7 tips for a successful remote offboarding

In today’s world, one’s career trajectory is rarely limited to a single company. It’s no longer simply a question of how to best help a new employee transition into their role at your company, you also need to ask yourself how you can assist them when they decide to leave.

When creating a remote offboarding experience, employers should strive for an experience that is supportive, sympathetic and secure. Here are seven things to keep in mind as you (continue to) develop your remote offboarding process.

1. Personalize the way you say goodbye

The absence of a physical space doesn’t mean you have to forgo a collective goodbye. There are different ways your teams can bid farewell to an employee virtually. Depending on where you and your teams are located, it might be possible to coordinate a video conference so your staff can come together to wish your departing employee well in their new endeavors. If, however, you have employees in different time zones, you can create a virtual recognition wall, where you and your staff can write goodbye notes.  

2.   Prevent knowledge gaps through documentation and virtual shadowing

It’s important to ensure that both the teams that the employee has worked with as well as the person who will take over their role are adequately informed so as to avoid potential knowledge gaps once the employee is no longer at your company. Start by creating a document that details their daily responsibilities, any upcoming meetings they may have, the status of their current projects and their quarterly/annual OKRs. If someone else has already been hired to fill their role, set up a video call so they can discuss the role with them or if possible, have them shadow the person virtually. 

3. Feedback is key for improving your remote employee experience

Customize exit interviews by first sending a survey via email and then addressing points of concern during a video call. This can help lead the conversation in a direction that can pinpoint where changes need to be made in the company. In addition to standard exit interview questions, make sure to include questions that address changes in work processes brought about by hybrid and/or remote working models. As these models are new for many companies, receiving feedback in these areas is crucial for their continued iteration and improvement.

4. Make sure the technical side of your offboarding process is current

With many companies adopting new software and cloud solutions to optimize the remote experience, keeping track of who has access to what is critical to a company’s security. Your IT team should set up a protocol for remote offboarding in order to minimize security risks. This should include revoking access to the various platforms that your company uses as well as wiping all devices clean of company and customer information. 

5. Find out which legal obligations you have as an employer

While legal concerns related to data protection and security may be top of mind when offboarding, it shouldn’t stop there. Global marketplaces and new technologies have allowed for the establishment of international teams who reside in multiple countries. Having the benefits of international teams also means having to be aware of labor laws in different jurisdictions. Make sure to consult your legal team in order to find out if adjustments need to be made to your offboarding process in order to adhere to the requirements of your employee’s country of residence.

6. Establish an employee alumni network

Just because an employee is moving on in their career doesn’t mean that they have to cut ties with their previous employer. Cultivating ongoing communication between your company and previous employees strengthens company culture and can create opportunities for future collaboration. Take this opportunity to establish an employee alumni network, where previous employees can stay up to date about the state of your company and reconnect with old colleagues. Creating the space for such interactions shows a company’s commitment to its employees and their development beyond their time at the company. 

7. Ensure quality and consistency by automating your offboarding process 

It is often said that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Yet, it is often the manager of the departing employee who conducts their offboarding. Having such a practice in place means potentially compromising the quality of your offboarding experience. By leveraging a tool like Dado, you can automate your offboarding process and make sure that every employee receives the same treatment regardless of their reason for leaving the company.

As the world of work changes, so do the journeys of employees. Adapting to this change means revisiting and revising employee exit processes to reflect these new realities. While this, of course, includes legal and technical considerations, employers should ultimately strive to create an offboarding experience that centers gratitude and fosters community within the company, because how we say goodbye is just as important as how we say hello.

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