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The importance of offboarding as part of your corporate strategy

In the continuity of our article on the big resignation & the implementation of new practices, we wanted to focus on offboarding. This process is now practiced by 30%* of companies. Leaving on good terms with your employees is just as important as welcoming them. It’s still a recent phenomenon & often overlooked, but we’ll try to explain why its implementation helps consolidate your business strategy.

Offboarding is simply the process that allows an employee and a company to say goodbye, to end their professional relationship cordially. Whether it’s a voluntary or involuntary departure, a good farewell is essential to ensure the future of your company.

Why put this process in place?

Often the departure of a collaborator is seen as a failure of the company, a misalignment between the two when, it is just that some things evolve & that relationships change. Today, it is very rare for employees to spend their entire professional life in the same company, talent comes and goes, that’s the world of work today. This does not help matters on the recruitment side, which is becoming more and more tense, so implementing new practices seems essential! (see our article on the Great Resignation). Even if your collaborator leaves, it is very common that he/she stays in the same sector of activity, the same network, so you might as well preach for his/her parish and make him/her an ambassador for the company. Especially since an employee who leaves the company with a good feeling will be more likely to return to work in the same structure. This is what we call a boomerang employee. Thus, 70% of employees would be ready to return when they have benefited from an offboarding process (IGS survey).

Offboarding is for the employee who leaves, but it is also for those who stay. The departure of someone can cause sadness, demoralize teams, anxiety, in short, a whole range of emotions! Preparing for a departure, accompanying the teams reassures them & also allows to accompany the onboarding of new employees and to ensure continuity in the work. This helps to avoid a loss of knowledge and practices.

The different stages of offboarding :

A departure can be organized! Whether or not to recruit someone to replace the person, to anticipate the workload, to manage the emotional aspect, several dimensions are important to take into account.

Preparing the handover:

There are several scenarios: either a replacement has been recruited for the vacant position and thus training and assistance in taking up the position can be provided, or recruitment has not been possible, thus creating a guide to good practices can be good to ensure some continuity. Ensuring that the next generation of staff is able to take up the position is not only a way of ensuring good onboarding, but also of ensuring that the knowledge remains within the company and that the quality of work is equivalent.

Informing the teams & having a farewell party:

The announcement of a departure is also an important step. Transparent communication between everyone is essential, it is better that a departure is learned in a formal way rather than by rumours. This allows everyone to manage their emotions, to manage the different projects, to prepare for the change & to accompany this change. Organizing a friendly event is always a good way to celebrate a departure & a new adventure for your collaborator.

Take stock of the administrative and material situation:

Before a departure, it is essential to take stock of the different papers to be provided to your employee. Administrative matters are often a point of stress for employees as well as for companies. Facilitating this step is to offer a new serene start to all.

It is also important to take stock of the material to be returned. Indeed, to avoid information and data leaks, it is necessary to protect oneself and make sure that everything is returned to the company!

Assessment of the period in the company:

On the human side, giving feedback on the company experience, a real feedback can be beneficial to move forward. Working on the employer’s brand for the company & being able to value one’s skills for the employee. Each individual brings something to a company, in terms of skills, experience, etc. Making a return is also taking the time to recognize the employee’s investment in the company, to value his experience and to close the professional relationship.

Saying goodbye is never easy. Letting go of employees is always impactful for a company, both professionally and personally. Taking care of offboarding means giving everyone time to accept the change, to find new points of reference and, above all, to have a positive impact on the employer brand. To continue the reflection, why not continue to cultivate professional relationships by implementing an alumni logic?

*Les Echos Start