Terminating an employee is never an easy task for an owner or manager. However, it is a necessary part of running a business. When terminating an employee from a position, there is always a chance that they will react with violence, aggression or retaliation. Companies must have procedures in place to protect their businesses, employees, customers and data from a disgruntled ex-employee.
Does your business have policies and procedures in place that will help you avoid an unsafe situation at your workplace after an employee is terminated? We have compiled a list of 5 steps you can take to protect your property, both physical and intellectual, from an angry ex-employee.
5 Ways to Protect Your Workplace From a Fired Employee
The loss of a job can bring up strong emotions for an employee, including fear, anger and frustration. Even if the employee expected the termination, there is no telling what kind of reaction they may have. With the risk associated with an employee termination, managers and other staff members should be well versed in their company’s policies and have clear procedures before, during and after a termination.
Assess the risk.
Even before approaching the employee, it is critical that managers and human resources staff identify past or present behaviors or situations that could make the termination high risk. This step will allow the management team to develop a plan, as well as alternate plans, if the situation does turn sour. Some signals that an individual may present a higher risk for violence include those who:
- Have increased levels of stress at home or in the workplace
- Have been employed at the company for many years
- Have filed formal complaints or lawsuits against the company
- Have expressed informal complaints or made accusations against other employees
- Have a history of violence
- Have a history of making threats
Create a plan.
Businesses should create a process or checklist that they follow for every termination, even those not considered high risk. The policy should be included in every new hire orientation and provided as an additional training to current employees. The specifics of the policies will depend on your business and should include your IT department and security staff. A professional, experienced security team can assist you in creating a plan that will decrease risk and prepare you for any situation that may arise.
Consult with your IT team.
Employees have access to valuable devices and intellectual property. Prior to the termination, managers should consult with their IT team to determine what the employee has access to and what will need to be restricted. This may include email accounts, computer and smartphone passwords and other company-wide messaging platforms and applications. Working with the IT team as soon as managers know the termination will take place can ensure that all of your bases are covered when it comes to technology and intellectual property.
Have security staff present during the termination.
It should not come as a surprise that security staff should be present for any employee termination. Experienced security personnel will be able to identify signs that the employee is becoming emotional or that they have a weapon. Remember, the mere presence of security can deter an angry employee from causing a scene.
Escort the person off the property.
It is recommended that employees are monitored throughout the entire process: from packing their belongings to exiting the premises. The threat of harm is not eliminated as soon as the ex-employee exits the building. There is still the potential that they have a weapon in their vehicle or that they will attempt to reenter the building. Security personnel can escort the person off the premises and watch for their return.
Experienced Security Staff Can Protect Your Business – Employee Termination Security Staff
When dealing with any potentially emotional situation in the workplace, it is critical to keep safety front of mind. If you run or manage a business of any size, employee terminations can put the safety of your employees and customers at risk. Be sure to have the proper policies and procedures in place as well as a highly trained and experienced security guard team to help make the process as secure as possible.
If you are looking for security professionals to help keep your business safe and running smoothly, contact Off Duty Officers today to talk with one of our security specialists.
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Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.
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