Terminating an employee is probably the worst part of any business leader’s job. No one likes to be fired or do the actual firing, but unfortunately it happens all the time. In many instances the parting is amicable, but what about those rare times when the termination is far from friendly and there is fear of retaliation of some sort, whether it is deleting data or harming equipment? Here are some simple but smart suggestions from an IT perspective of how to protect your company from disgruntled terminated employees.
Prior to Termination
Even long before a leadership team has considered releasing an employee, there should be a protocol set up with the IT department regarding the process. In our age of digital data, the IT department needs to be an integral part of the termination process. Even prior to a firing, the IT department should be able to track where an employee has gone in regard to the company data. That tracking could be useful if litigation is necessary or to know which data areas need protecting. This is especially true if the termination is due to data misuse or the breaking of company policy in regard to stored/transmitted or active data.
The Day of Termination
As IT specialists, we know how quickly things can go south in respect to data and an angry former employee. The IT department should immediately revoke all computer, network, and data access the former employee has. This will ensure that an upset employee won’t make a poor choice before they leave the building and delete or modify information. In addition, other steps should be taken including:
- All remote access should be withdrawn and passwords changed.
- The employee should surrender all company-owned property, including technological resources like a laptop, computer, phone, tablet, and/or intellectual property like corporate files containing customer, sales, and marketing information.
- Termination should be communicated to all IT professionals so they can change needed usernames, access, passwords, and credentials.
- Termination should be communicated to all employees so they can also be alert for logins or attempted logins by the former employee.
- IT professionals should document the revocation of access, especially for legal purposes.
While each company is different, your IT department should have a set policy in place about how termination and revocation of access will take place. This should be something decided long prior to any termination so that taking action may be swift and efficient. If you have questions about the IT aspects of terminating an employee, contact our professionals at Spectra Networks for more information at 978.219.9752, or visit our website.