Creating a reliable and successful offboarding process with Alice Moore
Did you know that offboarding is just as important as onboarding? Sadly, many companies don’t put the same attention and energy into this process, not knowing all the opportunities for growth that they are missing.
We have talked about onboarding many times before in our Systematic Excellence Podcast (it’s just a very important part of businesses!), but today we are going to talk about the opposite side of onboarding: offboarding.
In short, offboarding is designed to ensure a smooth transition and encourage the person who is leaving to share expertise; employee or client, an effective offboarding process is necessary whenever someone is leaving.
We had the opportunity to interview Alice Moore, one of our project managers in Systematic Excellence Consulting, whose extensive experience leading people after working in the court system helped her create a foolproof offboarding process that benefits all parties.
You can also listen to this and other awesome, info-packed podcast episodes here https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/podcast/
The Right Way to Offboard Someone
Amalie: What are the elements that are important to be included in an offboarding process?
Alice: Offboarding starts with onboarding as well. So when you’re first starting with the client, it’s important to know the aspects of what the project is going to be, what they need, and what their desired outcome is. So when you’ve gone through that and you’re towards the end of your contract, some of the elements are making sure you have a checklist in place.
Ensuring that all deliverables are in a place where you can hand those back over to the client because really they belong to them.
Ensuring any contracts are firmed up that you may have put in place during your contract to ensure that they are aware of the status of anything that is not completed.
Provide some feedback and assistance of how they can continue on to make sure that that still gets completed (that may be linked to tutorials or drafts of anything that I have that they may not have finalized before leaving).
Janine: What are some of the problems that arise without an offboarding process?
Alice: Some of the problems that could arise with not properly offboarding is the client feeling like they really did not get their end of the contract fulfilled. So you split up, and then they’re left not knowing exactly “well, what was done? Where do I go from here?”
Amalie: I think that’s important in a lot of situations when they’re not going to continue to work with you on an ongoing basis, show them how to make changes to it so they can be self-sufficient.
Alice: And offering just maybe some team support as well, and just being able to lend some recommendations or some feedback going forward.
The “People Side” of Offboarding
Janine: When you’re wrapping up a project there’s that mechanical part of it, that’s the systems and the processes and everything that you built out, but what do you do for the team members you’ve been managing?
Alice: My most favorite part of having been a manager is that I really learned well how to connect with people in those types of environments, being a team player; even in management sometimes you feel like there’s a sort of a hierarchy where there’s you than them. And I never managed like that, it was us. So leaving the team with something good is allowing them the opportunity to say, “nothing’s ever perfect so let’s go through and run down what could have been better.” Make sure that they have some voice in the project, and then make sure that you also celebrate what worked well.
Amalie: What about with team members?
Alice: You want to make sure to remove them from anything that they may have had access to, like passwords. Still, feedback is the key in this environment. Learn what you did well and what you did not because we all have room to grow. Make sure that they are equipped to continue on to either work for somebody else, themselves or maybe even with you again.
The reason ‘feedback’ is so important
Amalie: If the project you have hired them for, especially contractors, if you have a project that’s ended, maybe there’s a way that you can help bridge the gap between the next project and that allows you to have a nice relationship with the contractor. If you do decide to fire that person, have a letter that says, this is why we’re letting you go, we will give a recommendation for you or or we’ll confirm your employment here. There are templates for those things online, like FormSwift.
Alice: Because in this online world that we’re in, if it’s not on Facebook or Twitter or something that didn’t happen. So being able to say that I have worked with this contractor, that they fulfilled their contractual agreement excellently or the additional services that they provided, and that you would recommend them.
How to deal with offboarding someone under adverse conditions
Janine: Is there anything you recommend regarding when you’re offboarding somebody under normal vs adverse conditions?
Alice: When it’s adverse, you know, could be a pretty sticky situation and some hostility, but still continue being that warm, open person, leaving them with an open mind as well and say, “this may have happened to lead us here, but we can bounce back.” And always, tutorials and trainings are really good. So whatever that issue is, provide them with some feedback and some links, some helpful tips, even a book that they can refer back to hone in on those skills and not make that mistake again.
And this is it for today! We hope this has been useful to you. You can find more information regarding Alice’s services and reach out through the following social media:
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