Turnover is a reality in every organization. Whether an employee quits or is let go, companies need to take steps to protect themselves from employee retaliation or access to sensitive data and documents. If you are terminating an employee relationship have your IT department and HR work together to ensure that the company is protected from sensitive information being exposed.
Here is your termination check list:
- Keys. Make sure that all office, warehouse, storage, and mail keys are turned over at the time of severing the relationship. Do not let them keep keys on their person. If they need to get access to the premises, they can do so during normal business hours.
- Alarm. If the employee had an alarm code, change it.
- Passwords. If they have a list of passwords at their desk, take them. Realistically you will need to change any passwords they had. It is much easier to set users up on the network individually so that if someone is let go, you simply disable their access. Any passwords that they shared with other employees need to be changed.
- Email. Many companies let employees access email remotely. Take down their email account so that they cannot communicate with clients and vendors.
- Voice Mail. Change their voice mail so that it directs callers to who will be handling their account or inquiries now that this employee is gone.
- Cell Phone. If the employee has a company cell phone, make sure to take it back rather than letting them keep and pay for it. Most likely, sensitive contacts are on the phone that you may not want them having access to.
- Phone Forwarding. If their office line was forwarded to a personal cell phone, disable that feature.
- Network Keys. If the employee had any devices to access the network remotely, take them back immediately.
- Files. Ask the employee to return any files in their possession.
- Product. Have the employee return any company product or supplies that they took home. Companies often let thousands of dollars in inventory walk off of the premises. Make sure this is returned when issuing their final pay check.
While company turnover is bound to happen, make sure you are protected when it does. Allowing your employees the opportunity to communicate with clients and vendors after being terminated, exposes you to conflict down the road. It is also wise to communicate the loss to the rest of your staff so that the know to not communicate regarding business activities. If your staff is not made aware of the change, they could release sensitive data without meaning to. Make sure you immediately contact any clients that were working with the employee so they understand that their business is valuable and will be handled correctly. Employees are the face of the company so do not let them go without having a plan in place for how to manage their accounts, and who will be taking over their current work load.