Employee Offboarding Checklist: A Complete Guide for HR Managers

Updated on: 25 January 2022 | 7 min read
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Employee offboarding is the process of managing the departure of an employee from an organization. It involves various tasks such as conducting exit interviews, revoking access to company resources, collecting feedback, and ensuring compliance with legal and contractual obligations.

Employee onboarding and offboarding are two sides of the same coin. Onboarding is the process of integrating new hires into the organization, while offboarding is the process of disengaging former employees from the organization. Both processes are equally important for maintaining a positive employer brand, enhancing employee experience, and reducing turnover costs.

Steps in the Employee Offboarding Process

Read more on the employee exit process.

Employee Offboarding Checklist

An employee offboarding checklist is a tool that helps HR managers to streamline and standardize the offboarding process. It ensures that all the necessary steps are taken to facilitate a smooth and respectful transition for the departing employee, as well as to protect the organization from potential risks and liabilities.

Employee Offboarding Checklist Template
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An employee offboarding checklist should include the following items:

1. Notify Relevant Stakeholders

Inform the employee’s manager, team members, clients, and other internal and external parties about the employee’s departure date and reason. Assign a replacement or a point of contact for ongoing projects and tasks.

2. Conduct an Exit Interview

Schedule a meeting with the employee to discuss their reasons for leaving, their feedback on their role and the organization, and their suggestions for improvement. Use this opportunity to thank them for their contributions and wish them well for their future endeavors.

3. Collect Company Property

Retrieve any company-owned equipment, documents, keys, badges, or other items that the employee may have in their possession. Provide them with a receipt or a confirmation letter to acknowledge the return of these items.

4. Revoke Access to Company Systems

Disable or delete the employee’s accounts, passwords, email, phone, and other access privileges to company networks, software, platforms, and data. Ensure that all confidential and sensitive information is securely transferred or erased.

5. Process Final Payments and Benefits

Calculate and pay the employee’s final salary, bonuses, commissions, reimbursements, or other entitlements. Provide them with a final payslip and a statement of earnings. Inform them about their options for continuing or terminating their health insurance, retirement plan, or other benefits.

6. Update Records and Documents

Update the employee’s status in the HR system, payroll system, organizational chart, and other databases. File or archive the employee’s personnel file, performance reviews, contracts, agreements, and other documents. Issue a certificate of employment or a reference letter if requested.

7. Conduct a Knowledge Transfer

Arrange a session with the employee and their successor or team members to share relevant information, insights, tips, best practices, contacts, or other resources that are essential for their role. Document and store this knowledge in an accessible location.

8. Solicit Feedback from Stakeholders

Gather feedback from the employee’s manager, peers, clients, and other parties who interacted with them during their tenure. Use this feedback to evaluate the employee’s performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and recognize achievements.

9. Send a Farewell Message

Send a personalized email or card to the employee to express your gratitude and appreciation for their work. Invite them to stay in touch and join your alumni network. Encourage them to share their feedback on online platforms such as Glassdoor or LinkedIn.

10. Conduct a Post-Offboarding Survey

Follow up with the employee after a few weeks or months to check on their satisfaction with the offboarding process. Ask them to rate their experience, identify areas of improvement, and provide testimonials or referrals.

Employee Offboarding Checklist Templates

Employee Offboarding Checklist Template
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Employee Offboarding Checklist Template
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Why Maintaining an Employee Offboarding Checklist is Important?

Maintaining an employee offboarding checklist is crucial for ensuring a consistent and positive offboarding experience for both the employee and the organization. It helps to:

  • Build trust and loyalty: By treating departing employees with respect and dignity, you can foster a lasting relationship with them and increase the chances of rehiring them in the future. You can also boost your employer reputation and attract more talent.

  • Reduce risks and costs: Complying with legal and contractual obligations, can help you avoid lawsuits, penalties, fines, or damages that may arise from wrongful termination or breach of confidentiality. You can also save money by recovering company property and revoking access to company systems.

  • Enhance performance and productivity: Collecting feedback and conducting knowledge transfers assists you to identify gaps in skills, processes, or resources that may affect your team’s performance. You can also leverage the insights and suggestions from former employees to improve your policies, practices, or culture.

  • Support organizational growth and change: By updating records and documents, you can keep track of your workforce data and analytics. You can also use this data to plan your hiring strategy, succession planning, talent development, or organizational restructuring.

Common Mistakes HR Managers Make When Offboarding Employees

Many HR managers make some common mistakes in employee offboarding that can undermine its benefits. These mistakes include:

Neglecting employee offboarding: Some HR managers ignore or delay employee offboarding due to lack of time, resources, or priority. This can create confusion, frustration, or resentment among departing employees and damage your employer brand.

Rushing employee offboarding: Rushing the offboarding process unnecessarily can cause you to skip some important steps or tasks. This can result in errors, oversights, or inconsistencies that can compromise your compliance, security, or quality standards.

Overlooking employee emotions: Overlooking the emotional impact of employee offboarding on the employee and their colleagues can lead to low morale, engagement, or retention among your remaining staff.

Forgetting employee feedback: Some HR managers forget to solicit feedback from departing employees or other stakeholders. This can cause you to miss valuable insights, opportunities, or recommendations that can help you improve your organization.

How Creately Can Help You to Maintain an Employee Offboarding Checklist

  • Design your own employee offboarding checklist using customizable templates, shapes, icons, and colors. You can also import your existing checklist from Excel or Word.

  • Assign tasks, deadlines, and owners to each item on your checklist. You can also add notes, comments, attachments, or links to provide more details or instructions.

  • Share your checklist with your team members, managers, employees, or other stakeholders. You can also invite them to edit, comment, or collaborate on your checklist in real-time.

  • Track the progress and status of each item on your checklist. You can create a Kanban board to track tasks.

  • Integrate your checklist with your favorite tools such as Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams. You can also export your checklist to PDF, PNG, JPEG or SVG formats.

Wrapping Up

Employee offboarding is a vital process that requires careful planning and execution. It affects not only the departing employee but also the organization as a whole. By following an employee offboarding checklist, you can ensure a smooth and respectful transition for the employee and protect the organization from potential risks and costs. You can also use the feedback and knowledge from the employee to improve your organization’s policies, practices, and culture.

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FAQs About Employee Offboarding Checklists

What is the best way to conduct an exit interview?
The best way to conduct an exit interview is to schedule it in advance, prepare relevant questions, conduct it in a private and comfortable setting, listen actively and respectfully, ask for honest feedback and suggestions, thank the employee for their time and input.
How long should the employee offboarding process take?
The length of the employee offboarding process depends on various factors such as the employee’s role, contract terms, notice period, company policies etc. However, a general rule of thumb is to start the process as soon as possible after receiving the resignation notice and complete it within two weeks after the departure date.
How can I stay in touch with former employees?
You can stay in touch with former employees by inviting them to join your alumni network on social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook. You can also send them newsletters, updates events or surveys via email or phone. You can also reach out to them personally for referrals, testimonials or rehires.


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Hansani Bandara Content Specialist

Hansani has a background in journalism and marketing communications. She loves reading and writing about tech innovations. She enjoys writing poetry, travelling and photography.

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