Why You Need a Defined Workflow for Out-Processing Departing Employees

Automated workflows

Out-processing, also known as off-boarding, is the process of removing an employee from the organization, regardless of their reason for leaving. Younger employees, in particular, have shorter tenures than older ones, and rare today is the employee who stays with an employer for longer than a decade.

Every business needs a proper strategy for out-processing departing employees to minimize disruption and protect both the business and employee from sticky legal issues. Developing a defined workflow for handling departing employees ensures that no steps are missed, and both parties end the employer-employee relationship on the best possible terms.

Out-Processing Workflow Must Include Communication and Knowledge Transfer

The longer an employee has been with your organization, the more knowledge must be transferred to the people who remain. If your business has written job responsibilities, transferring this knowledge is more straightforward.

Additionally, the fact that an employee is leaving needs to be communicated to all personnel affected by their departure. If the departing employee has a customer- or vendor-facing job, you may need to notify at least some of them as well, so they won’t be brought up short by suddenly dealing with someone new. It’s important to strike a balance between broadcasting someone’s departure with undue attention and keeping it secret. Either situation sets the stage for unfounded rumors, which benefit no one.

Logistics of Employee Departures

Automated workflows are perfect for handling the logistics of employee departures. These workflows may include people from multiple departments, like payroll, IT, and facilities management. Letters of resignation should be kept on file with HR, and the employee’s proposed last day should be set. HR will need to review contractual obligations like final pay, departure policies, non-disclosure agreements, and non-compete agreements.

Keeping IT in the loop about departing employees is particularly important because of the many work functions that are handled on company networks. It is absolutely essential that the IT part of the off-boarding workflow considers every contingency and ensures that network access ends at the appropriate time and that all company-issued devices are returned.

Final Documentation and Exit Interview

Man in a business suit shaking someones hand.

Exit interviews can bring an employee’s tenure to a satisfactory close for all parties.

Another part of the out-processing workflow should be completion of all necessary documentation, including benefit documents and tax documents. Final payroll should be reviewed with the employee to ensure there are no last-minute disputes concerning the final paycheck.

Exit interviews, while not strictly required in many businesses, are a good idea nonetheless. This should be conducted by a manager who is trusted by the departing employee so that the conversation will be honest and candid. The interviewer wants to solicit honest responses from the departing employee, including information about the reason why the employee is leaving. Information about the company’s strengths and weaknesses can also be gathered through an exit interview handled with sensitivity.

Accounting for Company Equipment and Assets

The out-processing workflow must account for all company-issued assets, including phones, tablets, handheld devices and tools, and other work-issued collateral. Ideally, the workflow should include a checklist step so that each device issued can be confirmed as being returned. If the company has an onboarding process or otherwise keeps data on which assets were issued to which person, and when, then it’s easier to account for issued assets that are being returned.

Having a defined out-processing workflow makes the disruption of an employee’s departure smoother and easier for everyone. Not only can you ensure that every necessary step is completed and that all legal and contractual obligations are fulfilled, you can be confident that all company-issued assets remain in your possession.

With workflow software like PerfectForms, creating custom workflows for out-processing or any number of other workflows is easy and can transform many work processes. Workflows can be made to be accessible to all authorized personnel across departments, and notifications can automatically be delivered to people whose workflow input is required. The out-processing workflow can be created to ensure accountability and completion of all necessary tasks, and with PerfectForms, it’s simple, straightforward, and effective. We invite you to take a moment to watch the PerfectForms demo video. You’re sure to be inspired with ideas for automated workflows that transform any number of work processes.

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