How Flexible is Your Offboarding Process?

How Flexible is Your Offboarding Process?

With staff shortages across nearly all industries at the moment, we have so much emphasis on attraction and retention of key team members.  However it is important to maintain the balance of focus to ensure that our offboarding processes have the same level of flexibility, care and consideration – particularly if you operate in a specialist marketplace.

For myself, the transition from permanent employment to founder of HR Crowd was an interesting example of flexible offboarding that was managed by balancing the interests of both my former employer and my future plans.  Central to the offboarding process has been constant communication with the leadership team and the flexibility pf all parties to adapt to different circumstances that have arisen along the way.

The experience I have had in offboarding will see a long standing relationship and future partnering opportunities, we'll continue to work closely in a specialist marketplace and we'll be sure to benefit each other going forwards. A mature and amicable break up if ever there was one!

It's a stark contrast to the past, and potentially obsolete, approach where a key person is walked out the door the moment they make a decision that they might want to do something else in the future. For most industries, the end of an employment relationship should not mean the end of the overall relationship.

So with flexible offboarding on the mind, we offer the following tips and advice to start considering how your organisation approaches offboarding.

Offboarding an employee is an essential part of any business. It can be a challenging process, but it is critical to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible for both the employee leaving and the team they are leaving behind.

Flexible offboarding is a process that allows both the departing employee and the firm to handle the transition in a way that works best for all parties involved. It involves a thoughtful and deliberate approach to offboarding, which takes into account the employee's unique situation, skills, and relationships within the firm and with clients.

Here are some key steps for a flexible offboarding process:

Communication: The first step in any offboarding process is to communicate with the employee about their departure. In a professional services firm, it is essential to inform the team and any clients the employee has been working with. The communication should be clear, honest, and respectful, outlining the reasons for the employee's departure and the next steps.

Planning: Once the decision to part ways has been made, the firm needs to plan how to cover the departing employee's responsibilities. In a professional services firm, this may involve re-assigning clients or projects to other team members. It's important to involve the departing employee in this planning process to ensure that their knowledge and expertise are transferred to others in the team.

Transition: The transition period is a critical part of the offboarding process. It allows the departing employee to wrap up their work and hand over responsibilities to others in the team. This may involve documenting processes and procedures, transferring client relationships, and providing training to other team members. A flexible offboarding process should allow for a longer transition period if necessary, to ensure that everything is properly handed over.

Support: The offboarding process can be challenging for the departing employee, particularly if they are leaving the firm for reasons beyond their control, such as redundancy. Providing support during this time can help to make the process smoother and less stressful. This may involve offering outplacement services, providing references or offering assistance with job searches.

Exit interview: An exit interview is an essential part of the offboarding process, as it provides an opportunity for the firm to gather feedback from the departing employee. This feedback can be used to improve the firm's processes and identify any areas for improvement. It can also provide valuable insights into the employee's experience at the firm and their reasons for leaving.

Follow-up: Once the employee has left, it's important to follow up with them to ensure that everything is going well. This can help to maintain a positive relationship and potentially lead to future opportunities for collaboration.


Flexible offboarding is an essential process for all organisations in the current market climate. It allows for a more thoughtful nd deliberate approach to offboarding, which takes into account the employee's unique situation and skills, as well as the impact on the team and clients. By following these key steps, the offboarding process can be made smoother and less stressful for everyone involved.


Adrian Everett is a founding director of HR Crowd with over 20 years of SAP industry experience. For further information or for advice around flexible offboarding for your organisation, please contact adrian.everett@hrcrowd.comor 0414 417 786.