Employee name and date of termination
Write your employee's name and last day at the top. Include any other details that help you stay organized. For example, you might add an employee number or date of hire if you organize your files based on those fields.
Make sure to give the document a findable name too, e.g., [Employee name] offboarding.
Document the contract termination
- Have the employee sign a formal letter of resignation for your records.
- Schedule an exit interview: Plan a time to meet with the employee before they leave to get feedback on their experience with the company, their role, and reasons for leaving. The exit interview is one of the last interactions the employee will have with your organization, so it’s important to make it a priority and come prepared.
- Notify their team: Don’t let gossip get ahead of you. Let the team know of the employee’s upcoming departure and monitor the team’s reaction and needs. Keep lines of communication open to ensure the team is supported and confident moving forward.
- Communicate with clients: If the employee was client-facing, create a plan of action for notifying their clients and managing the client handoffs (e.g., identify who will be taking over the accounts and make sure they have the information and resources needed for a smooth transition).
💬 Team Communication
- Notify the Human Resources department to initiate the process
- Notify Finance and IT to off-board payroll and equipment
1. Announce employee departures
Employers sometimes terminate workers privately, without alerting other team members. While this strategy may minimize disruptions, it can enable outgoing employees to continue to attend meetings, chat with team members, and request files, even as they have one foot out the door.
Because of this, make a point to formally announce departing staff. It may also help to inform team members about departing members’ termination dates and the current projects they’re wrapping up. This can prevent employees from exploiting colleagues who may not be aware of their expected departure.
2. Revoke or restrict privileged account access
Though rare, disgruntled departing employees may attempt to sabotage corporate resources as a means of revenge. This can significantly impact operations, damage client relationships, and cost money.
For example, an outgoing marketing employee could use a corporate social media account to post harmful materials and damage your brand reputation. Or, an IT team member like a system administrator could do even greater damage by shutting down business-critical systems operations that customers rely on.
To avoid these types of risks, immediately identify all systems they manage or have access to once you learn an employee is leaving—like applications, databases, cloud environments, or network devices. Transfer ownership to other team members and terminate their access to coincide with the departing employee’s last day.
Suppose an employee will be sticking around a while after announcing their departure. In that case, you may want to add an extra layer of approvals prior to granting them access to sensitive resources. Or, you could enforce stricter rules for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This ensures business continuity and adds an extra layer of security to prevent outgoing workers from inflicting harm on your organization.
During high turnover or transition, it’s also a good idea to increase privileged activity session monitoring for signs of abuse. You’ll want to know if employees are suddenly downloading or sharing information in large volumes, moving contacts lists to personal accounts, or sending unauthorized messages to clients or partners.
Provide the employee with the documents below before exiting.
- Employee termination form
- Other applicable documents
Phase 2: Prepare the paperwork
- Review contracts and NDAs: Conduct a final review of the employee’s contract to make sure all items are in order. You may want to review any non-disclosure agreements with the employee before they leave to clarify any lingering questions.
- Prepare compensation, benefits, and tax documents: Once you know an employee is leaving, work with accounting to review the employee compensation package and tax information to ensure everything is in order. This process might include:
- Processing outstanding employee reimbursements
- Confirming that employee doesn’t owe reimbursement for bonuses or paid time off
- Preparing tax and benefits documentation for the employee to take before they leave
- Fill the new role (whether new or existing employee)
- Setting up a transfer of knowledge
- Make necessary department changes as a result of this departure
- Have the departing employee prepare materials for the next employee
- Book training sessions
Phase 3: Plan the work handoff process
To ensure a smooth transition and no interruption in production or services, you’ll need to plan a handoff process. Work with the employee and/or their manager to identify what needs to be done.
- Determine who will be the replacement: Who will take over the old employee’s role? Will the work be redistributed across multiple people?
- Identify training needs: Once you know who will be taking over, identify what training they will need. Will the employee train their replacement? Are there any skills gaps that need to be addressed?
- Prepare information/files/documentation for handoff: Have the employee gather any information or files their replacement will need access to, including passwords, account lists, client info, procedural notes, etc.
- Create a to-do list for final projects and deliverables: Work with the employee to determine how they will tie up their ongoing projects. What deliverables or milestones are they responsible for before they leave? Make sure you (or their manager) follows up so there aren’t any loose ends.
🚪 Exit Interview
Schedule an exit interview to have the employee share insights.
- Prepare and schedule an exit interview (We recommend CodeGem's Exit Interview Template)
- Gather all answers and data from the interview and share insights with relevant teams
💻 Company Property
Ensure the following items are returned before the employee's last day.
- Cell Phone
Phase 5: Promptly reset accounts
Waiting to close down email accounts, change passwords, or revoke access to proprietary platforms and resources leaves the company open to security breaches. It can also create confusion and communication roadblocks. Work with IT to promptly reset the employee’s accounts, including:
- Removing employee access to email and other systems and internal platforms.
- Changing passwords to any company accounts the employee had access to
- Notifying relevant teams or points of contact of the personnel change
- Redirecting emails and calls to the new employee/point of contact
- Updating the company org chart
- Removing the employee from company calendars and meetings