Why do so many employers ignore offboarding?

Just like it makes sense to have a structured approach to onboarding, it also makes sense to have some kind of structured offboarding process when it comes time to say goodbye to your employees. Offboarding is a crucial part of the employee life cycle and yet so many organisations do not have an offboarding process in place – in fact, according to Aberdeen research, only 29% of organisations have invested in onboarding – so why are so many employers ignoring the importance of offboarding?

Employers are too focused on what comes next

When it comes time for an employee to leave – whether it be because they’re ready to move on or because they are being made redundant – managers minds can go into overdrive. They might need to train a new employee, reshuffle the roles of other employees or, at the very least, they have a position to fill somehow. It’s easy to forget the offboarding process in amongst the busyness of staying on top of everything.

Offboarding seems like too much effort

Many employers see offboarding as a waste of time, money, resources and energy. After all, if the employee is leaving, why waste all that effort on them?

Employers struggle to understand the benefits

Whatever the reason that an employer decides to opt out of having an offboarding process it usually stems from a simple lack of understanding when it comes to the benefits that offboarding can have for ex-employees and organisations alike. So, what are the benefits?

  • Ex-employees are brand ambassadors

Many employers like to think that once an employee walks out the door for the last time, they disappear, never to be worried about again. This is simply not true and it’s most obvious in the way that ex-employees can become brand ambassadors. With sites likes Seek, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Facebook, ex-employees can let everyone know what it’s like to work at your organisation. Ex-employees also have enormous power when it comes to sharing their opinions and experiences with their friends and family who may be customers or considering employment within your organisation. The truth is, if their farewell was less than comprehensive and considerate, it’s likely that their last experiences will cast their time with you in an unfavourable light. Ex-employees are potential clients

No-one knows your organisation like the people who work for you. If the products or services you provide are top tier, it’s highly likely that your ex-employees could return as clients. If their exit was positive, supportive and well-rounded, there’s no reason why they would feel uncomfortable returning as a customer.

  • Ex-employees are potential employees

Boomerang employees are increasingly common – employees who return to an organisation after a period of time employed elsewhere. Boomerang employees are extremely valuable to any organisation, no matter the size; someone who knows the culture, the procedures and the expectations already is easy to onboard and can boost productivity right from the get-go.

Offboarding is about more than just being ‘nice’ to your employees as they finish up their time with you. It’s all about supporting them as they head out to a new role and ending their time with you in a positive way. Of course, offboarding is great for the employees but it’s clear that all organisations stand to gain significantly from supporting their employees through offboarding.


Greg Weiss is Australia’s Leading Career Coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step framework 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.

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

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