Offboarding: Achieving goals efficiently with a concept & plan
A well-structured offboarding process not only serves the departing employees, but also offers numerous advantages for the company. An offboarding concept and offboarding plans tailored to the respective situation are helpful tools for setting up an efficient process and benefiting from the potential of good exit management. This guide shows you what is important and gives tips on how to develop a concept and plan.
What are the offboarding concept and offboarding plan?
What is an offboarding concept?
The offboarding concept serves as an overarching guideline for offboarding. It is not focused on individual departments or persons, but applies to the entire company. It contains all relevant aspects of exit management, both on the employee and employer side.
As a result, the offboarding concept answers all the questions that need to be answered when employees leave the company, such as:
- Which documents have to be filled in?
- What happens to issued working materials and equipment(laptops, monitors, desks, office chairs, etc.)?
- What does the professional integration look like in the remaining weeks or months?
- What access to tools and/or sensitive data?
- At what point are accesses withdrawn?
- How is knowledge transfer ensured?
- How is the departure communicated (internally & externally)?
- How is the replacement carried out?
- Which people are involved in offboarding
- Usually HR, IT, accounting and specialist department
- but possibly in project work with other departments
- Who conducts the offboarding interview?
- How should contact be maintained with people after leaving?
What is an offboarding plan?
The offboarding plan follows on directly from the measures developed in the concept. The offboarding plan is designed for practical implementation by the persons involved and concretises the generally formulated measures. As a result, the plan is a detailed list of all relevant tasks that need to be completed during offboarding. The tasks are supplemented by a time component, by when the tasks are to be completed.
In the form of an offboarding checklist, the plan helps those involved to work through the entire process step by step in a targeted manner. All tasks can then be completed one after the other without any problems or stress. This also ensures that no task is forgotten.
Tip: Digital offboarding tools help to present the plan clearly and to update the status of individual tasks with little effort. Useful reporting functions provide additional transparency and already show optimisation potential for the future.
Unlike the offboarding concept, however, there is no one plan. Instead, offboarding plans can differ in content and timing, depending:
- Which position leaves the company.
- How the separation came about.
- Employee leaves the company at his/her own request
- Employee was dismissed
- Employee leaves the company for retirement
- What the notice period is or how long the remaining time in the company is.
If possible, you create a plan for all scenarios to ensure the best possible experience.
Why are the offboarding concept and plan important at all?
When employees leave the company, this usually has far-reaching consequences. On the one hand, there is the danger that skills and knowledge leave the company along with the colleagues. The topic of knowledge transfer should therefore play an important role in offboarding.
As a rule, employees are involved in numerous tasks and projects. A handover contains all tasks and records what has to be taken over later and by whom. This ensures that important tasks are not lost. At the same time, the handover is also a helpful start-up aid for the training of the successor.
Over time, employees are provided with a variety of work equipment and materials. An offboarding process is also important to ensure that all equipment (and thus company assets and confidential information) finds its way back.
When developing the concept, offboarding is viewed holistically. This gives you an overview of the entire process and all areas involved. This gives you the opportunity to consider all aspects and the requirements of all stakeholders. This helps you to understand later on which measures the focus must be on within the scope of offboarding in order to offer a good offboarding experience.
With the help of an offboarding plan, you can reduce uncertainties among the people involved. At the same time, the plan helps you to complete all offboarding tasks in a targeted and efficient manner as an easy-to-work-through checklist, which saves you a lot of time and consequently costs.
How do I develop an offboarding concept? And who is responsible for it?
As with onboarding, responsibility for offboarding lies with the management. However, it is usually implemented in close cooperation with the HR department. Analogous to the development of the onboarding concept, a task force can also be set up for the creation of the offboarding concept. The task force should include colleagues from different departments and hierarchical levels. This helps to look at offboarding from different perspectives and to take into account the different requirements for exit management.
An audit of the status quo should be carried out at the beginning of the concept phase.
- What is the current process?
- Which problems mentioned again and again are already known from the past?
- Is there already feedback from former employees?
This will give you a first feel for which areas are not currently covered, what should be maintained and where there is a need for improvement.
Then talk to all the important stakeholders for the offboarding and find out what their requirements are. Usually, these are the team or division leaders, office managers and the colleagues in the IT department responsible for technical offboarding.