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The Right (And Wrong) Way to Let Employees Go

Companies spend a lot of time and money focusing on their onboarding process — and with good reason. Hiring is incredibly time- and resource-intensive, and turnover is expensive. A great onboarding process helps improve performance and retention.

However, even though it frequently gets much less attention, offboarding is just as critical to workforce management and business success.

Creating a positive offboarding experience has several benefits that include protecting future relationships and your company’s property.

Maintain positive relationships
Remember that even though an employee may move on, he or she won’t be saying goodbye forever. Many employees leave positions for positive reasons, so it’s never a good idea to view their departure in a negative light or to treat them poorly once they’ve turned in a letter of resignation. The same level of respect should be extended to terminated employees as well.

Former employees instantly become brand ambassadors and sources for referrals, and in many cases, they may continue personally using and recommending a company’s goods and services. Putting the business’s best foot forward from start to finish will ensure they don’t turn to a competitor.

Plus, this person may be interested in returning for a different position at a later date, and it’s not a good idea to sour his or her opinion of the company.

Be diligent about security
Employees at most organizations have access to a lot of valuable property and information. A reliable and thorough offboarding process double-checks that all of this data and gear remains in the office, and not with the departing worker.

You need to ensure the safe return of all IDs, keys, and devices, and quickly terminate the individual’s access to the company’s server, email, cloud service, and/or network. All of these tasks are much easier to accomplish if the offboarding process is organized, upbeat, and understood by both parties.

How to get it right
Regardless of why an individual is leaving — by his or her choice or at the company’s request — you need a consistent, positive offboarding process in place to ensure the best experience for everyone involved.

A successful offboarding program is consistent, straightforward, and highly organized from the termination meeting all the way through the exit interview.

Offboarding may never be easy, but it can be a successful experience for everyone involved. You can help protect your company’s future by investing in and perfecting this often-neglected practice!