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  • Writer's pictureSara Millis

How to make sure you digitally offboard an employee successfully (a checklist)

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

As employees come and go, they have a digital footprint to clean up in your business. From software logins to sensitive client file access, it’s essential to know how to deal with off-boarding as well as onboarding.

This blog post will look at all the considerations you’ll need to offboard your employees successfully. In fact, we’ll go further because this blog post has been specifically written to act as a checklist!

Manager offboarding an employee at a desk. Employee has their back to the camera.

What is digital offboarding, and when do you need to do it?

Digital offboarding is the process of revoking an employee's access to company systems, collecting digital files, and ensuring a smooth transition of digital responsibilities.

You can start taking action on this when you know an employee will leave you.

Preparing for digital offboarding

Before the digital offboarding process begins, planning and making necessary preparations are essential.

This will help ensure a smooth and efficient transition for the departing employee and minimise potential security risks. Below are the checklist items to consider when preparing for digital offboarding.

1. Notify necessary stakeholders

First and foremost, inform all relevant stakeholders within the company of the employee's departure. This includes the HR department, the employee's manager, and any team members affected by their departure.

2. Review the employee's access to company systems

Review and document all the systems and tools employees can access, such as email accounts, company software, and shared drives. List all the systems that must be deactivated or transferred to another employee.

You could preempt this by creating an ongoing file that details all employee access levels to accounts, systems and software. That would help make planning stages much easier to navigate and also help you establish sub-teams for things like special projects.

3. Collect all company property

Ensure that the employee returns all company property in their possession, such as laptops, mobile phones, access cards, and any other hardware or software. Create a checklist of all the items that need to be returned and ensure they are returned on time.

Again having this information on file throughout the employee’s journey with you will help you act quickly should the unforeseen happen.

4. Provide the employee with necessary information or resources

Give the departing employee any essential information or resources, such as information about their outstanding compensation or contact details for HR representatives. This will help them understand their rights and responsibilities after their departure.

5. Prepare the employee's final pay

Ensure that the departing employee receives their final pay on time and that all outstanding payments, such as reimbursements and bonuses, are included in the final payment. A happy employee is less likely to cause you cyber security concerns.

Completing these checklist items before the digital offboarding process will ensure that the offboarding process goes smoothly and efficiently.

Conducting digital offboarding

Once you have completed the necessary preparations, it's time to move on to the digital offboarding process. This process aims to revoke the employee's access to company systems, collect all digital files and data, and ensure that all necessary information has been transferred.

Below are the checklist items to consider when conducting digital offboarding.

1. Revoke the employee's access to company systems

Deactivate the employee's accounts and revoke access to any company systems or software they previously had access to. This includes email accounts, shared drives, and other online tools or software.

2. Set up email forwarding or redirects and lets clients know who to contact now

Email is one of the most used communication tools in business. To keep your client and supplier relationships running smoothly, it’s important to let them know who to contact going forward.

This moment is an excellent opportunity to look at email forwarding or redirects and establish other comms channels to which you will need to switch access (for example, Teams chats).

3. Collect all of the employee's digital files and data

Ensure all employees' digital files and data are collected and stored securely. This includes emails, documents, and other files the employee may have created or worked on.

4. Conduct an exit interview (if necessary)

If an exit interview is required, ensure it is conducted, and all essential information is gathered. This interview can provide valuable feedback on how to improve the offboarding process in the future.

Don’t forget there is a follow-up process here - let’s go through that now.

Follow-up and post-offboarding

Once the digital offboarding process is complete, it's essential to follow up and take necessary steps to ensure that all loose ends have been tied up. This will reduce any security risks.

Here’s what we recommend.

1. Transfer responsibility for any ongoing projects

Ensure that any ongoing projects or responsibilities previously handled by the departing employee have been transferred to another employee or team. This will help ensure that everything is transparent in project management and deadlines.

2. Check for any lingering access

Ensure the departing employee's access to company systems has been entirely revoked. This includes checking any third-party accounts the employee may have accessed, such as software or cloud storage.

3. Securely store the employee's digital files and data

Ensure all employees' digital files and data are securely stored and organised for future reference. This can help if there is a need to access any of the data later.

4. Delete or archive the employee's email account

Delete or archive the employee's email account to ensure that no sensitive company information is accessible through the email account.

You must also do this for other comms channels, such as Microsoft Teams.

5. Remove the employee's name from the company contact lists

Ensure the departing employee's name is removed from all company contact lists to prevent potential confusion or security risks.

One thing to remember…

Remember, planning and conducting the digital offboarding process efficiently and effectively is essential, as following up to ensure that all loose ends have been tied up. By doing so, you can help ensure a smooth transition for both the departing employee and the company and maintain the integrity and security of the company's digital assets.

Need help digitally offboarding an employee?

IT Soho is here to help!

We have been working in the Soho area of London for years and have seen the impact of digital change on the clients we work with. That’s why we have created our detailed IT support packages so that you can feel sure that no stone is unturned.



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