A simple wish in a complex world. Lessons learned from onboarding experts.
Recently we discovered a user who had worked for one of our clients for an entire year but was still using the same login username of her predecessor. We made the obvious recommendation of creating a proper username and the client agreed. Once the user logged into her new profile she immediately called the help desk asking, “Where is all my stuff?!” Of course the user had desktop shortcuts, bookmarks, special browser add-ins and even saved passwords with the browser of her previous profile. By the time every issue could be found and addressed at least half the day had passed and half a dozen phone calls to the help desk had occurred. So much for smooth.
In a follow up discussion with the client’s technology lead, we found that the IT team was left in the dark about the needs of the user and in this case even her existence. The client’s goal was to provide the smoothest possible start and direct training with the new hires predecessor. In the clients eyes, leaving IT out of it provided the smoothest onboarding.
In theory, we know it sounds great but imagine working somewhere a year or maybe even a whole career and knowing your employer never considered you a permanent enough employee to provide you your own username. Also, consider the leg up hackers would have if they knew once a username got created it never went away. Not to mention the headache we just reviewed if/when the user eventually moves over to their own credentials. What I'm saying is: To avoid the new hire setup is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
In one case someone described the new user creation like removal of a Band-Aid, just do it and get it over with. I agree, but it's a crude analogy. What I would say is with every new user onboarding there is learning the new user must do about their job, their coworkers, their boss, and their environment. Leaving IT out doesn't make all of that smooth. It only leaves IT off the list and saves it for later. A ticking time bomb of unresolved onboarding. We can agree even IT free onboarding for the new user is fraught with learning and road blocks. Do not make the poor new user experience more than once. Let's keep all the onboarding unpleasantness, including the new IT setup, together during the first days of employment where it should be.
Some common misconceptions about staff turnover:
Even if an ex-user is still getting email at their address they should still be properly disabled. We recommend that mail after an employee leaves is handled by a distribution group sending their new mail to 1 or more users. In some special cases it may be wise to setup a shared mailbox but this should not require the user’s previous profile be left active. As part of the Leverage IT Consulting standard, we always export an archive copy of any ex-users mailbox and can provide their entire mail history to any user who may need access to that history.
Sometimes there is concern regarding possibly accessing ex-users data using the ex-users old login accounts directly on their old PC. This is never necessary to secure or access that info and should not preclude proper deactivation of exiting employees. All computer data on servers and workstations can be accessed by Leverage IT at an administrator level. If an ex-employee has data that needs to be provided to a new user or accessed by anyone at the company, we are happy to retrieve and move that data to any convenient location which allows those who need access to do so without using any older user credentials of ex-employees.
If you run into an ex-employee account but it seems as though, despite the above info, you still feel they need to be active please let IT know because in all circumstances we will have a security minded solution which can accomplish your needs but protect the security of the company simultaneously.