The offboarding let down: Fixing the forgotten friend of onboarding

It’s show time, or … is it? When we resign the more dramatic of us and, even the less so, expect something – sweet smelling flowers, chocolates, a voucher for a lesser known department store, applause and crying, some hugs and howling - but what happens when it’s the biggest ‘dry’ in showbiz and there’s nothing, natch, nadder?
HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
The offboarding let down: Fixing the forgotten friend of onboarding
Offboarding is the often forgotten end game but for employer brand it holds great importance

For the most part employers spend an awful lot of time ‘onboarding’ with all of the above, it’s a kind of reverse excitement to the ‘see you’ that lies pitiful at the end. You get a polished lanyard and shown where the toilets are and, everyone is ‘nice,’ it’s almost like being on the Truman Show for those first days and weeks, it’s so perfect you could flick it to see if it falls over.

Yet, as with anything ‘new’ and ‘shiny’ that honeymoon period rarely lasts and then when the familiar rhythm of employment too comes to a faltering end, it’s time for the final curtain call which is the great resignation, followed by all too often the quiet exit and the slump of disappointment when the realisation hits that perhaps those work colleagues and that company that you gave your heart and soul to, didn’t much care after all.

In today’s gigging economy and one in which job hopping is much more the mainstay of employment, departures are an inevitability. It’s the cradle to grave certainty of employment and life. So, why do we find it so difficult to do the divorce or death in a kind way?

What is offboarding?

Many would be forgiven for questioning what it is in the first place. For some it slides into obscurity and the process occurs while colleagues are busy signing the goodbye card. In layman’s terms, however, it’s the stages that fill the void between the resignation letter and the notice period ending. Of course, that may be tempered by the reasons behind the departure.

For me, getting offboarding right, is getting it right for the person

Jamie Smith | Head of People and Culture at RGF Staffing UK

If you are Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s first minster then that, ‘I’m off’ is clouded with a lot of emotional upset and a fall from grace. From hero to zero, is an unenviable place to occupy. It’s not untypical of politics to be cloaks and daggers, however, and exits are usually clouded with drama. Yet while we may not all work in Holyrood or Parliament, we do all have a ‘reason’ why we decide to say, ‘Auf Wiedersehen,’ and after all it’s not a prison sentence and it shouldn’t be treated so – we are free to walk if we so wish.

Having a plan

A journey map that outlines how to manage an exit gives it shape and purpose. In many businesses this involves capturing any institutional knowledge, conducting an exit interview, and fulfilling HR requirements. Offboarding may also include handing back any assets and being removed from work systems. A rudimentary plan may be as follows.

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