Employee offboarding can be a very challenging time. Whether the individual is leaving voluntarily or not, it usually requires the completion of multiple steps to ensure that the employment contract is terminated legally, your business retains knowledge, and you avoid unnecessary friction.
Most companies have some kind of formalized offboarding process. However, if it mainly relies on manual steps, there is real scope for things to go wrong. And this is why HR operations can benefit from an automated approach to offboarding.
What is the problem with a manual offboarding process?
From signing termination letters to completing exit interviews, or collecting security badges, you need to complete several key HR operations during the offboarding process. However, if you rely on a paper-based checklist to complete offboarding, several problems may emerge:
- Potentially expensive: If you forget to follow all offboarding best practices, manual offboarding could cost your company money. For example, studies show that many companies continue to pay software licenses for former employees who have not been fully offboarded from your IT systems—costing thousands of dollars every year.
- Legal issues: If a company fails to complete all essential offboarding processes—such as paying the former worker all outstanding wages—you could potentially risk legal issues, especially if the former employee is leaving on bad terms.
- Missed opportunities: Offboarding is a great opportunity to collect information from your former employee. An exit interview can give you candid and honest insights into what your company could be doing better. Offboarding best practices also involve collecting knowledge that is inside the individual’s head and documenting it where possible.
If you follow a manual process for offboarding, there are so many stages where key steps may fall through the cracks. Knowing how to automate processes around offboarding will mean you can avoid these kinds of issues.
What is automated employee offboarding?
Automated employee offboarding involves the use of technology to automate every step of your offboarding process. You begin by digitally mapping out the offboarding process before creating a formal workflow (you can download and modify Nintex offboarding templates here). When an employee leaves your company, you kick off the workflow and the technology ensures that all the required steps are completed.
An offboarding workflow will do things like collect digital signatures for termination of employment letter, close down the individual’s IT accounts and email address, generate an offboarding survey, and so on. It ensures all your required steps are completed.
5 benefits of an automated offboarding process
Automated employee offboarding reduces the risk of mistakes or failures when someone is leaving your company. Here are five ways HR operations benefit from automated offboarding:
- Saves time for HR operations
Offboarding is typically time-consuming for HR employees. They are required to coordinate with the former employee, that individual’s department/manager, as well as multiple other business units (such as IT to get accounts closed, or finance to ensure that the individual is removed from payroll). Sending round emails to coworkers in all these departments is time-consuming and repetitive.
However, if you have automated the offboarding process, all these steps are done automatically. Your HR team simply kicks off the workflow, and the system does the rest.
- Document automation
Leaving an organization typically creates a small mountain of paperwork. From resignation letters to non-disclosure agreements, pink slips to non-compete contracts, producing all these forms is time-consuming.
Document automation simply means that all the correct forms are automatically generated, filled in, and stored securely in a compliant manner.
- More seamless
Automating employee offboarding makes the experience of leaving a company much smoother. Instead of sending documents ad hoc or completing exit interviews on the fly, automation means that the whole process happens in a very consistent and efficient manner that is repeated the same way every time someone leaves.
- Less stressful for the leaver
Imagine an employee has been made redundant. Being made redundant is hugely stressful, and so the individual is unlikely to respond well to a disordered or confusing process.
By automating the workflow, all steps are completed quickly and efficiently and can usually be done from right within the individual’s email inbox—without then having to chase people themselves.
- Avoids offboarding risks
Automated offboarding eliminates many risks—whether it’s former employees still having access to your technology, legal problems because certain documents have not been signed, or unnecessary confusion (such as a former employee’s email account still being active, so customers continue messaging them without reply).
How could automated employee offboarding benefit you?
As organizations grow, the benefits of automated offboarding grow too. The more staff you have leaving, the more time your HR operations must dedicate to dealing with the offboarding process. And this is where the benefits of automation really begin to kick in—by saving countless hours, reducing frustration, and eliminating mistakes, the entire offboarding process becomes much smoother.
To learn more about how automation can improve employee offboarding, watch our webinar: Transforming HR Operations with Nintex.