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Tips for Offboarding During COVID-19

Unlike onboarding, offboarding is the process in which an employee leaves the company, either permanently or temporarily. Often during this process, the employee may transfer their responsibilities over, introduce their replacement to the position, or simply wrap up some pending items before their departure.

During a normal year, there is an organized process in place that includes all of the above in addition to things like exit interviews, the collection of company property that the employee may have had, and even some form of farewell lunch or event. However, since many organizations across the country have shifted over to a remote workforce, offboarding will have to look a bit different to accommodate these changes.

If the employee’s departure was involuntary on their part, then the offboarding process may be quicker and only require that they turn in their equipment and a few other housekeeping items. But if that is not the case, here are a few things to consider if your employee is departing while working remotely.

  1. Keep track of company equipment– Have a plan in place on how an employee should return equipment such as tech items, office equipment like chairs, desks, and anything that belongs to the company. If possible, have a process in place in which they are granted access back to the office to safely return these items. If there are no big items to return, organizations can opt to provide the employees with return labels and instructions on how to ship back what they have.
  2. Collect necessary termination documentation– When the employee has notified you that they will be resigning, make sure that any documentation necessary to make that official, is collected. Some organizations require formal notices to be signed and submitted while others simply require an e-mail. Regardless, ensure that whatever procedure your organization has in place for this is followed immediately upon their initial notice of departure.
  3. Host a virtual goodbye– When an employee is retiring or simply leaving on good terms, it is in good spirits to host a farewell lunch or gathering. To comply with social distancing guidelines and safely say goodbye to your colleague, you can opt for a virtual “lunch” in which anyone that would like to stop by can pop in on a scheduled video meeting to chat with the departing employee for a bit before they go.
  4. Avoid confusion– Given the ever-changing landscape we have been living through, it is important to have written documentation regarding the offboarding logistics during the pandemic. It is good practice to have a checklist like the following that details all the necessary steps to move the offboarding process forward.

    • 1. The employee needs to submit a resignation notice to their direct manager and HR team.
    • 2. Provide the employee with a separation letter that includes:
      • Last payment information
      • Benefits and insurance information
      • Logistics for returning equipment
      • Contact information for questions
    • 3. Share necessary information with your payroll service provider to ensure the employee status is properly changed, and paid their last check promptly.
    • 4. If they have a company-issued e-mail address, set up forwarding from that account to someone else in the company to oversee.
    • 5. Terminate any access to company accounts and drives if applicable.
    • 6. Remove access to building with key code or pass.

Each organization operates differently, and it is important to discuss these procedures with your HR personnel or service provider to ensure that each step is what makes the most sense for your company. The most important thing is to be safe prepared during these times.

Looking for a payroll and HR service provider you can rely on? Payroll Systems offers payroll solutions that are easy to scale and a dedicated payroll specialist to ensure your specific payroll needs are met. Talk to us to learn more.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.