Group Theory

Employee Exit Procedure Checklist


This morning, I was informed that one of our temp. employees were fired. As I sat at his desk, disabling all of his company accounts, he walked in, ready to start the day. As he was completely unaware that we ended his temp. contract (through a staffing agency), I enjoyed a 30-minute stare down with him as he slowly realized what was going on; I could literally see the life in his eyes dim with each mouse-click.

Due to this experience, I thought it was time to devote a few minutes to develop a company-wide exit strategy for employees who are leaving, whether on their own terms or not.

While I will not post my actual document, I wanted to share a few of the critical tasks that need to be accomplished; I couldn’t think of a better way to do this than with a simple checklist. The following steps are designed with termination in mind; however, they can be used with resignation as well.

Step 1: Commencement of Termination

Depending on how your company is run, this step might differ. In most businesses, it is typically HR who will determine the necessity, terms, and timing of the termination.

After the decision is made, the next ideal step would be to inform IT of the info surrounding the case, regarding the cause of separation, any risk factors, what he/she has access to, and the potential for rehiring that individual in the future.

Step 2: Termination

The time allotted for this step will depend on the information compiled in step 1, such as risk factors or if the employee had access to sensitive information. While it might not be too much of an issue for most employees, if a member of the IT department was terminated, could possibly be disgruntled, and that person may have sole access to one of your business’s accounts, let’s just say proper planning beforehand can limit any risk to the company in the future. Let’s begin.

  1. Turn their PC off (immediately).
  2. Collect any company property (hope you have a detailed inventory list and record what items were assigned to each person).
  3. Disable employee’s access to all systems; this could be Active Directory, CSM, VoIP, email, Salesforce, or banking accounts, to name a few. Note: you do not want to delete the user from these systems, merely suspend access (you made need to access their accounts at a later date for rehiring, data retrieval, or cases of theft).
  4. If possible, have both IT and HR instruct and monitor the employee while he/she removes any organizational data and accounts from their devices (yes, even their phones).
  5. Ensure that their phone number is not forwarded to or from any company numbers.
  6. Change their voicemail password, outgoing message, and ensure a current employee keeps a record of any new voicemails after the termination date.
  7. Create an out-of-office message for their email, per your company’s guidelines.
  8. Remove the employee from email distribution lists and monitor their email for any new suspicious emails.
  9. If the employee worked at home and was using, for example, a direct site-to-site VPN, review your company’s firewall access rules. Also, ensure that the employee has no access to remote access software (LogMeIn).
  10. Communication is always vital. The entire company (within reason), should be informed of this termination, as there may be shared passwords between employees (hopefully not) and their direct coworkers should be vigilant for any suspicious network or software changes in the coming days.

Step 3: Documentation

While this is far from the entire process of safeguarding your company after an employee is terminated, the abovementioned steps will lead you in the right direction.

  1. After this checklist is complete, proper documentation of each task should be performed and signed off by both IT and HR; included in these documents should be an official resignation/termination letter, benefits/COBRA compliance document, and depending on the situation, possibly a letter of recommendation.
  2. Numerous legal documents should also be signed by both your company and the terminated employee, such as non-disclosure agreements, non-competition agreements, and termination contracts.
  3. Have the terminated employee and your company sign a document that states that he/she has turned in all company-related devices, equipment, and data, as well as no longer has access to any company-specific accounts. When in doubt, write it out.

Step 4: Closure

  1. Now that you have done everything you can to ensure the smooth operation of the termination/resignation for both your company and the employee, it is an excellent time to conduct the final exit interview. During an exit interview, one should ask the employee if they have any questions or concerns, verify that all the above steps have been completed, and all documents have been signed.
  2. Present the employee’s final paycheck in person and in paper form. Included in the last paycheck should be all accrued salary during the most current pay period and financial compensation for any remaining paid-days off or vacation days.
  3. After the termination/resignation is complete, HR should collect all related documents and secure them in a safe place. Also, IT should compile all of their findings and data into a secure folder, which then should be stored. Depending on your company, there may be a specified length of time that you should hold onto the information of a previous employee.



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