As an HR professional, you know the importance of onboarding to help new hires acclimate to their workplace and job responsibilities. What you may not realize is that offboarding is just as important. Putting the same care and concern into the experience for departing employees provides significant benefits for your company. Here are six reasons why offboarding is as important as onboarding.
When an employee leaves, offboarding lets other department members know about the change. Rumors have less of an impact when the truth is told. Remaining employees are less distracted when they know what’s really going on. Telling staff when a colleague is leaving encourages them to facilitate a smooth transition into a new relationship with a different employee.
Upon an employee departure, offboarding lets you set up an exit interview to gain insight into their decision. Collect honest feedback that reflects their true experience working for you. Find out whether they’re leaving their team or manager or simply for another opportunity. Perhaps there are personal reasons such as starting a family or relocating for a spouse’s career. Thank the employee for their service. Leave the door open for rehiring if you’d like to see them in the future.
After an employee leaves, offboarding makes it possible to keep in touch. Find out which company they are going to and how you can contact them. Send occasional emails asking how they’re doing. If you see the former employee at industry events, go talk with them. If you visit their city, ask them to lunch. Show that the former employee is still a valued member of your extended community.
Because former employees may act as brand ambassadors, they need to be adequately offboarded. People who used to work for you are likely to share stories about their experiences. Leaving them with an affirming last impression means they’re more likely to share positive memories than negative ones.
Since departing employees may serve as a source for referrals, appropriate offboarding is necessary. Leaving on a positive note encourages them to tell other top professionals about their experience working for you. You’re likely to gain more qualified job candidates who understand the business and blend with company culture. Plus, you may gain customers and contacts through former employees.
Because employees who leave may want to return someday, they need to be properly offboarded. They may miss working for you and bring with them new skills they acquired. This is especially important if the employee had a significant tenure with you. They already fit with company culture, understand the department and have experience with your business operations.
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