After the exit interview: how to save time, expenses at end of employee life cycle

Man shaking hands with woman

It’s known as the employee life cycle, an 11-stage process that begins with attraction and recruitment and ends with the offboarding and separation of departing workers.

After the often-obligatory exit interview, most workers – and many of their bosses – pay little heed to what happens at their former places of employment.

For employers, though, the additional time and expense of the myriad ‘closing tasks’ required when an employee exits can be considerable.

There may be unemployment claims (including improper/fraudulent ones), post-employment investigations, health insurance plan portability through COBRA, and more.

READ MORE: Managing employee exits

Key Considerations

Here are several key considerations for employers to keep in mind during offboarding, an oft overlooked but nonetheless critical process.

Whether an employee is terminated or leaves on their own, all businesses should have written procedures outlining the offboarding process. While familiar to many, these steps are worth reiterating, and include:

  • Security precautions: remove building access, company email; collect keys, office equipment and other company property
  • Payroll: Calculate lump sum disbursement for unused PTO; obtain employee new contact information for final W-2 provision
  • Post-employment investigations: misconduct, fraud, etc.
  • Communicate the departure internally; don’t allow for speculation, distrust among remaining employees.

The days of merely handing over a final paycheck and conducting a pro-forma exit interview are long gone. Instead, successful businesses are using these processes to evaluate data, learn from their mistakes – and avoid wasting time and money.

Lessons learned about the employee life cycle: moving on – and up

Think about all the time, energy and effort put into employee attraction and recruitment on the front end. On the opposite end, think about how little time most employers put into analyzing why workers leave, and how that information can be leveraged as a business tool.

First impressions matter, but so do final impressions. By harnessing data from exit interviews and the broader offboarding process, employers can gain valuable insight into what has worked, and what hasn’t. It can also help identify potential red flags in operations, technology, management, human resources and every other internal operation.

Citing federal employment data, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) notes that older employees in their 50s and 60s on average have held about a dozen different jobs in their lifetime. Whether these older employees depart on good terms, bad or somewhere in between, it would be unwise not to pay close attention to their insights – and then aggregate those individual opinions into actionable data.

A company’s brand, public image and ability to continue attracting talent can all be impacted (for better or worse) by former employees, SHRM notes. Another reason to invest in the offboarding process? The rise in “boomerang” employees who, having departed one position in search of greener grass, wind up returning to their former jobs when the new ones don’t work out.

Integrity Employee Leasing Has the Offboarding Tools to Save You Time, Money

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) like Integrity Employee Leasing brings objectivity, consistency and peace of mind to your HR team. We have the tools, technology and expertise to ensure that after the exit interview, your company’s time and money is invested in moving forward, not back.

Whether it is helping you harness technology to move beyond the exit interview or navigating the paper trails of unemployment claims from former employees or COBRA eligibility offers, Integrity’s Human Resource department is ready to support you with your business needs. Find out how Integrity Employee Leasing can help protect and grow your business. Call us at (941) 625-0623 for a free consultation.

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