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Offboarding checklist for structured exit management

The first impression is crucial. But the last impression is no less important. Employees who leave the company should therefore be accompanied just as professionally as new employees. With structured offboarding, you can leave a positive impression on departing employees and turn them into brand ambassadors for your company. In this guide, you will receive a free template with which you can create your individual offboarding checklist and ensure a professional offboarding experience.

What is an offboarding checklist? And why do I need it?

Why is a checklist important?

Checklists are an excellent way to ensure that no important steps are forgotten when implementing a process. Especially if the process is easy to standardise and tasks are repeated regularly, a checklist should be used. The offboarding of departing employees is largely the same as onboarding, which is why the use of a checklist is also recommended for exit management.

By using a checklist, you ensure that everyone involved knows at all times which tasks need to be completed and when. In this way, you avoid confusion, stress and frustration and ensure that the offboarding process runs smoothly.

What does the offboarding checklist contain?

The offboarding checklist contains all the necessary tasks that need to be completed when an employee leaves the organisation. If the offboarding process differs between positions, you should develop a checklist for each position.

Conveniently, an offboarding checklist is created in the form of checkboxes. These can simply be ticked off as soon as a task has been completed. Supervisors and HR managers can see at a glance which activities have already been completed and which are still outstanding.

The offboarding checklist consists of numerous tasks, most of which can be applied to all companies. Other tasks need to be completed specifically for individual companies. It is helpful to group tasks according to individual offboarding phases. This provides more clarity and gives information about the current priority, so that those involved can always concentrate on the most important tasks in the stressful daily routine.

It doesn't matter in which format you create your offboarding checklists. As a rule, companies use simple Excel files or PDF documents. In the course of digitalisation, however, digital offboarding solutions are becoming increasingly popular for this task as well, with which offboarding can be made more transparent and automated. This saves you additional time and costs in offboarding.

Template for your offboarding checklist

Our template for offboarding contains all the important tasks that arise when offboarding employees in companies. We have already assigned these to the individual phases of offboarding for you. The individual phases are:

  • Week of notice
  • 2 weeks before the last working day
  • Last working week
  • Last working day
  • Time after retirement
You can use this template as a basis for the offboarding checklist in your company and simply add the additional tasks you have.

Week after termination

Offboarding begins with the termination of the employee. In the first few days after the termination, the main task is to set the offboarding in motion and to start important processes. These include, among others:
Offboarding checklist - 1 day after termination
  • Prepare paperwork: First of all, make sure that the notice of termination has been received or handed over correctly and that the responsible persons have been instructed to prepare important documents such as job references or references.
  • Formalities: Clarify important organisational questions, e.g. which holiday entitlement still exists, what results from this as the last working day and which outstanding payments the employee is still entitled to.
  • Communication: Inform your direct colleagues about the dismissal. This way, they can get an early idea of which tasks have to be taken over and in which areas a detailed handover is necessary.
  • Plan backfill: Discuss with the supervisor whether a backfill is necessary and prepare the recruiting process.
  • Offboarding checklist for employee: Start the offboarding process on the employee's side and hand out a corresponding offboarding checklist with to-dos.

2 weeks before the last working day

At the latest in this phase, the departure should be prepared in a targeted manner and necessary measures implemented. This means in particular:
Offboarding Checklist - 2 Weeks After Termination
  • Plan remaining time: Plan the remaining days together (HR, employee, supervisor, ...). When should the remaining holiday be taken, which specialist tasks should still be taken part in, how should outstanding payments be processed, etc.
  • Start knowledge transfer: Make sure that the transfer of knowledge has been discussed and agreed with all stakeholders and that an appropriate process is set in motion.
  • Communication: Inform all other departments about the departure of the employee. Also point out ways to maintain contact between the employee and the company after the departure.

Last working week

As the last day of work approaches, it is time to finish the offboarding tasks.
Offboarding checklist - 2 weeks before the last day of work.
  • Knowledge & data transfer: Make sure that the handover is completed and that there is enough time to answer open questions. At the same time, all documents should be transferred from private storage to central company networks and important correspondence and account access should be handed over to the supervisor or colleagues.
  • Exit interviews: The last week also provides the appropriate setting for final official interviews. The offboarding discussion with the HR department is a good way to get feedback from employees on the offboarding process and the company in general. The appraisal interview with the supervisor, on the other hand, can provide helpful input on areas for improvement in the technical department or internal communication.

Last working day

The last working day is used to give an appropriate farewell to the departing employees and to ensure that all offboarding tasks have been implemented correctly and completely.
Offboarding Checklist - Last Day of Work
  • Documents: Check that all documents are correctly signed and stamped and hand over all documents.
  • Technical offboarding: As part of the technical offboarding, collect the equipment and work materials previously handed out and document the return accordingly.
  • Completing the handover: Once again reconcile together that all contacts and access to accounts have been transferred and block the individual accesses to software and web services.

After last working day

After the employee has left the company, the offboarding process is completed internally and communicated externally.
  • Communication: Inform important external contacts (partners, clients, etc.) about the departure and introduce the successor if necessary.
  • IT check: Make sure that all accesses have been transferred and locked.
  • Update information: Update all relevant places (internal wiki, organigram, etc.). Use the feedback from the interviews to optimise your offboarding concept.
  • Reuse equipment: Inventory returned equipment & furniture and ensure that it is reused wisely or disposed of or sold as appropriate.
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Download: Offboarding checklist

Don't forget any more tasks with our free offboarding checklist!