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The Best Strategies to Ensure Successful Offboarding

Posted on February 8, 2016
Krystal FreemanWritten by Krystal Freeman | Email author

With the all of the news around Yahoo’s massive layoffs and the wrongful termination lawsuit they are facing, it had me thinking about terminations. While I’m going to assume you are probably not in the same position as Marissa Mayer, you probably have had a few employees leave your company in the past. Sometimes it’s best for the employee to move on whether it’s for family reasons or because he or she wants/needs to grow professionally. Sometimes, you may find that you have a few challenges going on internally. Nonetheless, as the manager, you should ensure your employee’s offboarding process is as smooth as possible. A successful offboarding can not only benefit you, but the exiting employee as well. Let’s explore a few of strategies that will ensure a successful offboarding- starting with the opportunity to receive feedback.

Why it’s Important to the Business to Offboard an Employee Successfully

Receive Feedback for Improvement

When employees leave a position there is an opportunity to receive feedback for not only for you, but your organization as well. Feedback received can be both positive and negative. Nonetheless, as a manager, it is wise to hear the feedback as a form of constructive criticism. To ensure the employee will be as transparent as possible, have a member of your HR department conduct an exit interview in order to gain this valuable feedback. The exit interview will provide you with insight as to the employee’s experiences during the recruitment process, onboarding, training opportunities, the management style of the organization, and the overall culture of the organization. Receiving feedback is only one strategy to ensure a successful onboarding but your exiting employee gives others within your department an opportunity to expound upon their knowledge.

The Best Strategies to Ensure Successful OffboardingCross-Train Team Members

While it can create stress for remaining team members to pick up the duties of an exiting employee, companies have the opportunity to turn transition into a positive experience. Consider the transition as an opportunity to develop others on the team through cross-training. By encouraging cross-training, employees have the opportunity to learn new techniques, increase their current organizational and industry knowledge, and improve upon their own craft. Simultaneously, this gives you, the manager, an opportunity to evaluate the skill-set on your team; streamline processes and procedures; and gain further insight into the daily life of your employees. You have an opportunity to see your employee’s strengths and weaknesses and opportunities to further develop competencies. You may discover that you will not have to hire someone to replace the separating employee as the knowledge and skills are already available to you.

As you go through the offboarding process, keep it positive. The exiting employee may want to return to your organization later. And if you are letting go of an employee, keep these best practices in mind. Remember, the separating employee is a walking billboard for your organization. Ask yourself: do you want that billboard to be one that speaks positively or negatively about the organization?

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