An employee has just tendered their resignation. While studies show happier employees stay with a company, people eventually departing is an inevitable part of running a company.

The question is how equipped your team is to handle it. You already know how important onboarding is. As it turns out, offboarding is often just as important. How can you be sure you’re handling remote offboarding effectively? You can use this handy checklist.

Put the Relationship Front and Centre

Your first step in the remote offboarding process is to make sure everyone is still committed to the company until the last day. You might be tempted to start cutting off communications or otherwise “punishing” the employee for leaving. You may assume they’re already disengaged and doing poor work.

There’s always the chance someone could rejoin your company later. Employees are also your very best marketing tool. If you cut ties cordially, you smooth the way for a later team-up. At the very least, the ex-employee is likely to speak highly of you, even after they’ve left.

That’s why you should focus on maintaining a good relationship with the employee. Continue to include them in daily activities. Be sure to celebrate their wins. You may even want to plan a virtual farewell gathering.

Start a Knowledge Transfer Process

Your next move should be getting the employee to transfer the knowledge they have, even if their replacement isn’t onboard yet.

You may ask the employee to work with or mentor other team members so they can take over roles, tasks, or projects that the departing employee was working on. You could request that the employee write down formal processes they use to handle projects.

This process can keep the employee engaged, as well as ensure a smooth transition when they depart. This is an excellent process to have in place for leave management as well.

Take Steps to Protect Company Data

Next, you want to protect your company data. The departing employee will need to turn over account access, including passwords. You’ll want to be sure they don’t have ongoing access to your servers, software, or even their email once they leave.

You can give employees a cut-off date and inform the IT team of when the accounts will be terminated or passwords changed. If the employee has company equipment, such as a work laptop or cellphone, you’ll want to arrange for them to dispose of these items properly or send them back to you.

You might also consider a non-disclosure agreement, although these are usually signed as part of the employment contract. This prevents employees from sharing sensitive information with your competitors or the public in the event they leave the company. Keep in mind that NDAs aren’t always enforceable.

Schedule the Exit Interview

Do not neglect the exit interview. This is a chance for the employee to give you feedback about their job satisfaction, their reasons for leaving, and what you can do to improve for the next candidate.

This may also be useful for getting information about the role. The employee’s feedback could be helpful for a new job description or screening criteria for candidates.

The exit interview allows both you and the employee to part on good terms.

Put the Paperwork in Order

In some areas, employees require paperwork, such as a record of employment, for tax purposes or other reasons. If you don’t have the paperwork in order, it could delay them from accessing funds or even starting a new job.

Have the employee’s paperwork in order before their last day so that their send-off is smooth. Obviously, this is difficult if the employee quits on the spot or otherwise doesn’t give sufficient notice. Having a remote offboarding process can help you speed the process along and conclude it with efficiency and respect.

Not sure how to put together a remote offboarding process? Your HRIS can help. Use the checklist module or even the onboarding module to get started.