What Happens When Your Employee Leaves (and Takes Their Mac with Them)?

Addigy | 06/23/2022

No matter what industry you do business in, employee turnover is a real threat. When a team member leaves, not only must you put resources into replacing them, but you must also account for their devices. 

Whatever your equipment management software, you must get control over this individual’s access to your organization’s data and systems. 

If you already have a remote, cloud-based IT management tool like Addigy, you already have all the tools you need to successfully transition team members in your network. For those of you less familiar with an MDM platform, here are a few considerations for evaluating your organization’s readiness for employee turnover and device provisioning.  

Determine the right approach for the situation

There are countless reasons why an employee might leave your organization. In one instance, an employee might be retiring after 25 years of hard work and dedication. In another example, a team member might abruptly quit after just a couple of weeks on the job. To figure out the best practices for proper employee offboarding, you should consider the reason and timing in which they plan to leave your organization. 

Voluntary departure with notice 

In the event a team member is departing voluntarily and has provided ample notice, you should make it a priority to get their devices back. In many organizations, the HR team requests that people return devices on their last day. If the employee is working remotely, you should request they mail back their device. Please note that employee data theft can happen at any point during their employment, but you may run a higher risk after people have put in their final notice. 

Voluntary departure without notice 

If an employee departed voluntarily but gave no notice, you can request that they return their devices within a certain time frame. However, if you have concerns about their trustworthiness, it might be prudent to get the device back ASAP. 

Until you get your device back, you should have a protocol in place to ensure that they aren’t communicating inappropriate data or taking any proprietary information with them. Of course, you should also coordinate with HR to make sure all accounts and logins are shut down, and that a remote lock has been applied.

Involuntary departure 

If a team member was terminated involuntarily, the situation is more complicated. Please note, that when people are fired from their jobs, they are sometimes tempted by revenge. That being said, you should have equipment asset management software in place that keeps careful tabs on their activity. If your HR department has a severance package put together, they can likely leverage it in exchange for their device and equipment. 

If you aren’t sure about the best MDM policy for a particular employee departure, here are a few questions you should ask yourself: 

  • Have you limited their access to trade secrets, email accounts, and other sensitive data with equipment asset management software
  • Have you taken careful inventory of the employee’s devices with equipment inventory management software? 
  • Did your team member follow the appropriate steps for voluntary employee departures?

Ideally, going over these questions will help provide some clarity on the best course of action for a team member. If you are unsure, it’s always best to be cautious when it comes to protecting sensitive company information. 

What can you do when an employee walks away with an Apple device?

It can be extremely frustrating when an employee walks away with a company computer. Luckily, if your organization uses an Apple device management tool like Addigy, with equipment management software built-in, you are well-equipped to deal with these departure scenarios. 

The most surefire way to deal with employee turnover and protect your organization is to couple your MDM with Apple Business Manager. For example, when a team member leaves your company, Apple Business Manager will help you rescind application licenses and permissions, manage logins, and even regulate device access. Apple Business Manager allows you to seamlessly manage a whole group of Apple devices from a single location. 

If an employee leaves your company who uses single sign-on, the convenience is returned to your IT administrators. To this end, single sign-on allows IT admins to disable multiple features at once. 

It’s also a good idea to use iCloud to back up user accounts and information when losing and hiring team members. While you can’t control if employees choose to leave your organization, having an automatic backup of your users’ data and activity can make the off-boarding process less stressful. This is particularly true if you find yourself faced with an uncooperative former employee.

All things considered, proper deactivation measures can be the difference between a large data breach or the seamless shut-down of an employee’s account. If you feel like you need to take additional steps, remote lock and remote wipe features are also indispensable tools for Mac equipment management

Things to consider for BYOD programs

BYOD is short for “bring your own device.” If you have a BYOD program at your organization, you have to make the appropriate preparations for employee departures. Namely, you should anticipate that the employees will keep their devices when they leave. 

With well-planned BYOD deployment, the terms and conditions of your company’s BYOD program should be clearly laid out for new team members. During the onboarding process, employees should be required to read and accept the terms and conditions of your BYOD policy, including all details with how their devices are managed via MDM.

When it comes time to leave, team members should be well aware that their departure will require certain steps regarding their mobile devices. Namely, removing any apps or information access that is authorized through single sign-on.

Using MDM for Apple products when employees leave

Having a cloud-based IT management tool like Addigy will help you maximize Apple’s best features. For example, if an employee walks off with one of your Apple devices, Addigy’s MDM platform will help you mitigate security risks and access, and even help control whether the device is turned on or off. 

Whether an employee brings their own Apple device to your organization or they walk away with a company-owned machine, it’s in your best interest to establish a set of guidelines for protecting sensitive data. Doing so will help protect your business and keep things working smoothly when transitioning team members. 

By combining strong HR policies with equipment management software like Addigy, you insulate your organization against any of the challenges that come with employee turnover.