Your IT staff can make or break your company. They control the flow of communication, hold the keys to e-commerce, and maintain the systems that enable the productivity of your business.
So what do you do when you have to fire your IT staff?
It’s a complex question.
Because you are dealing with more than a simple termination. You are dealing with an individual – or individuals – who have many tools at their disposal to make life difficult for your company if they so desire.
So if you need to fire your IT staff, follow both the law and these simple instructions.
Think ahead and have a strategy going into the termination.
Never just walk in one day, decide that you have “had it” with your IT staffer(s), and fire him on the spot. That will only end up in misery for you. No matter how upset you are with your IT people, don’t terminate them until you have a well-thought-out termination strategy in place and activated.
If you are going to terminate your internal IT team, you are going to need to determine ahead of time exactly what they have access to – so you can eliminate their access upon their termination.
Do they have network admin credentials? One would assume they do.
What apps do they have access to?
What passwords or usernames do they have?
It’s important to consider not just the login information of the employee in question, but what login credentials do they have that belong to other employees?
Take steps to protect your network and data from sabotage.
Best practices dictate that you bring in an outside IT management team to ensure the security of your network (including closing any backdoors) and the reliability of your backed-up data. This often requires, among other things, making an entire copy of your network and data that is stored securely offsite in case a disgruntled worker tries to “burn” your IT environment to the ground on his way out the door.
While they are making this backup (don’t forget to backup Office 365), the outside IT consultant will look to see if there is currently any IT sabotage occurring that needs to be documented in building a case for the firing of your IT staffer.
Once you have thought through the scenario, made a checklist of access points to close down, and brought in outside help, it’s time to look to either your remaining in-house team or your outsourced IT consultants to be prepared to swoop in and pick up the slack when the fired IT staff member walks out the door. This means that the remaining in-house staff or outsourced IT department needs to be aware of the departing employee’s work portfolio as well as any outstanding critical issues.
Get it over with quickly.
When the day finally comes to break the news and terminate your IT staff employee, there are a few things that you need to do.
First, do it quickly. – Don’t drag out the process at all.
From your strategic preparations you should have a checklist of his/her access to your systems access. As soon as they walk into your office for “the talk,” you need to have your backup IT people remove the individual’s access to everything and do a company-wide password reset. Everything needs to be changed. Nothing can be left to chance.
Keep their exit interview as cordial as possible.
Outline the reasons they are being dismissed. Get them to write a list of the IT assets that they have passwords to – along with any unfinished projects/tasks. Remind them of any confidentiality or legal obligations that follow them beyond their employment with you.
By the time they have left the office, your “backup IT team” should have locked them completely out of the system.
Deal with any fallout.
Once the departing IT staff member has left the premises, make sure that your managers are sensitive to the questions and feelings of your employees without making the “firing” a topic of continual gossip.
Most importantly, get back to business.
Moving on and moving forward with your new IT team will help those that are left unify around a common purpose.
Looking to fire your IT staff? You need some outsourced IT help and advice from the Cooper Technologies, Inc. team!