You did it. You finally had enough of Bob in Accounting and you let him go. He cleaned out his desk, said a few profanities under his breath, and stormed out of the office. But just because he’s no longer employed by your company doesn’t mean he can’t do damage. In fact, a terminated employee can be more dangerous to your business than an active one because he or she knows exactly how your company works and where all the proverbial skeletons are buried.
What is a rogue employee?
A rogue employee is an employee who has been terminated from their job but refuses to leave the premises or accept the termination. They may also engage in disruptive or dangerous behavior. In some cases, rogue employees have been known to take hostages or even commit violence.
Why do they go rogue?
“One in five people who have left a job in the past five years has posted a negative review of their former employer online”, notes Remove Digital.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to an employee going rogue. In some cases, the employee may feel that they have been wrongfully terminated and are seeking revenge. Other times, the employee may be facing financial difficulties and believe that they have nothing to lose by engaging in disruptive behavior. Still other times, the employee may simply be mentally unstable or otherwise unable to cope with the reality of losing their job.
Methods for preventing terminated employees from going rogue
No matter how well you screen and train employees, there will always be a certain amount of turnover. And while it’s never pleasant to deal with, it’s important to have a plan in place for preventing terminated employees. Here are some of the methods:
Be compassionate, but clear. Being compassionate doesn’t mean you have to sugarcoat the news. In fact, being direct is often the more compassionate route. “Your employee will remember the sweet and fun memories regardless of how you break the news to them”, mentions an entrepreneur of a cake delivery business – Pearl’s Creations.
They might not remember how you eased into it. So be clear, but remember to be compassionate. Professionalism goes a long way, but so does humanity. Your employees are people too, so remember to treat them as such. A little empathy can go a long way.
Offering outplacement services can help ease the transition for a terminated employee and prevent them from feeling like they were wrongfully treated.
Offering severance pay can also help ease the transition for a terminated employee and show them that you’re still invested in their well-being even after they’re no longer employed by your company.
Conducting exit interviews can give you an insight into how your employees are feeling and allow you to address any concerns before they leave your company for good. By taking these steps, you can help prevent a terminated employee from going rogue and putting your company at risk.
The consequences of a rogue employee
It’s no secret that having a rogue employee can be detrimental to your business. But what exactly are the consequences of having an employee who isn’t playing by the rules?
Rogue employees cost businesses money. They are often the ones who are constantly calling out sick, taking long lunches, and generally not pulling their weight. As a result, they cost businesses money in lost productivity. In some cases, they may also cause damage to company property or inventory, which can end up costing the company even more money.
Rogue employees create a hostile work environment. When one employee isn’t following the rules, it sets a precedent for other employees to do the same. This can create a hostile work environment where everyone is constantly trying to one-up each other in terms of rule-bending or rule-breaking. Not only is this bad for morale, but it can also lead to serious consequences if things get out of hand.
Rogue employees damage the company’s reputation. If word gets out that your company has a problem with rogue employees, it can damage your company’s reputation. This is especially true if the rogue employee in question is engaging in illegal or unethical activities. Potential customers or clients may not want to do business with a company that they perceive as being “unstable” or “risky.”
How to handle a terminated employee who has gone rogue
The last thing any employer wants is for a terminated employee to go rogue and start damaging the company’s reputation. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a personal attack – it’s simply a case of someone who is upset and acting out. With that in mind, here are a few tips for handling a terminated employee who has gone rogue:
Keep communication open with terminated employees
Even if it’s just to ensure they’re not spreading negative rumors about the company, be clear about what is expected of the terminated employee. They should know what they are and are not allowed to do, both during their notice period and after their employment has ended.
Make sure to communicate these expectations in writing, either via email or an exit interview form, and stress the importance of adhering to them. You may also want to have a conversation with the employee about their specific situation and why it’s important for them to follow the rules.
Sever all ties immediately
As soon as an employee is terminated, their access to company resources—including email, document sharing platforms, and social media accounts—should be revoked immediately. You don’t want them sending out sensitive company information or posting negative reviews on social media platforms. While you’re at it, you should also change the locks on any physical locations that the employee had access to, such as buildings, parking lots, and storage units.
Get their keycards and passcodes
If you have security systems in place, make sure to collect all of the keycards and passcodes from the employee before they leave. This will ensure that they can no longer access any areas of your business. You should also change all locks on doors that they had access to.
Keep an eye on their social media activity
Just because an employee is no longer working for your company doesn’t mean they can’t do damage on social media. In fact, a disgruntled former employee could use social media platforms to disparage your business or spread false information about your products or services.
To prevent this from happening, set up Google Alerts for key terms related to your business (such as your company name, product names, etc.) This way, you’ll be notified whenever something related to your business is posted online so you can take quick action if necessary.
Monitor their social media activity
Don’t let a terminated employee go rogue on social media. If they are disgruntled, they may post negative things about the company or their co-workers. They may also try to damage the company’s reputation by spreading false information.
It’s important to monitor their social media activity and be prepared to take action if necessary. The best way to do this is to have a clear social media policy in place that all employees must agree to. This policy should state what is and is not acceptable behavior on social media. It should also outline the consequences for breaking the rules.
No business owner wants to deal with the headache of a disgruntled employee, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep them in check. As long as you’re aware of the warning signs and put security measures in place, you can avoid any damage they might try to do on their way out. Have you ever dealt with a terminated employee gone rogue? How did you handle it?
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