Company Information Kept Confidential?
In this economy ‘downsizing' is a common term used in companies today. When you let an employee go, what are you letting walk out the door with them? The answer to that is, more than you think. Do you have a policy for employee dismissals? If the answer is no, GET ONE. If the answer is yes, the next question is...do you enforce it? If not, then START!
In a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, LLC, an alarming 61% of employees who were negative about their place of employment in 2008 took data with them when they left. To put that into perspective, there were 945 employees surveyed who left their job (either voluntarily or involuntarily). That is 576 people who walked out with information!!!! That doesn't even count the 26% of employees who actually liked their company who walked with information. 24% of those surveyed could still access their company's network for a while after they left.
Now, as a business owner, you are thinking...."We do a good job of protecting our company and our client's information", but what if every business owner was thinking the same thing? Remember, YOU ARE THE CLIENT at some of these places. Are they letting your information be taken for a ride...literally....right out the door with a terminated employee? Pretty scary, huh? Makes you want to do a little more as a business owner to protect your clients so that other businesses might step up and protect you.
"What are a few things I can do?" Glad you asked....
- 1. Secure confidential information prior to the layoff or termination. Employees should not have access to proprietary information pending a layoff.
- 2. Review Confidentiality Agreement that a new hire signs when hired and make sure that consequences are clearly defined.
- 3. Review Separation Agreements to make sure that consequences are clearly defined
- 4. Create a checklist of all necessary steps to take before and after the termination/layoff
- 5. Conduct an Exit Interview with each employee and provide a list of information that they are allowed to take with them and what must stay behind. Show them the signed Confidentiality Agreement they signed as a new hire and the consequences for violating it.
Studies have found that when companies conducted exit interview there was a 40% reduction in the loss of confidentiality.
This might be a good topic for your next management meeting, huh?