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Template: How to Write an Offboarding Checklist

Template: How to Write an Offboarding Checklist

Though high attrition rates can be debilitating, some employee turnover is a normal part of running an organization. Whether the employee is resigning, retiring, or even being laid off or fired, HR pros need to have a system in place that ensures a smooth and graceful transition.

Offboarding involves every step in the process of formalizing the permanent separation of an employee from your organization, from the resignation or termination announcement to after the employee’s last day. Read on for how to design a streamlined offboarding process.


Why You Need an Offboarding Checklist

Some details of the offboarding process may vary depending on the situation. But for the most part, we recommend that your offboarding protocol be standardized. That way, every time an employee leaves, you’re ready to start the process right away.

In addition, a standardized offboarding policy can be good for company culture. It gives both HR and managers a set of practices that can help them stay focused if the situation is tense, and it helps the leaving employee feel respected because they are being treated fairly and in accordance with organizational norms.

While offboarding can sometimes feel like a nasty breakup, it doesn’t have to be that way. A solid offboarding checklist can ease tension, improve communication, and help the employee and the organization part ways on good terms.



Offboarding Checklist Template

An offboarding checklist is a valuable tool for your HR toolkit. Having a uniform system in place creates consistency, which means less risk for error and a more positive experience for the leaving employee, their manager, and HR. 

We recommend your checklist include columns for tasks, target completion date, status, actual completion date, and comments. That way it’s easy to track where you are with each step as you move through the process. Here are some tasks to include on the checklist, though your organization’s needs may vary.

  • Provide a wrap-up letter to ease offboarding communication. Include the following: 
    • Date of employee’s last day
    • Final paycheck info: how it’s calculated and when to expect it 
    • Details about benefits/COBRA eligibility
    • Instructions for returning tech equipment

  • Collect company equipment—but not too early. Give the employee time to wrap up their pending projects. Equipment may include:
    • ID and security equipment (badge, keycard, fob)
    • Company tech (laptop, tablet, headset, monitor, company cell phone)
    • Any uniform or other apparel that belongs to the organization 

  • Transfer work responsibilities. Managers should determine who will temporarily cover the departing employee’s work. Your job is to support managers in this task. Consider the following:
    • Avoid overloading other team members—burnout can lead to more turnover. 
    • Include a section in the Culture Guide that teaches employees how to resign with grace. In it, encourage them to submit a list of their current tasks/projects.
    • Give team members a realistic estimate of how long they’ll be responsible for the additional work, and do your best to stick to it.

  • Plan the employee’s farewell. Depending on the role, the situation, and the departing employee’s tenure, this step will vary. Consider doing one or more of the following:
    • Say a grateful goodbye in person or with a card.
    • Recognize employee’s departure in a team-wide setting.
    • Take employee to lunch on their last day.
    • Plan a company-wide retirement party. 
    • Account for severance pay if applicable.
    • Whatever farewell you choose, be sure to show the departing employee your appreciation for the work they did, and wish them well in their next endeavor.

  • Revoke access to secure accounts/information. For security purposes, do this as quickly as possible after the employee’s last day. This step may include:
    • Reset email password.
    • Remove from email groups and shared cloud/drive access.
    • Deactivate expense account.
    • Revoke access to any additional internal documents.
    • Remove/revoke building access (key, fob, security code, etc.).

  • Complete post-last-day housekeeping. Some tasks can’t be completed until after the team member’s final day. These may include:
    • Terminate the employee in your HRIS.
    • Unassign the employee’s manager as approver for time and PTO.
    • Delete from payroll (after their last paycheck).
    • Change status to terminated in HSA/FSA portal.
    • Reset employee’s tech and prepare it for new team member.
    • Sign off on checklist when all steps are completed.


As an HR pro, a lot of responsibilities fall on your shoulders. We recommend you use offboarding software to ease the process and remain compliant. 

For example, BerniePortal’s all-in-one HRIS includes an offboarding feature that allows you to create a custom checklist and auto-populates data from other features for an error-free process. 

This process and many more are completed automatically in BerniePortal, so you have less paperwork to manage and more time for your own meaningful work.


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

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