What Every HR Team Needs to Know About Remote Employee Offboarding

By Globalization Partners

There are many reasons employees leave a company — they retire, find a new job, or leave involuntarily due to layoffs or terminations. Regardless of the reason, companies must prepare to make this an easy transition because an unsuccessful offboarding process can damage the employer brand.

While preparing employees for departure can be challenging when working in the same office, in a remote work environment, offboarding requires even more time and attention.

Effective offboarding in a remote work environment

Without the possibility for face-to-face interactions, barriers to connection and communication can become a huge challenge when it comes to remote offboarding.
Here are some tips to ensure that the remote offboarding process is carried out legally and successfully:

1. Draft a communication plan

The offboarding process begins the moment the HR team learns about the impending departure of a remote employee, regardless of whether it involves a layoff or a resignation. It is especially important then to draft a remote communication plan that outlines how the rest of the team will be informed. Establish a common channel for communication and schedule meetings and video calls in advance. The plan should also consider the employee’s clients and how to properly notify them. It is essential to pay attention to the content and tone used in these emails and conversations to avoid misunderstandings.

2. Prepare the paperwork

The paperwork for the offboarding of a remote employee is no different than the paperwork for face-to-face departures, except it must be done digitally. The HR team should gather all the documentation needed to make sure everything is in order and conducted legally. It is necessary to review contracts and nondisclosure agreements to clarify the departure terms and answer any questions. HR must also prepare paperwork regarding compensation packages, benefits, reimbursements, and taxes. These can be shared through document management and digital signature systems to ensure the process is smooth and secure.

3. Plan the transition process

This should involve regular online check-ins to review the status of the projects, reassigning tasks, and laying the groundwork so that the new employee can quickly resume the necessary duties.

4. Schedule online knowledge transfer sessions

This is one of the most essential parts of effective remote offboarding for voluntary departures. During these sessions, departing employees share information with their coworkers, and with the new hire, if possible. This information should include a record of responsibilities and tasks, status of projects, and access to information, software, and documents.

5. Recover company assets

It is important that the HR team make a digital checklist and arrange to collect these assets in the last days before the employee leaves. This checklist may include computers, mobile phones, keys, ID badges, and corporate credit cards and the list should be sent to the departing employee along with a digital return of company property letter.

6. Delete user accounts

Remote employees would have access to email accounts, drives, databases, and sources of sensitive information. Denying a departing employee further access to this information and recovering any digital assets, including passwords and key codes, helps prevent security breaches.

7. Conduct a virtual exit interview

While only applicable to voluntary departures, virtual exit interviews provide valuable feedback on the employee experience within the company. This information will help the HR department make better decisions in the future. Take the opportunity to gain insight into the role, their feelings on remote work, and their overall experience. The exit interview will also be the last opportunity for the company to leave employees with a positive impression before their departure.

Expert assistance from onboarding to offboarding

Globalization Partners not only helps you hire anyone, anywhere, quickly and easily, its AI-driven global employment platform will ensure compliance during the offboarding of your international employees.

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