When you have an underperforming employee, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position to have to let them go. This can be an emotionally charged situation for the employee and yourself, but it is important to take specific steps to protect your company, your data, and your clients. In this article, we will detail the most important steps to take before and after letting an employee go.
Before Offboarding An Employee
Before you consider the process, it’s important to review any and all material relating to this employee. Go back as far as the onboarding process to make sure there are no important issues you are forgetting. If there are red flags, this is the right time to contact an employment attorney before moving forward.
Make Sure You Have A Written Record Of Their Performance Issues
A written record is important so that you can show your reasons for letting an employee. Even if you are in a no-fault state, you may find it helpful to have a good and clear record of performance issues with this particular client.
Meet With The Employee To Discuss Their Performance Issue
An employee should never be surprised they are being let go. Instead, over time, you should have given feedback and opportunities for the employees to make improvements. Although this might not always be possible or needed, it will help your current staff to see that you handle things in a fair and equitable way.
Create An Offboarding Plan That Includes Security Protocols
Trying to make up an offboarding process on the spot is difficult. If at all possible, take the time to create an offboarding plan and checklist to follow.
As part of this plan, consider whether you have a detailed list of the devices that have been assigned to each employee.
The plan should include any employees who will need to be aware of the employee’s termination prior to the actual event, including your IT support team. Your IT team can help you create a cyber-smart way of protecting your accounts and data. Each member in the know should understand what their responsibilities will be.
In addition, you should have a plan in place for an employee that may become violent. You want to know that you are protecting your current employees as much as possible.
After Offboarding An Employee
Collect All Company Property From The Employee
If you have assigned a computer, laptop, phone, or smart tablet to this employee, please be sure to collect each of them and that each one is indeed the device that was assigned.
Be sure the employee is aware that their final check will be paid upon receipt of said devices.
Take Control Of Important Accounts
There are several accounts you may want to cut access to, but leave open or examine closely before closing.
- Email accounts
You should have control of email accounts and do a quick review to make sure your clients are not left waiting for a response. Be sure to forward the email to the person who will be taking over the account only after you have let other clients and employees know.
If your employee has accounts in the CRM, these will need to be transferred to an employee who will be responsible.
- Task Manager
A review of the task manager will help you determine what tasks are still outstanding and how you will need to reassign them.
Any appointments still on the books should be contacted and rescheduled or at least reassigned.
Change All Passwords And Access Codes
Even if you are currently using a password vault, the best practice is to change all passwords the employee may have had access to. It’s better safe than sorry and shows your employees and your clients that you take their security seriously.
Conduct A Final Review Of The Offboarding Process
It’s important to conduct a final review of the offboarding process. Take note of:
- Mistakes that were made,
- Things that went well during the process,
- Things that could be changed in the future, and
- What processes you can put in place in the onboarding process that will make the offboarding process easier.
Make Necessary Notifications
Several people will need to be notified of the employee’s termination.
The best response for clients is to simply say, “Joann, is no longer with the company. Your account will now be handled by Sara. Here are the next steps to make sure things transfer seamlessly.”
A similar response should be made to the rest of your team. Chances are, if you felt the need to let someone go, the team will not be surprised. There is no need to go into details and doing so can only damage your reputation with staff. They will appreciate discretion.
Offboarding an employee can be a difficult process, but following these steps will help to ensure that it is done smoothly and securely.