Conduct the exit interview during your employee’s last week. Preferably someone else besides the manager should conduct the interview.

Company assets recovery

The final step for offboarding should be recovering any company assets from the employee, which could be during their last week or day at the company. Company assets could include laptops/computers, phones, cars, uniforms, id cards/badges, keys/swipe cards, credit cards etc.

💡 Keep a record of what equipment and assets have been distributed to your employees.

Additional points to consider:

  • Please make sure that all team members are aware of the employee’s departure, and thank your departing employee and celebrate their next chapter.
  • Stay in touch with them, and if applicable, let them know that they are welcome to return to the company.
  • Make sure to remove/deactivate the employee from any software or expenses.
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