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Goodbyes happen for all sorts of reasons in your dental practice. Whatever the reason, you should have an onboarding process in place to ensure a safe and seamless transition. You need to protect your sensitive data and your systems by following a clear and cohesive separation process.  

The offboarding process may be an afterthought for your practice. After all, it’s not always easy to say goodbye. How you handle offboarding employees says a lot about who you are as a dental practice. Treat your employees with respect and keep things amicable if possible.  

Follow these seven best offboarding practices to ensure a smooth transition. 

1. Gather Insight

7 Steps to Offboarding Your Personnel: Goodbyes to Benefit Your Dental Practice

Your exit interview is an important tool for your dental practice. Ask open-ended questions and follow-up on anything that needs additional clarification.

• You gain insight into how to improve your dental practice.

• Try to remain open and receptive to their comments even if you do not agree. This will help to create a safe space for the departing employee to air out all their grievances and concerns. The exit interview should be in person if possible. Read the departing employee’s body language to get hints about how they really feel.

Offboarding employees doesn’t have to be painful. 

2. Retrieve Practice Assets and Revoke Digital Access 

Issues around practice assets can evolve into potential pitfalls  for many practices. When a departing employee does not return company property or assets like keys or uniforms, you may wonder whether you can deduct the cost from their paycheck. Here are our recommendations for how to handle practice assets:

• We don’t recommend trying to recover the cost of company property.

• Each state has specific laws around the topic of paycheck deductions.

• Many states do not allow this type of deduction.  

Even if state law allows payroll deduction, most paycheck deductions require written authorization by the employee. It’s unlikely that a departing employee will approve such a deduction. Schedule a consultation today to see how HR for Health can help you navigate the issues and offer recommendations.  

  1. 3. Termination Documents and the Final Paycheck

Be sure to provide your employee with all necessary termination paperwork based on your state, as well as their final paycheck. Although you are only required to give them what they are owed on their last day of employment, it’s best practice to give them their check in-person and have them sign off that they received it. 

4. Start the Knowledge Transfer Process Early

7 Steps to Offboarding Your Personnel: Goodbyes to Benefit Your Dental Practice

You should already have a list of job duties and tasks for each employee in your employee handbook. If you don’t have it already written up, you can quickly make a list, along with the cadence in which those tasks are completed. 

• Associate the name of an employee who will be taking on that responsibility. 

• Then schedule a meeting with each employee to discuss the duties and responsibilities.

• Discuss any additional training requirements during this meeting. 

Start the knowledge transfer immediately to ensure that you’re not adversely affected by the offboarding. You may be working to replace the departing employee, but the work still needs to be done in the meantime. Schedule a consultation today to see how HR for Health can help you work through the knowledge transfer process in your dental practice. 

5. Say a Proper Goodbye

Each situation involving departing employees is unique, so take it on a case-by-case basis. If the employee was disruptive, disgruntled, or if there was a lack of trust, you might let them go immediately when they submit their resignation. Here are several factors that you should keep in mind:

• If you let a departing employee go immediately, it becomes a termination because you’re moving the last day up. 

• You can move up the last day of work and pay the employee for the two weeks, which means the separation remains a resignation. 

If the employee made positive and productive contributions to your practice, make use of their knowledge and skillset to streamline the transition up until their last day. Then organize a farewell party to thank them for their contribution and wish them the best. 

6. End Things on a Good Note

7 Steps to Offboarding Your Personnel: Goodbyes to Benefit Your Dental Practice

It’s important to exercise the golden rule here. Always treat others as you want to be treated. Ending things on a positive note can make or break your dental practice's reputation. 

• It's in your best interest to handle the separation amicably. 

• Your departing employees will share their honest feedback via social media. 

Why not end things on a positive note, so that they become a “brand ambassador” for your dental practice? 

7. Don’t Turn Your Back on Departing Employees

Departing employees may continue to be one of our biggest champions and advocates if you are on good terms when they leave. While each situation may be different, do the best you can to support your departing employees. 

• Write a letter of recommendation for those departing employees who have done a great job. 

• Refer the departing employee to other job opportunities if possible. 

• Let them know you are there for them.  

You don’t have to go above and beyond for your departing employees, but it is a wonderful gesture for those employees who have contributed to your growth and success as a dental practice.  

How HR for Health Can Help 

HR for Health works with you to help you and your employees take advantage of our convenient online documents, performance reviews, and on-demand HR advising and support services. We have all the up-to-date docs for executing the offboarding process. You have easy access to your former employees’ personnel files if you receive any requests for records.

HR for Health offers recommendations and assistance for any documentation you might need. With our experience and background, we ensure you’re compliant and prepared to handle any HR-related issues you might face. It’s important for your practice, but it benefits you and your employees too. Schedule a consultation today to see how HR for Health can help your practice. 

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