Having staff that you can trust is important. Knowing that your business can run efficiently and effectively gives peace of mind. But what if a trustful staff member separates from your company? What if that staff member has the keys to the castle? Is your company prepared for that to happen?
It might cause a rift when an important person leaves your company, but it doesn’t have to be crisis! There are several practices that you can easily put in place now to keep a transition like that from being too painful or keep it from turning into an emergency situation.
Separation of Duties
In Accounting you’ll hear about separation of duties. You do not want the person who enters the checks to be the same person to run the checks and signs them. That’s a recipe for disaster because what is preventing that person from writing checks willy-nilly? Even with your most trusted employee, you don’t want to put that much power in one person’s hands.
You can apply the same concept throughout your business. Whether you’re talking about passwords, physical keys, Financial records, Human Resource records, they are all duties and items that need to be separated or duplicated.
We have done a blog post or two in the past about password security. Check this one out.
When key personnel leave your business, you want to be able to get all of their passwords to the different apps and resources, right? We use an app at Harbor Computer Services called RoboForm.
RoboForm is an app that can store all your passwords for you. With a corporate account, you can keep all your passwords hidden from your staff, and still give them access to the accounts that they need to perform their job. RoboForm will automatically fill out passwords for you, store passwords when you enter them, and it can generate new secure passwords for you on the fly. You can sync it to your desktop, laptop, and phone to have it available whenever or wherever you work.
We highly recommend RoboForm to our clients and we would be happy to give you a quote!
How to Go About Making a Plan
Sit down and write a list of each role within your company. Write down who does what. Then go through the key responsibilities for each role and individual.
- Who will cover that person’s duties when they are out sick?
- Does this person have any responsibility that no one else can do?
- Does this person have their hands in too many cookie jars?
- Are any of their responsibilities a conflict of interest with each other (Can they write checks and sign them too?)
Once you have these duties listed, think about what you can do to make a duplicate in some way.
- Can any of these duties be shared with a second person? Or at the very least, have your employees document their process steps and put them in a place where they can be accessed in their absence.
- Have your key personnel train a backup person. Have someone on staff who can back up another person’s responsibilities in their absence.
- If only one person has physical keys, make a master set of keys to keep in one space to be accessed in emergencies.
- Look at any conflict-of-interest duties and separate them out. Person one enters the checks, Person two does the check run, and person three signs the checks.
Keep your staff informed
Big changes make staff members uneasy. When responsibilities get moved from one staff member to another, keep your whole company informed. People do not like to be caught off guard or not knowing about fairly major changes in the company from second hand sources. Make an announcement or mention it in a staff meeting. When everyone understands who is doing what and that announcement comes from the top, they will be more willing to respect and accept that change.
It is also important to quash any rumors before they start.
Encourage your Workforce to be Versatile
This is easier said than done for some businesses, but learning that it’s okay to share responsibilities is important. Some people view responsibilities as job security. Really that’s not true at all. Is it job security when someone goes on vacation and no one else can get their jobs done in their absence, therefore creating more chaos than work?
Encourage your staff to cross-train each other.
Don’t allow any individual to hold too many responsibilities.
Teach them to be flexible by rotating some of their duties from time to time.
All of these ideas will help you keep your company secure. While it is important to keep your current staff happy, you never know what the future holds. The success of your business highly depends on how your staff is managed.
Remember that our Techs at Harbor Computer Services are all Consultants. We’ll be happy to discuss your planning strategies with you and help you come up with a plan that meets your business needs.
About Harbor Computer Services
Harbor Computer Services is an IT firm servicing Southeastern Michigan. We work exclusively under contract with our clients to provide technology direction and either become the IT department or provide assistance to the internal IT they already have. We have won many awards for our work over the years, including the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2010. Most recently we were recognized as one of the top MSP’s in the nation by ChannelFutures coming in at #40 nationwide. And in 2016 as the top Michigan IT firm for Manufacturing. There are a few simple things that make Harbor Computer Services the best choice for your business. •We are Professionals •We are Responsible •We care about your business