5th July 2024

Uncover the Power of Employee Offboarding



Anchor Excellence

The benefits are too good to miss

Shifting the spotlight onto offboarding isn’t just about goodbyes; it’s a strategic pivot towards staff retention, recognising that the last impression can be as crucial as the first.

As aged care workers bid adieu to their roles, the art of a compassionate farewell should take center stage. It’s not merely a departure; it’s a purposeful transition that reflects the heart of an organisation and shapes the legacy left behind.

When done well, offboarding – the systematic and formalised process which an oganisation follows when an employee leaves – can fortify the foundation of a committed team. Your workforce, your most valuable asset, provides departing employees the opportunity to candidly express their perspectives on the positive and negative aspects of their employment, ultimately providing them with a sense of acknowledgement, and subsequently implementing deliberate measures that advance organisational excellence.

A nationwide study of personal care workers’ employment intentions and employee turnover conducted by Deakin University, is delving into the experiences of current and former personal care workers in residential aged care, with initial findings revealing a notable oversight in dedicated employee ‘offboarding’ process from the perspective of personal care workers.

Aged care operators and executives allocate significant resources, time and effort into recruitment and onboarding, but offboarding should demand the same level of energy because it returns valuable data to support other HR practices in the organisation, for continuous improvement strategies.

During the offboarding process, aged care operators undertake several tasks including:
■ conducting exit interviews to gather feedback
■ collecting equipment owned by the organisation provided to the employee in order to conduct their role (e.g. company phone or laptop)
■ transferring employee job responsibilities
■ deactivating access rights and passwords
■ finalising administrative tasks.

For aged care operators and executives who may not have an offboarding process, the first step involves scrutinising your existing HR processes and, if necessary, developing policies, procedures and templates to guide and support your offboarding process.

How effective onboarding can help

Organisational culture. The treatment of departing employees serves as a reflection of the overall culture of the organisation, exerting influence on employee morale and engagement. Remember other employees are watching, and listening and are affected by how their friends and colleagues are treated.

Knowledge retention. A systematically structured offboarding process ensures the seamless transfer of departing employees’ knowledge and expertise to remaining team members, safeguarding critical organisational knowledge.

Smooth transition. An organised offboarding process facilitates a smoother transition for both the departing employee and the team, minimising disruptions and enabling the seamless handover of responsibilities, enhancing operational continuity.

Positive reputation. Treating departing employees with respect and ensuring a positive offboarding experience contributes significantly to the organisation’s reputation. Former employees departing on good terms are more inclined to speak favorably about the organisation, enhancing its brand and attractiveness to potential talent.

Alumni network. Fostering positive relationships with former employees can lead to the establishment of an alumni network, wherein former employees become valuable assets.

Legal compliance. A structured offboarding process ensures aged care operators adhere to the legal obligations.

Cost savings. An effective offboarding process yields cost savings by minimising expenditure related to recruitment, onboarding, training and costs associated with employee

Succession planning. When executed strategically, offboarding contributes to an organisation’s succession planning efforts by identifying potential successors and preparing them for new responsibilities.

Continuity of care. A well-structured offboarding process ensures that care remains a top priority during periods of employee changes, ensuring the uninterrupted provision of care for residents and support for their families.

To find out more or to be involved in my nationwide study exploring the employment intentions of personal care workers as a PhD candidate or to seek assistance in reviewing your offboarding process, please get in touch.

Britt O’Keefe, Specialist Advisor and Deakin University PhD Candidate

Anchor Excellence.