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 in most companies, the offboarding of departing employees often remains in the shadows. Yet professional exit management is no less important than successful onboarding. In our guidebook article you can read 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 in the phase of leaving the company.

Offboarding pursues the following goals:

  • Create a positive atmosphere between the company and outgoing employees for the time until the last working day
  • Ensure a smooth exit, both technically-administratively and emotionally

Why is offboarding important?

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


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 motivation on the employee's side to continue to complete the tasks with full commitment in the remaining weeks or months.

Onboarding of successors

The tasks also include the comprehensive documentation of one's own work and the preparation of a clean handover. Motivated colleagues are more willing to prepare this in detail and thus create an important basis for the later 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 organisation are important brand ambassadors. If you show yourself to be a reputable employer through orderly offboarding, employees will leave the company with a good feeling. Damage to the image, for example through bad reviews on employer portals, can be avoided in this way. In the best case, the professional appearance even leads to positive evaluations, which means that offboarding contributes positively to employer branding.

Cost saving

Structured exit management can help save costs in different ways.

By ensuring through the offboarding process that all issued technology, provided furniture 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 consequently costs.

Optimisation of business processes

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

What should be considered when offboarding?

The reasons why employees leave the company can be of different nature, 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

It can also make a difference to the offboarding process what position the employee holds in the company. If a senior management position leaves, this has more far-reaching consequences for the company than is the case with the departure of interns.

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

Digitalisation of offboarding for process optimisation

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

Digitalisation, especially for technical offboarding, is an opportunity to automate the offboarding process, make it transparent and thus significantly optimise it.

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

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

Offboarding & Data Protection

Offboarding - successfully mastering data protection

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

  • personal data
  • Know-how of the company
  • Trade secrets
get lost or fall into the hands of unauthorised persons.
Especially when employees resign unexpectedly or have been dismissed without notice and thus leave the company at short notice, important things can get lost in the rush. All the more attention should then be paid to data protection.

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

The following measures can be taken for this:

  • Completely and comprehensibly record when which equipment and materials were handed over to the employees.
  • Document which access rights the respective employees have received over time in order to be able to revoke them completely later.
  • Usemobile device management solutions for device management. Access or entire devices can be blocked remotely with just a few clicks.
  • Use the Lendis OS to equip employees. With the Lendis OS, you always keep track of which devices and equipment have been provided to which employees, so that they are returned in full.

Offboarding conversation

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 important not only because it provides an opportunity to say goodbye to the colleague in a respectful and personal way. It can also provide helpful input on the reasons for the decision not to continue working for the company.

An interview guide created as part of the offboarding concept ensures that the interview proceeds in a targeted manner. The guideline contains all relevant points to be discussed. It includes topics on which the company wants feedback from the employee, such as:

  • Corporate culture
  • Working conditions
  • Leadership style
  • Development and training opportunities
  • Processes within the company
  • Salary
  • Other points of criticism
If interested, the employee should also be given the opportunity to receive feedback on his or her work and its importance to the company.
To round off the positive experience during offboarding, the interview should end with thanks for all that has been done and an offer to stay in touch.

Offboarding checklist

Offboarding is a process that can be standardised to a large extent. In order to work through all tasks in a structured manner and not to forget anything, it is advisable to use an offboarding checklist.

The offboarding checklist contains all the tasks involved in exit management and the responsible stakeholders (department/colleague). This way, all those involved in offboarding are always aware of which tasks have already been completed and which are still open.
The following list contains the basic tasks that occur during offboarding. Use the list and add to it the tasks that occur in your company and bring more structure to your offboarding.

Tasks for the line managers

  • Communicate the departure of the employee in the team / company
  • Start technical offboarding
  • Ensure documentation and handovers
  • Drawing up the employer's reference
  • Organise farewell
  • Check need for re-staffing
  • Conduct offboarding interview (if applicable)


  • Preparation and transmission of the termination confirmation
  • Determine last working day using leave/overtime
  • Calculate outstanding financial claims
  • Start hiring for the vacancies