Letting an employee go is one of the hardest parts of owning a small business. You had high hopes for the employee in the beginning. When they don’t work out, it can be gutting. 

But it’s important to step outside of the emotional toll and consider the financial toll you may face if you don’t offboard the employee properly. 

In this article, we are going to talk about the technical steps you need to take before letting an employee go. 

Safely Offboarding An Employee

Consider Your Risks

Cyber hygiene should be a priority when offboarding an employee. When onboarding your employee, you spoke to them about the importance of cyber hygiene. You told them about the dangers of a cyber attack and at the same time, you gave them access to your systems. Now you have to ask yourself what risks might you face from this same employee.


Hopefully, you have a good list of the devices your employee will need to return.  It’s important to know exactly what you are asking to be returned.  Did you provide them with a laptop, monitor, keyboard, phone, or iPad?  If so, be sure to have that list available when you meet the employee. It is important from a security standpoint to make sure all of the employee’s devices are returned before you pay them their final check.


This is where the biggest danger lies for your company.  It’s important to change all passwords to accounts that the employee had access to. In addition, it is important to take control of their company email account and any other accounts they may have been heavily involved in. It’s important to know which account you will need to have access to.

Consider this: 

  • Email accounts may contain important communications with clients.  You need to be able to see if there are items that have been left undone.
  • Calendars may show upcoming meetings you will need to rearrange.
  • Task managers may show outstanding projects that will need to be reassigned.


This is one of the many benefits of having an outsourced IT company.  Our team at Gryphon Consulting can help you take care of all of this and help you assess your risks as well.

Internal Communication

Does your company use Slack, Teams, or Cliq to communicate internally? It is important to remove the employee from any company groups, chats, or company communications they were a part of. If you aren’t sure this is important, consider what happened to Facebook because of internal communication methods.

Employee Email

You will need to forward the employee’s email to someone as well as contact people who need to be aware that the employee is no longer with you.  This is an important part of the process so you can be sure your customers are taken care of.

Sensitive Data

If the employee has access to any sensitive data, make sure that it is properly secured. Hiding your head in the sand will not help. If you fear that your data has been compromised, it is important to investigate the possibility immediately.  Your IT team may be able to help you with this.  It may also be important to speak to an attorney about this.


It’s not always clear which steps to take first.  Should you inform your employee first or should you cut off their access first?  Should you tell anyone on your team before you tell the employee or should you make sure they are the absolute first to know.  Timing is everything.  Having a process in place will make the decision easier.  It will feel less personal and more of a straight business decision.  You will know which steps to follow and in which order and that will be that. It still isn’t easy, but at least it won’t be complicated.

Workload Process

Do you have a plan for how you are going to handle the employee’s workload after they are gone?  We encourage our clients to have this plan in place even before they onboard a new employee. It will make the offboarding process easier and keep your clients happier.


Several people will need to be notified that the employee is no longer with you.  This may include clients or customers, other employees, and even networking partners. It seldom pays to give details.  A simple statement should suffice.

Final Steps

Be sure to offboard your employee with your payroll system. Give the employee their final paycheck and any other benefits they are entitled to and wish them luck on their next journey.

There is no easy way to let an employee go.  But having steps in place before letting them go can help keep you and your business safe. If you don’t have support for the tasks mentioned above, contact our team at 301-789-1029 to learn how we can help with securely offboarding employees.