When a new member of staff joins a company, there is a big focus on getting them up to speed with processes and procedures implemented by the company, using meetings, training, reviews and paperwork to ensure that they are able to work efficiently at the business.

However, when an employee leaves the business, there isn’t even nearly the same emphasis placed on data protection and potential breaches that the employee leaving creates. Although there are a number of issues that can be caused as a result of the employee leaving the business, there aren’t always measures put into place for each potential issue, and this in itself can be a big risk to the company.

With this in mind, it is extremely important for a business to have a separate process in place, dedicated to the departure of a member of staff, of which is aimed at protecting the business. This not only concludes the official staff departure process, but it also helps the business to mitigate any risks, and can be implemented in the same way each and every time an employee leaves. This process would include a number of steps.

The Process to Protect your Business from Departures

Inform Relevant Members of Staff – When the departure of a member of staff becomes known, the first step of the process would be to inform relevant departments or members of staff that they are leaving, so that they can make any relevant changes legally or within HR. The relevant departments that will be informed of the departure should know what to do once they are notified, so that they can act effectively and efficiently.

Remove Access to Systems and Programmes – One of the first considerations to make when an employee leaves a business should be their access to systems and programmes, as this could be potentially damaging to you. Although their departure may be harmless, and damaging the business may never have been a thought in their mind, you should still proceed to remove all access that they may have. If they were looking to damage your business or steal any clients, removing their access would prevent them from doing so.

Inspect the Legal Hold Status of Departing Employees – A business is required by law to preserve employee data when legal action may be being taken against them. Despite this, many companies simply do not have this process in place, and that can hold severe problems. However, a way to manage this would be for the IT department to run checks of the employee’s computer or other work electronic devices, and if it is found that legal action is to be taken against them, they must collect and store anything that they find.

Monitor Activity that could be from the Departing Employee – Although as part of this process you will have already removed any access to systems and programmes that your former employee will have had, it is also important for you to keep an eye out for any activity on your systems or files that could potentially be them. Even without this access, the departing employee may have taken other dangerous steps, including the transferring of data or accessing systems from an alternative device. By monitoring activity, you will be able to ensure that they aren’t doing anything wrong, and minimising the risk that your business may face.

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