Workplace Culture

Mastering Remote HR Management – Offboarding

September 27, 2021

Offboarding, like onboarding, is a vital HR activity that companies should have a proper strategy for. When done in the right manner and correct spirit, offboarding can yield many lasting benefits to a company and key insights about the workforce. It sets a clear path for an employee to transition out of the company and makes it easy to follow a procedure to ensure all requirements are met. Apart from that, it helps foster mutual respect between the employee and the organization. Let’s go through the best practices for offboarding while managing remotely.

Organizations should make a great last impression

We know how important onboarding is when welcoming a new employee to the team, and organizations should take the same care with offboarding—when an employee leaves the organization to pursue new opportunities. Companies work extremely hard to make an excellent first impression, so why not the same effort into making a good last impression?

The thoughts and memories of an employee’s time with the company can be vital information for an organization to have moving forward. An effective offboarding process is about getting a clearer understanding of what may have persuaded an employee to leave. Being able to gather such information and then use it to enhance company culture (and help retain current employees) is invaluable. How can you get such insight from your soon-to-be former employees?

It’s all about employee experience

One method a company can use is the peak–end rule. First proposed by psychologists Barbara Fredrickson and Daniel Kahneman, this rule predicts that your memory of an experience correlates to the average of how you feel at the peak of the experience (that is, the most intense moment, negative or positive) and at the end.

These may both happen at the same time when an employee ends their journey with one company to seek a new opportunity with another. A better understanding of the peak–end rule can be beneficial during the offboarding process for organizations as they learn it’s less about the content of their experience but how they felt about that experience while at your company.

When talking with an employer during the offboarding process, employees are likely basing their comments, unknowingly, on the peak–end rule. For example, Jonathan decides to leave his current employer after six years. They should have questions about why. Was it simply a matter of more pay, better benefits, or room for growth? Did he have a negative experience that forced him to look elsewhere? Is Jonathan moving into an entirely new field? If so, that can also raise some flags about his experience with the company. Was it something that drove him out of the profession entirely? Is it something the company can immediately address to avoid any future issues with current employees?

Ending the employment relationship on a positive note

Through your organization’s offboarding efforts, discuss these moments—whether extremely positive or extremely negative—and understand why they occurred. This could help improve or redesign the process. It will also help target efforts to improve the offboarding experience so that things can end on a positive note for others who choose to leave.

Do you want to have a solid offboarding process that can benefit your organization? That’s what we’re here for. Start by reviewing our six-episode animated training series Mastering Remote HR Management. The training module provides you with a few ideas to ponder regarding your own offboarding process and ways you can deploy it in action.

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