Situation: A company recently terminated their lowest performing sales representative. Prior to surrendering the company computer, the employee sent a goodbye email blast to the company and customer email lists. This action was a breach of company confidentiality policy. How do you respond to a breach in company policy?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Have the human resources manager send out a company-wide message specifying how this misconduct violated company policy and the potential impact on the company. In the same message, re-emphasize company confidentiality policy and the importance of complying with policy. Follow-up with conversations between managers and employees about the importance of company confidentiality.
- Consider having all employees sign a new company confidentiality agreement every 6 months. This should be accompanied by explanations of company policy and conversations to reinforce the importance of complying with policy.
- As a follow-up to this situation, be proactive by informing affected clients that this individual has left the company and let clients know who their new sales representative is.
- Be aware in your internal communications that this action may have been an honest mistake, not intended to harm the company. If this is the case and your internal response is too strong, this may have a negative impact on other employees.
- If the individual goes to work for a competitor, send the new employer a copy of the termination agreement signed by the employee and put them on notice that you will prosecute any violations of prior confidentiality agreements.