36 Essential Tasks for Your Offboarding Checklist Template

Posted in Best Practice

In the modern HR playbook, saying goodbye can be as important as saying hello! Creating a great offboarding checklist isn’t just about reclaiming keys or ensuring company laptops find their way back home. It’s an art—a blend of practicality, empathy, and forward-thinking best practices. That includes incorporating some of the same ideas and technology that make your onboarding successful!

Let’s dive into why mastering the offboarding checklist is your secret sauce to turning exits into fond farewells.

5 Things to Consider When Offboarding Employees

We all know onboarding is a moment to shine and create “Wow!” moments for employees that will last throughout their employee engagement lifecycle. But did you know that offboarding can also be a memorable moment that lasts just as long? 

Mixing empathy and human connection into your offboarding checklist can help to safeguard your employer brand and remind an outgoing employee why they came to work for you in the first place.  It leaves employees with a lasting positive impression of your brand and can turn them into brand supporters and ambassadors — and sometimes even boomerang employees.

Remember, employee turnover comes in all flavors: the bittersweet goodbye, the excited adieu, and everything in between. Your employees may be moving on for career reasons, they may be involuntarily terminated, or they might be retiring, relocating, heading back to school, or adjusting to other life events. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your offboarding checklist.

  • Empathy is Key: Each departure is unique. Be consistent in your tasks, but tailor your approach to fit the individual and their situation — acknowledging their unique contributions and emotions.
  • Firm and Fair: While empathy rules, don’t forget to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, especially regarding company property and data security.
  • Don’t Forget the Team: A departure affects everyone. Communicate effectively to manage morale and redistribute responsibilities.
  • Brand Ambassadors in the Making: Part on good terms, and your former employees can become powerful allies and advocates in the marketplace.
  • The Boomerang Concept: Today’s goodbye could be tomorrow’s welcome back. Keep the door open for star alumni to return in new roles.

The 5-Step Offboarding Timeline

Breaking down your offboarding checklist into phases can help you manage the process more smoothly. You’ll notice all of the items in our checklist fall into these 5 phases.

1. Pre-Exit Engagement: Oftentimes you will know someone is leaving before they actually give (or are given) notice. This period before official notification could be a time to offer support and resources for career transitions, including counseling or coaching, negotiating counter-offers, or working with employees on skills development, career pathing, and succession planning.

2. Notification and Documentation: Once the official notification happens, you’ll be on the countdown clock. Many departures will include the standard notice period—but not all. Once you receive notice of resignation or issue a termination notice, you will want to begin executing your offboarding plan. This is often an important time for knowledge transfer and to check in with the broader team to be sure their needs are being met. Ensure clear communication during this period and be sure to document it thoroughly.

3: The Transition: Facilitate the handover of duties and secure company assets and information. 

4. The Final Farewell: The time for a goodbye will eventually come. Celebrate the employee’s time with your company and, if appropriate, organize a farewell or acknowledgment that honors their contributions. On their final day, revoke access to systems and collect company property. Conduct a personalized exit interview.

5. Post-Exit Follow-Up: Follow up on feedback. Maintain connections through alumni networks and keep the door open for future collaborations.

36 Items to Include in Your Offboarding Checklist

Merging the best of practical needs and human-centric approaches, here’s your ultimate offboarding checklist:

Pre-Exit Engagement


  • Offer support and resources, including career coaching or counseling services, if applicable.

Notification & Documentation

Notification of Resignation or Termination:

  • Receive and document the employee’s notice of resignation or issue a termination notice.
  • Determine the employee’s last working day.


  • Plan how to communicate the departure to the rest of the team or company, respecting the departing employee’s privacy and preferences.
  • Highlight the departing employee’s achievements and contributions in internal communications.
  • Encourage a culture where leaving is seen as a step in one’s career journey, not a loss.

The Transition

Knowledge Transfer:

  • Facilitate a knowledge transfer session, if applicable, to ensure continuity of work. This might involve documenting processes or training a successor. (We’ve got a great template for you to use, here.)

Mental Health & Wellbeing:

  • Provide resources or referrals for emotional or financial well-being during the transition.
  • Offer access to support services during the notice period,  for both the departing employee and their team, such as counseling or stress management programs.

Transition Support for Remaining Team Members:

  • Prepare the remaining team for the transition, including addressing any changes in workload or responsibilities.
  • Offer support and resources to help the team adjust, such as team-building activities or access to counseling services.

Financial & Benefit Matters:

  • Finalize payroll matters, including the payment of any outstanding salary, bonuses, or expenses.
  • Discuss and process any applicable benefits continuation, such as COBRA for healthcare (if in the USA). 
  • Clearly communicate the status of benefits post-departure, including any perks that remain available to alumni.
  • Offer guidance on managing retirement accounts or other financial assets associated with employment.

The Final Farewell

Compliance and Removal of Access:

  • Ensure all legal and regulatory requirements related to the employee’s departure are met, including any necessary notifications to government agencies.
  • Ensure that all legal and compliance aspects are handled with care and respect for the individual’s situation.
  • Review and communicate any non-compete or confidentiality agreements in a clear and empathetic manner.
  • Revoke access to all company systems, including email accounts, software applications, and internal databases.
  • Collect any physical access cards or keys.

Return of Company Property:

  • Ensure the return of all company property, including laptops, uniforms, cars, mobile phones, documents, and any other equipment or materials.
  • If the separation is involuntary, consider whether it makes business sense for the employee to keep their laptop, phone, or other personal devices.

Security and Confidentiality:

  • Remind the departing employee of any ongoing confidentiality obligations.
  • Ensure that all company data is securely transferred or deleted from the employee’s personal devices if they were used for work.

Fond Farewell:

  • If appropriate, organize a farewell gesture to acknowledge the employee’s contribution such as a farewell dinner or departure drinks. 
  • Consider creative acknowledgments like a personalized video from colleagues or a keepsake that reflects their time with the company.
  • Provide information on networking opportunities or alumni groups.

Personalized Exit Interview:

  • Schedule an exit interview to discuss the employee’s reasons for leaving and gather feedback on their experience at the company.
  • Customize the exit interview to reflect on the employee’s specific contributions and experiences.
  • Express gratitude for the employee’s service and discuss ways to potentially collaborate in the future. 

Post-Exit Followup

Continued Engagement Opportunities:

  • If appropriate, discuss opportunities for future collaboration, mentoring, freelance work, or rehire in a new role.
  • Provide information on how to stay engaged with company initiatives or community service projects.
  • Invite departing employees to join an alumni network to maintain long-term professional and social connections.

Personnel Documentation:

  • Update the employee’s status in HR systems and records.
  • Provide or discuss the provision of any necessary employment documentation, such as reference letters or service certificates.

Feedback Implementation:

  • Actively demonstrate how feedback from exit interviews or surveys is being used to improve the company culture and practices. 
  • Use insights gained from the exit interview to improve organizational practices and employee retention strategies.

Learning from Onboarding to Enhance Offboarding

Offboarding also has a lot to learn from great onboarding. Like personalized, engaging onboarding, great offboarding will focus on clear communication, maintaining a strong employer brand, and fostering human connections. You can even use automated onboarding tools here to gather feedback and reinforce the value you place on each individual’s entire journey with your company. 

This means:

  • Using push notifications and compelling micro-content to keep everyone engaged 
  • Creating solid workflows to maintain compliance
  • Engaging with empathy, to leave a great lasting impression.
  • Infusing your values and purpose into the experience

Pro tip: Use onboarding software (like Enboarder) to guide the entire experience of offboarding — from pre-exit to alumni networks. We have pre-built best practice workflows for both offboarding employees and for keeping alumni networks connected!

Turn Goodbyes into Opportunities for Growth

Offboarding checklists, when done right, can transform a potentially negative experience into a positive one, for the departing employee, their team, and the company. By blending logistical necessities with a dose of empathy and strategic thinking, you can create a process that not only safeguards your interests but also enhances your reputation and maintains strong relationships. 

Want to learn more about how a strong culture can help you weather expected and unexpected departures? Check out our webinar, ”Beyond Onboarding: Offboarding & Alumni Engagement”  to learn how you can keep the employee experience top of mind, even when your company is experiencing change.

Become an Enboarder insider!