Saying goodbye to an employee does not simply mean giving or receiving notice. Offboarding done right is a process that should follow a certain set of procedures. Interestingly, according to the latest study conducted by TEKsystems for the American labour market, only 29% of companies implement this process. The truth is that, regardless of its reasons, downsizing should be an organized process. See what should happen during offboarding.
They need to know – keep your team updated
Well-organized offboarding is based on transparency, and that involves not only the management and the dismissed employees but also the whole team. Surely, the employee who has just given in or received notice used to take part in a number of projects and performed many tasks. The team needs to know whether the tasks are going to be completed.
What is more, they need time to reorganize their work. A team responsible for a specific project cannot be left incomplete out of the blue. Lack of information will affect the team’s chances of reorganizing their work on a given project. Such a situation may also cause delays in the project’s implementation. Also, you shouldn’t forget about the issue of employee efficiency. When the remaining employees take over the departing employees’ tasks and they still have to deal with their own duties, they might feel frustrated and become less efficient. The team leader should inform the remaining team members about the upcoming personnel changes in due time. Moreover, the news should be shared in a neutral way.
Check out what offboarding done right looks like in practice.
A little bird told me – about gossip
When you inform the team about the fact that one of them is leaving, make sure the message you get through is comprehensive, honest, and transparent. Misinformation or leaving out some crucial issues may lead to gossip – and gossip is great at creating chaos. Certainly, any attempt to deny gossip is difficult, wearisome, and hardly ever successful. Therefore, it is essential to inform all the employees about the details of their colleague’s dismissal, such as when the person is leaving the company and how their tasks will be distributed from then on. Gossiping is wrong and should be nipped in the bud.
Now deal with it on your own – why outplacement is so important
Sometimes, mass lay-offs have to take place in a company. However, this is not always done right, which can have a negative impact on the company’s image and employer branding.
You can prevent this by implementing a professional outplacement programme for the dismissed employees. As part of the programme, the exiting employees can consult experts who will assist them in finding a new job, based on their work experience, qualifications, and other factors. Professional outplacement, apart from preventing the increase in unemployment, can also have a positive influence on the corporate image of the organization as well as on the morale of the employees who stay with the company.
Teach me, master – how to retain know-how in the company
Offboarding doesn’t necessarily mean that a certain amount of know-how will be lost. If the exiting employees have been properly trained to perform certain tasks, the employer must make sure that they pass on their knowledge to their successors. This way, no specialist knowledge or expertise will be lost. Additionally, this is a very economical solution because there is no need to spend additional money on training for the person who takes over the tasks from the exiting employee.
The easiest method of doing this is to ask the departing employee to prepare a document containing all the information necessary for his or her successor to carry on with the projects. You should store this type of information in the company’s knowledge base so that one can retrieve it easily. Obviously, this kind of peer-to-peer training cannot function as a substitute for a proper induction process for the new employee (if new employees are hired to replace the exiting ones) but it can be a great supplement and it will surely secure the know-how within the company for the future.
Goodbye, my friend, goodbye – how to say goodbye properly
The last day at work is usually very difficult for the departing employee. And yet, it doesn’t have to be like that. Employers need to ensure positive atmosphere on that day. However, you need to handle some formal issues, too. It’s a good idea to draw up a checklist of the things that must be done and cannot be forgotten. The last impression the company makes on employees is just as important as the first one which persuaded them to work for the company.
You were great – show your employees how important they were
Before sorting out all the necessary matters after the employees’ departure (removing their names and addresses from the mailing lists, subscriptions, and other possible places), the employer needs to make sure that the last impression they have of the company is as best as possible. It’s a nice touch to give a small goodbye gift to the departing employee. Just like on the first day at work, someone from the management of a given department should be present at the goodbye meeting. Taking care of all those seemingly minor details will put the dismissal in a much more positive light.
Appraise your employees whenever you get the chance
Remote offboarding – is that even possible?
We live in a world where more and more companies work remotely thanks to technological development. Can you perform offboarding this way? Yes, of course! However, you need to remember about a couple of crucial matters. First of all, you need adequate tools to facilitate communication. Moreover, you need a special platform to manage all the resources and knowledge. You should also remember about the logistics: the staff gaps need filling. With the help of proper tools, you will be able to run a remote offboarding process without any problems.
You have to realise, though, that remote offboarding doesn’t mean poorer treatment of the exiting employees. They should be able to rely on you support – just like they did when they started working for you.
Seeing to all the above-mentioned details will protect your company from chaos. Projects won’t be delayed and good atmosphere at work will be retained. This will certainly have a positive impact on other employees as well as on their work performance.