Remember how excited you were when you landed that position you coveted?

How was your onboarding process? It may have gone something like this. You checked in with HR, maybe they assigned a peer to assist you, maybe a mentor, and possibly introduced, recognized, or welcomed you with a small social event.

What has been your experience offboarding, personally or just watching from a distance. For those leaving on negative terms it could have been an escorted trip out the door. For most it is an HR department task of closing out pay, benefits, turning in ID cards, and being removed from the email system. What about the social side? Was there any kind of event, formal or informal with the team? A social event such as a team meeting, lunch, or a simple team gathering?


Here are two impactful offboarding events related to me by clients.

A senior member of a virtual team of 30, notified his leadership he was looking at the possibility of transitioning in about 90 days. He had been part of this team for 4+ years and was an impact player. He ultimately took a new position and gave his leadership and team 30 days’ notice.

On his final day, a couple of folks reached and chatted wishing him luck and he received several cards wishing him well. Nothing from the organization or his team officially. No group social event such as a virtual send off.

Impact: He left that organization very disappointed and unappreciated.


This next scenario was related to me by a coworker of the person offboarding. The individual departing was a line worker in an organization of approximately 100 people, all working in one building. He was a 6-year veteran leaving on very positive terms for an educational opportunity. Hence, the date of departure was on the calendar well in advance. On his final day a small recognition and get-together was planned by the leadership at lunch. As luck would have it, 8 inches of snow fell that day and they worked virtually for a couple of days.

The leadership never reached out to reschedule. Hence, no social recognition of his departure other than coworkers who reached out individually. He had since created his own Happy Hour event to say his goodbyes to a select crowd.

Impact: Assume this happened to you. What would be the impact on you?


Our work is social by nature and we all want to be recognized as a contributor to the mission. Organizations do not owe us anything more than our contract stipulates, right?

A portion of my coaching practice is in career transitions. In transitions “Information Meetings” have become the accepted method for networking while job searching. Those are short one-on-one meetings to learn about an organization. Discussions revolve around all aspects of work; the position, opportunities, and culture. What does the offboarding process say about your organization?

In teaching information meetings to my clients, I always recommend “…seek out alumni of organizations you are interested in.” Why, because alumni are unencumbered with what they can say. Most will freely share their experiences and opinions.

Offboarding is the final touchpoint an individual may have with you, your team, or your organization. What do you want that to look like? How does it contribute to the recognized culture of the team?

Culture is the entire experience from starting to leaving a team, small business, or large corporation. Cultures will form, be deliberate about forming the culture you want. Be deliberate with offboarding.


Here are some practices I have seen you may want to consider. A monthly social gathering to recognize those joining or leaving the team. A standard gift to recognize folks moving on to new challenges. The creation of alumni groups, on Facebook or LinkedIn, to keep former employees connected. The groups have proven to positively impact recruiting and goodwill.

These practices made offboarding a key component of companies deliberately managing their culture. Everyone wants to be celebrated and recognized.

What does offboarding look like for your team or organization? Do you know its current impact? Should it be more deliberate?

Ask your alumni and get their opinion.