Last week I talked about Who Has The Keys To Your Business? which got me thinking about what else to do when an employee leaves or is terminated. So I made a list!

  • Have the employee do exit paperwork. This paper work could be any thing from 401k transfer permission to an exit survey. This paperwork should be created by HR and a lawyer to meet the needs of your business.
  • If they have keys or a key card, get those back. If they have a key code to a door, deactivate their code or change the
  • Forward their email address to the appropriate employee or at least change their password and remove any way for them to access the account or reset their password.
  • Remove any other computer access, such as network access or remote access/VPN.
  • Remove their access to any business related websites such as your own, twitter, facebook, yelp, etc.
  • Have at least one management employee and if you have a security officer, have them watch as the terminated employee packs up their desk, watching/checking what items they are taking, and then escort them off the property. If they are unruly don’t hesitate to call the police.
  • By federal law as a business owner you can’t withhold an employee’s check if they have equipment to return. Depending on state laws you can deduct the equipment costs from the final paycheck. But a better solution would be to have the employee (when they are hired) sign a form that states they will return all company equipment or the cost will be taken out of the final pay check. How ever it is better to pursue the missing equipment via other means, such as through a lawyer.
  • Treat the now ex-employee with respect. What ever the reason is that they are now an ex-employee doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be professional and respectful. Understand that the ex-employee might still have friends at the company. Being disrespectful can cause other employees to have issues.

The above list should be done as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if the employee left on good terms or not, you need to protect your business.

Other items you should do to.

  • If the employee had certain relationships with clients or vendors, start an employee on taking over those relationships.
  • You should tell the other employees that the now ex-employee no longer works for the business but you don’t have to give details. Keep it professional and simple. The most you really have to say is “Blah Blah Name no longer works for this company as of DATE.” If any employees want to reach out the the ex-employee on their own time, that is their business.
  • If you need to hire/fill the position, take a little time to evaluate the position before hiring a replacement. You may find that the duties of the position can be divided up and given to other employees or that the position need to change.

Employee termination is never fun but a necessary part of business. Just remember, be respectful and protect your business.