Employee Offboarding Process: A systematic way for organizations to manage the departure of an employee that ensures consistency and reduces risk to the organization. (Also see: Onboarding Process)
"88 percent of information technology workers would take sensitive data with them or abscond with company passwords if they were fired."
A large number of organizations handle employee offboarding, (also known as: "termination procedures"), through loose, manual processes like emails, phone calls, and private conversations. While there may be an offboarding policy in place, lax offboarding workflow can be extremely dangerous and puts businesses at risk if the policy doesn't drive the process.
Signs of a Risky Employee Offboarding Process
- Workers who still have access to secure, critical systems post-termination can wreak havoc on the organization's systems.
- Failure to follow proper termination procedures can lead to litigation and leave companies scrambling for documentation and confirmation of procedures being followed.
- Assets can be inadvertently left with the departing employee and difficult to retrieve later.
- Communication breakdowns can lead to gaps in the procedure and headaches for employees and management alike.
- Knowledge transfer, either person-to-person or person-to-system, can be missed and leave departments at risk.
- Other departments can be left out of the loop (finance, payroll, it, etc.) leading to delays and confusion.
Obviously, these are all worst-case scenarios but all it takes is one poorly-managed offboarding procedure to cause serious disruption and financial loss to a business.
And yet, despite the mounting risks of not properly offboarding employees surveys indicate many organizations are leaving gaps in their processes.
- A survey by security firm Cyber-Ark that found "88 percent of information technology workers would take sensitive data with them or abscond with company passwords if they were fired".
- In another survey: it was found that "50% of ex-employees can still access corporate apps."
How Should I Automate the Offboarding Process?
There are many other parts of the offboarding process that should be part of an automated process to prevent lapses and ensure policy consistency.
- Create an offboarding checklist that includes all the potential items, access credentials, keys, accounts, etc. that an employee might have.
- Provide human-initiated termination approvals to avoid the process moving forward unchecked.
- Ensure performance evaluations, disciplinary action forms, and other employee records are in order.
- Decommissioning of access cards and keys.
- Identification and return of company-provided property including hardware and mobile devices.
- Avoid potential lawsuits by ensuring that the compliant procedures are followed and documented across all locations.
- Provide access to local, network and cloud-based files as well as email for the former employee's supervisor.
- Notification of stakeholders (IT, Finance, leadership, etc.)
- Retention of certain technological resources, data, and logs in the event that the former employee or company itself decides to pursue litigation.
- Ensuring that terminated employees no longer collect wages or benefits past their date of separation.
- Ensure receipt of paperwork (non-disclosure, etc.)
- Conduct exit interview or surveys.
- Confirm that information about insurance continuation (COBRA), retirement fund withdrawals, and other benefits matters were discussed.
Ultimately, the benefits of automated the offboarding process are numerous and, combined with a thoughtful, automated onboarding process, can ensure consistency, accuracy, and compliance.
Employee Offboarding Process Example
Integrify customers can download a free Employee Offboarding Template to get a jump start on designing their own customized workflow.
Here's what the process looks like:
Note: The template includes the entire process along with the forms.
If you'd like to discuss your offboarding needs, please let us know and we're happy to provide an assessment and/or demonstration.
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