3 big mistakes employers make in offboarding

The concept of offboarding is not new, in fact it’s likely you have some form of offboarding process in your organisation. The problem is that many employers think offboarding is as simple as signing all the appropriate paperwork and sending an employee on their way. Too many employers are getting the offboarding process wrong, so we’re taking a look at the top 3 mistakes employers make in offboarding.

#1: Forgetting to collect company assets.

Whether it’s laptops, phones, keys or passwords, every employee has a set of assets that allow them to work within your organisation. It’s important to remember to get these items back from employees in the days leading up to their exit and to finalise handover when they are leaving.

The handover of assets is important for providing employees with a clean break, with no need to chase them up for weeks or months for keys or company phones.

This part of the offboarding process is also extremely important for keeping your organisation’s data safe. Whether maliciously or not, ex-employees hanging onto a USB drive or still having access to sensitive data is dangerous and can place your clients, current employees and your entire organisation at risk.

Data protection is important across all sectors but it is incredible important within the health-care sector. In 2017, Protenus found that 37% of breaches were caused by insiders – both maliciously and inadvertently. Ensuring that exiting employees handover company assets is not just a matter of tidying things up – forgetting to revoke access of all assets could put you in danger of a data breach.

#2: Failing to complete an exit interview

Exit interviews, when done right, are one of the most valuable things you can do within your offboarding process. The interview gives your employees a chance to share their opinions and ideas for how things can improve within your organisation and it allows you, as an employer, to take feedback on board and make some changes for the better.

It’s important to not be doing exit interviews just for the sake of ticking off another HR box – it is extremely important that any feedback given is taken seriously and real action comes from it. Remember that just because an employee leaves doesn’t mean that they lose all contact and it will be a great boost to hear that even one piece of feedback has been taken on board.

#3: Burning bridges

Not all offboarding experiences are created equal so it makes sense that it won’t always be an overwhelmingly positive exercise but there is no reason to add insult to injury by burning bridges with employees. Angry final encounters are only going to make your employees less likely to be brand ambassadors when they leave and less likely to return as boomerang employees down the track, so it makes sense to keep things positive, even if emotions are running high.


Greg Weiss is one of Australia’s most renowned career coaches. He is the author of “So You Got A Job, WTF Is Next”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7 step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/

He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.

Greg also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

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