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Offboarding - process for successful exit management
Offboarding: the basics
Table of contents

Offboarding - How to make exit management a success

New employees come and go. But while onboarding now receives the attention it deserves at most companies, the offboarding of departing employees often continues to lead a shadowy existence. Yet professional exit management is no less important than successful induction. In our guide, you can read about what is important for successful offboarding.

What does offboarding mean - a definition of the term

Whenever employees leave the company - voluntarily or involuntarily - appropriate offboarding must take place. Offboarding (or exit management) refers to the structured and professional process of supporting employees during the departure phase.

Offboarding pursues the following objectives:

  • Creating a positive atmosphere between the company and departing employees until the last day of work
  • Ensure a smooth exit, both technically and administratively as well as emotionally

Why is offboarding important?

The majority of companies still attach little or no importance to offboarding. However, a well-organized offboarding process not only ensures a smooth departure for the employees concerned, but also offers many advantages for the company in particular.


With a sensibly designed offboarding process, you show your appreciation for your employees and the work they have done so far. As a rule, this increases the employee's motivation to complete the tasks with full commitment in the remaining weeks or months.

Onboarding of successors

The tasks also include the comprehensive documentation of their own work and the preparation of a clean handover. Motivated colleagues are more likely to prepare these in detail and thus create an important basis for the subsequent onboarding of the new employee.

A detailed offboarding plan also ensures that no information that could be important later is forgotten.

Employer branding

Employees who leave the organization are important brand ambassadors. If you show yourself to be a reputable employer through a well-organized offboarding process, employees will leave the company with a good feeling. Damage to your image, for example due to bad reviews on employer portals, can be avoided. In the best-case scenario, the professional appearance even leads to positive reviews, which means that offboarding has a positive impact on employer branding.

Cost saving

Structured exit management can help to save costs in various ways.

By using the offboarding process to ensure that all technology issued, furniture provided for the home office and all other materials are returned, expensive new purchases can be avoided and write-offs prevented.

In addition, structured offboarding and the targeted completion of tasks ensure a more efficient exit management process, which saves time and therefore costs.

Optimization of business processes

Last but not least, employees who leave the company are valuable sources of feedback. Especially when employees leave on their own initiative, they often have valuable feedback on what the company should work on to reduce staff turnover in the future.

What needs to be considered when offboarding?

The reasons why employees leave the company can vary, for example:

  • Openly communicated termination by the employee
  • Dismissal due to financial situation of the company
  • Termination due to negative circumstances
  • Start of the pension

The employee's position in the company can also make a difference to the offboarding process. The departure of a senior management position has more far-reaching consequences for the company than the departure of interns, for example.

All these factors should be taken into account when developing the offboarding concept and the respective offboarding process should be adapted accordingly.

Digitalization of offboarding for process optimization

Offboarding - digitalization for process automation
As with onboarding, there are also numerous tasks involved in offboarding that recur with every separation. Administrative tasks in particular often tie up a lot of time and lead to unnecessarily high costs for the company.

Digitalization is a way of automating the offboarding process, especially for technical offboarding, making it transparent and thus significantly optimizing it.

Among other things, digital solutions help to simplify tasks, make them transparent and automate them, thereby significantly speeding them up. Examples of this are

  • Filing and archiving important documents
  • Coordination of all persons involved in offboarding
  • Return process for company devices

Offboarding & data protection

Offboarding - successfully mastering data protection

Particular attention should be paid to data protection in the context of offboarding. This is because when an employee leaves the company, there is a risk that:

  • personal data
  • Know-how of the company
  • Trade secrets
are lost or get into the hands of unauthorized persons.
Especially when employees resign unexpectedly or have been dismissed without notice and therefore leave the company at short notice, important things can get lost in the rush. Data protection should then be given all the more attention.

A structured offboarding process helps to minimize or completely avoid the risk of data breaches. However, the foundations for this should already be laid during onboarding.

The following measures can be taken for this purpose:

  • Completely and comprehensibly record when which devices and materials were handed over to the employees
  • Document which access rights the respective employees have been granted over time so that they can be completely revoked at a later date.
  • Use mobile device management solutions for device management. This allows access or entire devices to be blocked remotely with just a few clicks.
  • Use the Lendis OS to equip employees. With the Lendis OS, you always have an overview of which devices and equipment have been provided for which employees so that they are returned in full.

Offboarding discussion

Offboarding process - final offboarding meeting

An essential part of a structured offboarding process should be an offboarding discussion (or exit interview) before the final departure. Depending on the reason for the separation, the exit interview is conducted by the line manager or the HR department.

The offboarding interview is not only important because it offers the opportunity to say goodbye to the colleague respectfully and with personal words. Rather, it can provide helpful input on the reasons that led to the decision not to continue working for the company.

An interview guide created as part of the offboarding concept ensures that the interview is targeted. The guidelines contain all the relevant points to be discussed. It includes topics on which the company would like feedback from the employee, such as

  • Corporate culture
  • Working conditions
  • Management style
  • Development and training opportunities
  • Processes within the company
  • Salary
  • Other points of criticism
If interested, employees should also be given the opportunity to receive feedback on their work and its significance for the company.
To round off the positive offboarding experience, the interview should end with thanks for everything you have done and an offer to stay in touch.

Offboarding checklist

Offboarding is a process that can be standardized to a large extent. The use of an offboarding checklist is recommended to ensure that all tasks are carried out in a structured manner and nothing is forgotten.

The offboarding checklist contains all the tasks involved in exit management as well as the responsible stakeholders (department/colleague). This means that everyone involved in offboarding is always aware of which tasks have already been completed and which are still outstanding.
The following list contains the basic tasks that arise during offboarding. Use the list and add to it the tasks that arise in your company and bring more structure to your offboarding.

Tasks for the line managers

  • Communicating the employee's departure to the team / company
  • Start technical offboarding
  • Ensure documentation and handovers
  • Creating the reference letter
  • Organize a farewell
  • Check need for replacement
  • (If applicable) Conduct an offboarding interview


  • Preparing and sending the confirmation of termination
  • Determine last working day based on vacation/overtime hours
  • Calculate outstanding financial claims
  • Start hiring for the open positions