Smart Strategy for Digitally Offboarding Employees When They Depart

The introduction of technology has made for a more complicated process when an employee leaves your company. Rather than just needing a key to the office, you need to ensure you’ve retrieved data, changed passwords, and handled several other digital tasks.

Companies go through offboarding all the time, it’s a natural part of running a company. The annual average turnover rate for employees in the U.S. is 44.5%, so how efficient (or not) you accomplish your offboarding can have a significant impact on your company.

For example, if you forget to change a password and an employee still has access to their business email, they could steal clients away and take them to a new company or cause other problems if they did not leave on good terms.

You must have a strategic digital offboarding process that considers all the electronic footprints that an employee has throughout your business data and applications.

Use the tips below to formulate a plan that you can implement consistently across your organization whenever an employee departs.

Get a List of All Cloud Accounts They Use

You may think you know all the cloud tools that your employees use, but statistics show that there are most likely apps being used for your business data that you’re unaware of.

Shadow IT, which is when employees use apps for work without getting permission, accounts for about 1/3 of all data breaches. This is often done without malicious intent. Employees are just trying to get something done more efficiently and don’t realize the security risk associated with using unapproved cloud apps.

Ask departing employees to go through their work procedures and to list each application they use along with the login details so you can handle that data and account accordingly.

Change All Their Account Passwords

While changing an employee’s passwords may seem like a “no brainer,” many companies don’t take this simple step and end up paying the price later when an unused account is breached.

Right after you get a full listing of all the accounts an employee uses, you’ll want to change those passwords as soon as the person doesn’t need access any longer.

Make sure to include email passwords and any passcodes that are used to enter the building.

Ensure Any Business Data on Personal Devices is Copied & Scrubbed

The working environment has changed dramatically due to the pandemic and led to the rise of the remote workforce. A majority of those remote employees use personal devices for work.

56% of WFH employees use their own computer for working at home.

This adds another step to the offboarding process, but a vital one, which is to ensure business data is retrieved and then scrubbed from employee-owned computers and mobile devices.

It’s a good idea to get the help of an IT professional for this process. We can be both a trusted and impartial 3rd party that the employee may feel better about looking through their personal computer. We can also ensure all business data is properly backed up and removed.

Ask Employees to Remove Any Personal Data from Business Devices

The flip side of having to scrub business data from personal devices used for work is to ask employees to remove their personal files from any company-issued devices.

For example, if an employee was issued a company cell phone, they may have taken some personal photos while using it. Having them remove their data from company devices is a safeguard for both parties.

Your team doesn’t have to feel “weird” about running across any personal information when repurposing the device, and the employee doesn’t lose important files that they may have forgotten were on the phone or computer.

This step should also include having the person sign out of any social media or other personal accounts before handing the device over.

Retrieve Any Company Equipment from Remote Employees

You’ll want to retrieve any company-issued devices and equipment from remote employees. If the employee is not located close enough to easily drive over, then you should send a shipping box and packaging with a prepaid label.

Set up a carrier pickup so the employee can just put the box outside and doesn’t have to take it somewhere to ship it.

This will both help you get your equipment back faster and help mitigate damage by providing proper packing materials to the former employee to use. 

Transfer User Data & Close Their User Account

Leaving old, unused cloud accounts open is a security risk. You want to transfer any user data from a former employee’s old account to another user and then close that account as soon as possible.

This removes unnecessary security risks and also keeps you from paying subscription costs for unused accounts.

Unbound Digital Can Help With a Smooth Digital Offboarding 

Need help with your digital offboarding process to ensure all bases are covered? Unbound Digital can work with your Johnson City, Tennessee business to put an efficient and thorough strategy in place.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 423-335-2461 or reach us online.


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