Business Tech Playbook

#7 – Onboarding & Offboarding

11 months ago
Transcript
Robbz

This is the business tech Playbook, your source for it help for your business. So we got a little bit of feedback, BJ, about the Whale Oil comments a prior episode.

BJ

So what was that feedback?

Robbz

Oh, I just had people agreeing with me that they hate tape drives. That's all.

BJ

Well, I mean, fair. Who doesn't hate a tape drive?

Robbz

But now that you heard about Whale, you're going to want to go back and listen to episode. I think it's five of backups. So I'm your host, Rob Zolsen.

BJ

And I'm your co host William Pote, also known as BJ. We're here to do a business tech playbook today, friend.

Robbz

What is the topic that we're going to be going over?

BJ

So today we're going to be going over on and off boarding for users inside your organization, why it's important, what you need to look for, why you should care.

Robbz

So I'm going to play devil's advocate this whole episode. I'm going to beat you up on this.

BJ

Bring it on.

Robbz

I know.

BJ

Just throw rocks at me.

Robbz

Why in the world do we need onboarding? Isn't that something that HR takes care of? What's this onboarding thing you're talking about?

BJ

Well, onboarding, I mean, it's what happens with the board. You get on it, and I kid surfer jokes.

Robbz

I love it.

BJ

Yeah, right. We're going to go straight to two pirate jokes. So at the end of the day, one of the biggest reasons why onboarding is so important. And while HR has a really big part in it, it's the first introduction of any new employee to your company. If they show up and nothing's been ordered, they don't have any logins. They can't do anything. Everyone's sitting around frustrated. It becomes an emergency. And the last thing you want is a brand new employee who you're paying a fair amount of money to be there, to sit there and do nothing. They can't do education. They can't do training. It's one of the most costly things you can do to have a bad initial impression of your company.

Robbz

I was actually working with a company here not too long ago. They hired someone. No one told anybody in HR. No one told anybody in it. And suddenly the guy shows up to work, and they have nothing for him to work on. And the type of business has to have a computer for him to work on. There was nothing there for him to do his job. Couldn't use a temporary computer. Took a high end computer to scale. So he got it ordered. They got his stuff going. The order got delayed because all things COVID, that's happening. Even still, it's now middle of 2023, and we still have ordering issues. It's getting better, but it happens. And the guy thought it was so immature of the company that they didn't have anything prepared for him, anything for him to do. And they wouldn't pay him for not working. So he just had to essentially wait to start the job and he took another offer and left. And I can't blame him. Onboarding is critical.

BJ

In a time where technology is so important, work from home is so prevalent, how can you not plan ahead?

Robbz

You got to put your best nobody forward.

BJ

Exactly. And like employee retention is so incredibly hard. Now why wouldn't you be making sure that this part was done ahead of time? Have it ready a week in advance. It doesn't cost anything or it costs almost nothing for it to be ready a couple of days to a week in advance. And it gives you a much better sense of value when you show up for sure. Or when the new employee shows up.

Robbz

I'm not going to lie me starting with Etop, nothing's perfect. But I was very impressed with the onboarding process. I got set up with a computer right away, shipped to my house. I'm a work from home employee in Minnesota. I had a schedule, an Itinerary for the first two weeks of employment of different trainings, who I'm going to get introduced to, meetings with different clients. So I'm getting accustomed. And let me tell you, it didn't feel like trial by fire. It felt very much like we want to set you up for success and move forward and it can help do that for you.

BJ

And that's the thing. HR and it are often seen as cost centers for your business, but if used properly can be an extremely strong employee retention team. We bring value to your company. How can we bring value to you? By knowing that it's going to be ready ahead of time. But then that does require a little bit of planning on your part.

Robbz

So we'll start with onboarding and then we'll go to offboarding, which I feel is a bit more ignored. So explain in it terms would be the difference between effective onboarding and bare minimum onboarding.

BJ

An effective onboarding is one where you have all of your logins set up ahead of time. Everything's single signed on, everything's already integrated and built, ready to go. We're literally the employee.

Robbz

What is single sign on? BJ.

BJ

I used the term.

Robbz

You did?

BJ

Sorry. Okay.

Robbz

Alphabet soup.

BJ

Did use the term alphabet soup. No alphabet soup. So for Brian the proverbial CFO single sign on is where you can have one single. It's called an identity provider. But effectively for most of our clients it's going to be either something in their server that controls the identity or something inside of office 365 that controls their identity. So in this case their identity would be [email protected]. So [email protected] can then tie into all of the different tools that you use. That could be Monday Asana, the phone system.

Robbz

Instead of coming into the office and having seven, eight, nine different logins for each type of program, your one Microsoft or one Google login allows you to log into all of these different portals. So once that's set up, you simply log into Microsoft or Google and then you can connect to all of your different applications without having that new user already confused on how to use these programs and log in. At least they have at least one login and password. And people would think that that's not secure. But with multifactor authentication, that extra token or extra six digit Pin that you get in a text message, it's very secure.

BJ

Well, and it allows you to, in an offboarding situation, disable one user account. And now they're turned off on all of the different platforms. And to me, that's almost as important as making it easy to let them get into all of the different platforms.

Robbz

And there's another point called password fatigue. If you have nine plus applications for your user, and that's just a general user us in, it 50, 60, 70 logins easy. So you have something called login fatigue where when they have to change those passwords, they're already going to do all the same passwords anyway. And they're going to do much less of a secure password because they're so sick of logging into all the different platforms and they get exhausted by it. So single sign on definitely saves from that happening. So we can have a nice concise password, better form of security, and easier on the employee completely.

BJ

Again, technology is there, so let's use it, maximize it for your company. And so in my mind, like a good onboarding Is, you have their computer ready to go. If they're a fully remote employee, have it shipped to their house like two days before they start, have all of their different technology there. So if that's extra monitors, dock, laptop headset, have it there, be ready. We all get that shipping delays happen, but the more it's ready ahead of time, the more they see that you care about making sure they have a good experience and then have an actual onboarding plan. For me, it's like what Robbie experienced. We have a two to three week calendar that we run everyone through when they start. That involves training on all of our tools, introduction to the entire team, like getting used to the cadences, how do you use our documentation platform? You need to know these things and you can build them inside of the tools that you likely already have. The more you work through having the whole process thought out ahead of time, the more likely you are to have a really smooth, happy experience.

Robbz

Now, I want to point out when we talk about this, and we're going to go in a little bit more detail, we are taking this from the It person's perspective that we're giving you advice from. We are not the person that's going to take care of the legalese, the signed documents and agreements, the non competes that some businesses do, including that is company property. If it doesn't work out, you got to ship that computer back. That's more of what I'd like to put HR steps. We're focusing on how to get the user their tools, how to make them feel comfortable and how to get this done successfully to capture in your internal external or if you're the It person listening well.

BJ

And so part of what we've to the effectiveness of onboarding, part of what we faced is that we were running into inconsistencies. So setting up a new user is hilariously enough. One of the more complicated things to do, even though we get zero flexibility from the client about it, the reason being is that it's assumed that it's something you do regularly and that it's easy. How could you possibly mess it up? What, nobody realized we'll get tons of flexibility on a new server migration. Something happened. Oh, that's really complicated, no big deal. But you set up a user wrong, I will hear about it for weeks. At the end of the day, setting up a user could be 60, 70 steps if you're doing a lot of different things for the customer.

Robbz

So high level. That's why we get their equipment rolling, get the preset up, get their logins all used for their applications, whether they're in house or some sort of application on the cloud that we've talked about before. Make sure that the training gets set up for these applications and set up a don't be afraid to set up a two week schedule. But more importantly, I've used a tool because you got to figure out how to like you said, the user is the pain point. Well, it's easy enough to set up someone. We're going to call him John [email protected], set him up an email account. Guess what? He has email, he has single sign on to start connecting to the apps. But it doesn't say of any of the customizations or settings that they would have if you require one. That's common. So and so's calendar has to have access to this user, some sort of group permission so they can get into company drives and access. There's a bunch of different settings that may be not unique to the company, but unique to the role of the user. So what I like to do and what I've done in different It environments that have started from ground zero, they have no onboarding process and it's chaotic. Instead, to create what we call a role matrix, you can do this by grabbing a simple spreadsheet and we can even add a template in the show notes if you check them out. Get yourself a template and just use the x and y axis right? Just like you do Battleship instead of a four. It's someone's job role. We'll say the secretary, the accountant, the maintenance guy and then it follows on the other side of the sheet to what access do they need and which settings do they have to have. That way you're not missing it. Every time something that you think like you said would be simple is creating a user. You'll hear about it for the next three weeks because they'll say, hey, you should be able to log in and do this. Oh, I don't have permission. Oh, you should be able to go and edit this document. Oh, guess what, that was never added. Oh, can you set this up on someone so and so's calendar? That was never done. And it's just a trickle for tickets and requests. And the user feels like they're continually hindered by this and they really are. It's very bad for onboarding and not a good look for you and your company. So using that role matrix goes, hey, we just got a new maintenance guy. The maintenance guy needs access to a company email. He needs access to these three applications to check the HVAC system, the air conditioning unit, and maybe the security cameras, and just go by the role matrix because you're not recreating the wheel, you're just doing it by the job. If somebody needs special permissions outside of this role matrix, so be it. But then you can have the conversation with the department head and say, hey, is this just a one off for that new guy Bill, because he has a special role, or is this something we should be adding to the role matrix?

BJ

Well, and the other thing I would consider adding to that are a lot of the bits around your facility that aren't necessarily It, but are something you're likely to forget. So if you have a general manager, make sure they have the right keys to the building or the right access control.

Robbz

Right.

BJ

It needs to go and extend into the physical aspects as well, in my opinion.

Robbz

Yeah, the role matrix doesn't have to be just for your It people. It can be used for HR. HR should have, in my opinion, a role matrix as well, and that should be tagged upon. So, yes, we talk about software because we're It guys, but also, like you said, the keys and whatnot company vehicles, certain permissions to credit cards, think about what that role needs and everything he's going to need from day one and just have it chalk block. So when you create some sort of form in this role matrix saying, hey, we're hiring a new guy, it contacts the people that need to get access cards to the building keys for this guy, computer set up from them, HR getting his timesheets created, all of the above all get taken care of, hopefully before the guy starts in two weeks.

BJ

Well, and that's exactly it. We always ask for not for like a two week notice, we ask for a two week notice on all new employees, especially if they need equipment, because that allows for some wiggle room when it comes to shift delays and issues. Because let's say you give us two weeks notice and then it takes you three days to approve the order, and then it takes us half a day or a day to order it, and then it takes us three to five days to ship it. You're out of business days. At that point, it doesn't take very long before you're just out of time. And so then you're starting the guy two days later. Or they get their equipment two days after they start. And now you paid that person to sit there for two and a half, three days, right. Doing nothing.

Robbz

Now, I get a lot of people messaging me in the past because I've actually presented this particular topic before, and they ask, Why? How am I supposed to do this? I'm a small business. I have four people in a shop. I don't have these roles or departments. Everybody's kind of their own little astros, their own snowflake of different permissions. I still suggest that you stop and pretend that you're going to grow because you don't know next year, you might double your employee base if you're doing this right. And this exercise will certainly help you get there. So if you don't have the departments, pretend if in a perfect world and you had that money to really have the people that you wanted to crush this job, make those roles. And if you hire let's pretend they hire Kathy, right? Kathy can do three of these theoretical roles. Then at least you have something on the role matrix to go. Kathy needs to do the responsibility as A, B, and C. Then you give her all of the stuff in the role matrix for that, and then you're set up for success. When you want to SEG my segment thank you. Segment your responsibilities. Words are very hard, Kathy. If the business is growing, kathy's going to get to the point where she can't do everything anymore, and you're going to have to create a new role. Well, guess what? Your role matrix already decided this, and it's going to be very easy to get that new guy out hired in and get that parsed out well.

BJ

And it also tells you what you need to remove from Kathy.

Robbz

Right.

BJ

Some of the beauty of a good understanding of people's roles and what they should have is that it makes it easier when they stop wearing so many hats to start taking away the permissions and responsibilities and parsing them off appropriately.

Robbz

It is very hard.

BJ

Companies with I see companies with 50 employees that haven't done this, and very hard. It's gotten better, and we've done a ton of pushing to help them get there. But sometimes when you start, they're just a big box of unknown. And how do you run yourself that way?

Robbz

And be careful when you're trying to set up this role matrix and you put out these roles and you publish it to your team, especially if you're a small niche team, explain to them why, if they get to see the role matrix as it's being created, that you're not trying to take their job away, because that has happened. I've seen people try these role matrix. They show an example and they immediately try to shut it down to their combative because they go, hey, that's my job, you're not going to give my job away. And it's immediate defensive mechanism. So try to set the stage, pad the conversation. When you're in that type of circle, you never know how people are going to get offended being, hey, that's where I live, that's what gives me motivation in the morning is that responsibility. And I'm most proud of so it's interesting.

BJ

So one of our clients, I was having a conversation with them in a business review yesterday, and we were talking about this exact process because there are around 40 employees at this point, around 25 to 30 field people and ten to 15 people in the office. They didn't have job descriptions for anyone. Well, they're working through and getting that fixed now. But I mean, you're at 40 people, no wonder you've had some challenges. But at the same time, I see this team growing and getting better and it's been really fun to watch because a year ago they didn't have a lot of the things that they have now. And so I think we're going to be able to really help them handle the entire onboarding process, not just the It portion, because we've done so much internal work on ourselves to get better that we can kind of show them what we're doing and help them here's what a good onboarding looks like, start to finish, right?

Robbz

So the role of technology is what we can go off of. Again, we told you that there should be other people involved in this, whether it's maintenance for access, there's individual supervisor to prepare the team and get whatever notes he needs, HR for time clocks and whatnot. There should be a multiple stage release when you ask for a new user. But specifically it because that's what you're here for. The business tech playbook roles for technology. So we told you softwares. Other things I'd like to go through. Again, how to capture this. You can use different form tools like Google Forms as part of the Google Workspace Sheet. Microsoft form.

BJ

Got to stop talking about Google because we just don't do Google.

Robbz

Google's Office, I'm going to talk about it because there's plenty of people out there that do Google. Over half of the world does Google. I can't cut those people out. So google Forms. Microsoft Forms.

BJ

If you're on Google and you don't want to be on Google, call us because Google's terrible.

Robbz

And if you're still on Google and you want some help, I'll help you with Google.

BJ

No.

Robbz

Call me. Especially education. Those are the good Google accounts, right? BJ. We're a great pair. We're a great pair. So again, Google forms. Microsoft Forms. Are a great way to build your own custom form. That form you can send out to the user saying, hey, this department is requesting a new employee. And then it simply can send out an email to the affected teams. That's where you can at least start. And the question should be full name, proper name, is there a nickname, what's the best contact number for this person? And there should be something in the email so you have it automatically generated. Yeah. Who their manager? Is that's a huge one that people forget in there? Let's say John Doe is the first and last name. Well, you can have in that form something that automatically pre populates what the suggested email should be. So some people put first letter, last name, some people put first name, last name. Whatever it is, you keep consistent to the email protocol and have that auto fill. So when you see John Doe Jdot atyourbusiness.com that way the end user is clarified what their email will be. So they can already start prepping their details in their email, add them to their groups, and of course It knows exactly what their name will be because there could be misspellings or someone might have the same first and last name and they have to figure it out.

BJ

Correct. I struggle with few places that only use first name because at some point it's not going to be too far off before you have three Brians inside your organization with the same spelling. And so now you have three iterations of Brian inside the same place.

Robbz

Right.

BJ

Really fun.

Robbz

Have a backup plan. My mother, her name is Rhonda and someone had the same last name. Three people, there was a Rhonda, same last name, so they had to put all the middle initials. It's a new company policy to go in there. Guess what? Same middle initial. What do you do? Well, have the conversation. They have some sort of organizational policy that's generally done or ran through. HR is documenting this, so work with them with that, but be prepared. That can happen in the form you should have. Are they going to use an old computer or new computer? If it's someone's prior computer that left, give us the computer name. If the It at least even have a tag name, they can just go and get it done without any further hesitation. If you don't give them that It guy's, a good It guy, he's going to get annoying, he's going to pick up the phone, he's going to call you saying, hey, what are we using? You kind of dropped the ball on this. I have no details to go off of and they're going to nag you. So add that information up front so you don't have to have the good It guy nag you, or worse, the bad It guy. That'll just be like, well not my problem. Next. And he just skips it and your guy never got taken care of.

BJ

It goes back to pre thinking the process. And you were saying do this at four people. I agree. The more you can do this while you're small and while it's not I recognize when we're small, our companies are small. It can be painful to take time away from things that aren't making you money. But the reality is the more you can have good standard operating procedures and processes inside your company, the faster you can scale. We've spent the last five years rebuilding our processes and procedures and trying to get better as an organization simply for the fact that it allows us to better and more consistently handle our clients, but then it will also allow us to scale.

Robbz

So in that matrix now that you have defined, if you're going to use an old computer or not, you put the name in there, you can get it onboarded. If they say, hey, I need new equipment, then immediately it could tag the person from the department saying do you approve a new computer purchase and have that all done right in the form? The forms are quite easy to do and just to pick on both of us, BJ's, Microsoft, I'm, Google, you can do independent ones. There's tools like cognito forms. I think they have free tiers that you can use right off the bat or paid for for some more bonus features. You can check a lot of different tools out like that and integrate them with just about anything they have. Worst case scenario, just sending out an email is at least a great place to start, like I said before. So in there then you have to ask yourself computer, what type of computer do they need?

BJ

Well again, are they a remote employee? Are they a Flex employee? Are they an employee who's always in the office? Are they in a warehouse? What's their role, what do they do and how are they going to be interacting with and are they going to be interacting with it on a daily basis?

Robbz

So you can have that defined by the role or by the request. There's no right answers. It's what's best for your business. If the role states that all sales guys get a laptop, they get a special webcam, they get a cell phone, have that done in your role matrix and then just define that, hey, we need another package for that person or leave it up to the supervisor. But make sure you address the questions in there if you're going to leave it up to the supervisor, the supervisor is not an It person and they're going to have to be reminded. So you're going to have to make the form real nitpicky. You're going to have to say are you going to want a laptop or desktop? Are they going to want to have a couple of different monitors? Are they going to need to have a webcam? Is this person going to be working home. So we have to set up a VPN and then you have to needle them with a bunch more questions because they're not going to be thinking of it and they're not supposed to. Don't blame that person for not thinking it. Their job is something else. All they need is another person on the crew. So you're trying to gain the information you need to do your job.

BJ

Can I suggest that you collaborate with your It person to help set this process up? Because I guarantee your It company or your It person is going to love you for saying, hey, let's set up a good onboarding program for our company. It's like setting up multifactor. If you call your It person and say, I want to set up multifactor, they are going to be thrilled. Same with doing a good onboarding process.

Robbz

And be careful if you just want.

BJ

To spend that time.

Robbz

Yeah, be careful if you just want to give that completely to your It person. Yes, he should be doing a role matrix, but this step of onboarding and offboarding is above an entry level or just past entry level technician. If you've hired a guy that has just two years experience working at Help Desk, he hasn't run into this problem yet. He hasn't lived this life. It's not that he's not capable. It's just he hasn't listened to this podcast.

BJ

Send them to us.

Robbz

Send them to us.

BJ

Teach them. Right?

Robbz

Yeah, we'll get him up to snuff.

BJ

Well, and even if the operations person or somebody inside the company in HR is the one creating the process, involve your It person. Find out where the pain points are for them so that way they can help really empower you. The goal of this is to empower the company and to really add value. And so having a really dialed in onboarding process is going to really add, in my opinion, a lot of value to your new employees and to your organization in a whole just to cut down on chaos.

Robbz

Now, there's a lot of responsibility as, let's say you're taking over the company's It or onboarding It, or you are the It guy, the managed service guy, the internal It guy. There is still a bunch of vendors that you rely on for these things. Make sure you're capturing the vendor comments in there as well. For instance, we are a managed service shop. We take care of a lot of things, nuts and bolts as far as your It goes. But we still have third party vendors we work with. We worked with different phone companies for VoIP services, voice over the Internet. So you're not using a traditional phone line.

BJ

Oh man. Almost had to tag you with like the alphabet souphorn.

Robbz

Got you. So add that person in there, they're going to need a new extension. Is it going to be a physical phone? Are they going to use a. Soft client on their computer instead. Is it something they're going to have to set up on their cell phone? Add those questions in there and even don't be afraid to work with your vendor. If they have some sort of onboarding vendor for this telephone, or just using telephone as example, add them to the email, hey, this person so and so needs a, needs a telephone as part of the, the form that you sent out. Great. The vendor will be very happy of getting these requests for onboarding and have it for you ready. And even a recommended date that the vendor can do training with the individual if that's something that you've worked out.

BJ

If I might suggest in the onboarding form, you might have a section that says this person is a copy of so and so and or is this person replacing so and so? So if Kathy's coming on and replacing Sally, great. Does Sally know she's being replaced? So add some context in there around offboarding, which we'll get to in a minute. But again, the more context you have to kind of inform the situation helps the entire team know how to handle each step.

Robbz

I think the most complicated piece of this is doing those individualized permissions. So, yes, you can get hardware, you can specify that. You can specify roles, you can specify vendor add ons, but trying to sit there and get the specific role based permissions where this person has permission to this particular calendar. They have access to this particular company file because it changes. And most of the people that do the day to day don't know what permissions they're actually using. So when you have a manager saying, I want to hire someone and they say, great, let's get them on boarded, we go by the role matrix, they still don't know what permissions they're getting. And you generally have those repeat tickets we talked about having that person, like you just said, BJ saying copy this user. Then we can literally go and look, hey, this person has access to this calendar, that section of the company file drive access to this and can send as this. We can copy that right away, not screw up. But more importantly, we can document that and say, hey, is this the person that we should be putting in the role matrix? And have that conversation every time.

BJ

So something we've been doing internally is we've been going back and trying to find the perfect users and the perfect computers who's set up perfectly and then documenting that and then building all of our onboarding forms and all of our workstation onboardings based off of the perfect user. And then trying to capture all the settings, trying to capture all of the groups. And please never do settings by person. Even if it's one person in a group, please tie it to the group. Always tie it to a group, never a person. It'll make your future self will. Thank you a lot, I promise.

Robbz

And if you don't expect that, you're always going to have to ask. It's never going to be one of those givens where, oh, I'm assuming it has common sense to do that. They don't. They're not going to live where you need permissions. And let's pick on accounting. Accounting might have five people. One or two of those people get special access to this one area because so and so said so, and they simply have seniority. Are they a different role than the rest of the team? No, they're the same role, same pay rate, whatever it may be. But those two people have earned extra responsibilities. Don't expect us to capture that in a role matrix. If you can't capture it in a job title, you're going to have to have that manually added each time. Unless you can capture it to a.

BJ

Role 100% well, and how much? It goes back to having multiple hats. So does your accounting person help the person in HR? And so now the accounting person gets some of the HR functions, but not all of them. But then the CFO gets a function that nobody else gets. It can get really messy really fast. So the more you can have things identified, the easier it is to be consistent and secure and secure completely.

Robbz

I've had issues. I was in a company, it was a large company. There was a bunch of, I'd say 700 employees. And one of those people, like you just explained, had a hybrid role. In fact, two days of their five day week, they would be HR, three days, they would be accounting. They had hybrid permissions. The person left years down the road, person still there doing a completely different role. No one adjusted permissions because they just haphazardly didn't set it by role. So when they removed HR, guess what? This individual still had permissions. No one audited it. And now we have not only HR problems, but they had an endpoint attack. And now that information got out, keeping a lid on things matters to us in it and should matter to you and your business. And if you're going to give a special permission to one user, that's kind of its own liability. That doesn't normally get audited. It should, but we're human.

BJ

Well, it's funny how much of cybersecurity is tied to good on and off boarding and just a good understanding of who should have access to what. It's one of the key things in my mind. It's knowing who's in the building, what should they be able to do, and then when they leave the building, making sure that they can't get back in. It's just so incredibly important. But I feel like it's oftentimes overlooked.

Robbz

So anything else that you think we missed? Talking about what they should build in that online form or physical form? It could be paper. I mean, if you want to go.

BJ

There so I would suggest there's a couple of relatively inexpensive ways that you can set this up for yourself. You might take a look at setting up a SharePoint with an HR template. Microsoft has a really good HR template that you can use that has onboarding task lists, has a way for the Office Manager or Hiring manager. Keep track of things, keep track of employees, assign tasks for the new hire. If you already have Office 365, almost every single license includes this at this point, start with something and so do.

Robbz

Google licenses to jab you. There that look.

BJ

Well, Robbie, it's been nice knowing you, but I didn't plan on firing you on live podcast.

Robbz

Thank you. Thank you.

BJ

Shoot.

Robbz

Got to keep it fun.

BJ

Freaking Google. There's nothing particularly wrong with Google other than that it's Google. But no. I personally feel that for organizations of a certain size, anyone that's used to working with Outlook, you're going to be far better suited being inside of Microsoft. And I feel like the Microsoft licensing generally is going to have a far better value for the organization because of what it includes.

Robbz

There's going to be a future podcast. We're going to have to have the debate.

BJ

Bring it on, bring it up. I'll just bring a pitch for it. We'll do this one in person.

Robbz

This is going to affect my employment. I'm already sweating.

BJ

Wear a little extra deodorant that day, right? Oh, goodness.

Robbz

Let's move on to offboarding. I think we kicked off, we've onboarded our users to this podcast so far. So let's give them a reason to leave no offboarding and why it's important. Offboarding is ignored. It's sure it's easy to think about, hey, we should really stop paying the person for services. They're not working. So as far as HR goes, it's common sense. But all of the other things people don't necessarily think about HR is most of the time good enough to say, hey, make sure you get their keys when they leave. Don't let them in the building. Why would you leave those same keys digitally to your content? You have to shut off the user and take care of it, but tell us some practices of good offboarding and why we need it.

BJ

So the best part about a good offboarding is if you have a good onboarding plan, you can basically do it in reverse. And so it really should be pretty simple. And so part of it is turning them off in payroll, but if you turn them off in payroll, please make sure it knows because the last thing you want is for them to have access to their email. Oftentimes it should know that they're being fired before they are. And if you don't trust it to hold that confidential, then you probably need to talk with either have a new It person or have some conversations around that. But like a good portion of the time, we know our clients are firing somebody before the user knows. So that way when they are on the phone with them, we're turning off their permissions. And some of it depends on the role and how they're leaving. But even if somebody's just retiring, you need to remove access because it's a liability to your company.

Robbz

Now, what people don't think about is, yes, it's easy to take the keys away, and now they're no longer with the company. But the problem is that person that just left has been there for 15 years, let's just say, right. And they have done a lot for the company, and there's a lot connected to that person's accounts, whether it's different bids, documentation, stuff they've built that's all in their digital footprint, and you don't want that to go away. The bad way of doing it is say, hey, I need terminated employees login, and I'm just going to keep it that way, and I'm going to keep paying for that user. Don't do this. Every one of the tools that you have have no need of just taking their keys and then running two accounts or multiple accounts when more people leave the company, have your It person off board them correctly. And if it's emails, you can make a shared mailbox that is connected to the individuals that need access to that person's emails.

BJ

Unless you're using Google.

Robbz

Google absolutely does it. In fact, Google doesn't let you delete a user like Microsoft does. They force you to move it to a different user that's a manager. Otherwise you can't delete them your face. All right, off the Google subject, sorry.

BJ

I was not aware that you could. I was almost 100% positive you couldn't do a non licensed shared mailbox.

Robbz

Everything you can do, I can do better. I can do everything better than you. Just kidding.

BJ

That has only to do with the podcast. Believe it.

Robbz

Okay, that was Google sninging to Microsoft. That was my rendition.

BJ

Okay, at this point, we're just going to come out with iPhone. Hello, Google.

Robbz

Anyways, the point being that if they have an account, we talked about email. Make a shared mailbox and connect it to those people. If it's something like a company file, if it's something in Windows, I mean, easily you can make sure that that's in the other person's drive. Everything in their personal drive that you would set up, you can move over if it's OneDrive or Google drive that would immediately connect to the other person's account. There's many different things you can do. Taking that person's credentials, logging in as them, is not the way to go about it.

BJ

I completely agree. If you have any kind of like fleshed out offboarding again, involve your It person, involve your It company, we all want to help. Let us help you. Please let us help you. It's going to make the experience a lot smoother. Again, having a shared mailbox. We can roll their desktop over to you that way you have access to it. There's a lot of ways we can make it a pretty easy experience if we just know that's what you want. Again, how do it become a force multiplier for you and not just an irritation?

Robbz

And people ask why? Why can't I do that? Why can't I just make it convenient? It's only for a short period of time. Why is that a bad thing? Well, put yourself in it spot you have now.

BJ

It's never just for a short time.

Robbz

It's never just for a short time. But even if it is, let's pretend it is. Let's say it's seven days. In that seven day period if something happens at the company where that boss gets compromised, but they used the Kathy's account that left the company, you're looking for logs and you'd have no clue where it came from because all of it was logged in in Kathy's account, but actually happened on the boss's computer. It becomes a logging mess trying to figure out which account that the boss still has access to because he's not paying attention.

BJ

And that's it. It's about paying attention and people don't have time to do that. So let's prethink those processes so that way we're not fighting it later.

Robbz

So I talked about the onboarding form. A bit off boarding, should have the same form. You said do it in reverse, but there's got to be some more intricacies. BJ, tell us about it. That gets you on the spot.

BJ

I hate saying it, but a lot of it is just exactly the same thing as your onboarding, but in reverse. Get your keys back. Change your door pin. Turn off their Office 365 login. Disable their server accounts. Remove them from Monday Asana like all of your different management tools. Turn their extension off or reset it so that way you can give it to the next user that's replacing them. You ship them a laptop, two monitors, a headset. What are those pieces of equipment? Do you want back? Okay, do you need to have them reimburse them for taking it to a local FedEx office? Do you need to ship them a box? How is it going to get back to you if you know what all of those pieces are? It's easy to go check, check and you know what's going on versus, oh well, I guess we lost a laptop and a couple of monitors and we're never going to get those back. And they've been sending out emails to everyone on their distribution list saying, hey, I'm not working for competitor. I've seen that happen. Like we've stopped it in the middle because they let them know 20 minutes before they told us we blocked the account as they were emailing out to everyone saying, hey, I'm going to go work at another company. Here's my personal email address.

Robbz

Right now there is a couple of extra increases. It can't be just completely reversed. There's at least a couple of additional notes that I would add is asking you don't need to know why they were fired, but you want to know if it was involuntary or voluntary. That matters on urgency. If you're an It person and say, hey, someone just forgive me for saying this, flipped the bird and then left the office, you want to get him out quickly because he's going to purposely trash things. He's going to delete company documents. You want to take that prompt and get on it and pull those keys quickly.

BJ

There's a big difference. You're right. There's a big difference between somebody who's been with a company for 20 years and is retiring out, is a loved employee, has no ill will towards the company versus you caught somebody stealing and you're firing them on the spot. How we triage and plan to handle that ticket is going to vary dramatically. And obviously there's some room for stuff in the middle. For example, we tell clients, if you suspect there's going to be a potential legal issue, let us know, because we're going to use a very different cadence on our offboarding. We're going to go make sure that Ediscovery is turned on. We're going to make sure we do extra preservation on their mailbox. We're going to do extra preservation on their desktop. We're going to spend a lot more time being careful and trying to protect the company. Because with it in my mind, we do two main things for the company. One is mitigate risk, and one is increase value. And so when it comes to terminating an employee, we're mitigating risk 100%. Let us do that. Give us some context.

Robbz

Now, I implore you, if you're put yourself in my shoes, if I get a request, an offboarding request, I don't need to know why the person left the company. I just need to know if it's voluntary or involuntary. If you as an account manager, BJ, for instance, will take this role. BJ is the manager of Etop. He owns the business. He takes the relationships directly to the customer. And I'm a technician, an engineer into the company, and I get the work that has to be done. So I receive an offboarding request. It says it was involuntary. I don't care if it was they were friendly, they gave them two weeks. It was just being laid off. Or if someone went nuclear and had to be escorted out the business. I'm going to try to treat it the same way, and I think you should too. I personally want to expect that everybody can be good, but everybody lies. Everybody has has issues, and you should treat them no differently. If you see the word involuntary, lock it down. Treat it like it was someone that got walked off the premise as far as how you pull those keys, how you address it, because even if it was fairly mutual, it very well could affect the company. And you're there to protect it.

BJ

Well, and to be fair, I think sometimes voluntary should be treated the same way. Just depending on, again, it depends on the intellectual property of your organization and how much of a damage you think it could cause. Obviously if it's voluntary and it's a good transition, that's different. Honestly, in my experience, pretty few and far between. Usually people leaving if somebody puts in a two week notice at most of our clients, probably 80% of the time they're walked out the door. I agree. One of our commenters said that an internal It nuked their computer after giving.

Robbz

Involuntary asked to leave.

BJ

Yeah, involuntary. And that's the thing, you don't know.

Robbz

Don't pretend you know, but just yeah.

BJ

You want to assume the best for people, but the reality is most of the let the It that you trust really have your back. That's what we're here for.

Robbz

So the other things in the form are when you close someone down, who's going to get the information? We talked about having that manager wanting the person's account information. Well, you're going to want email to flow somewhere. I'm assuming that this person's email could forward to the manager and then for how long do you want? 90 days, indefinitely. And have an alias there until we need Kathy's email again in the future. How do you want data to flow and where do you want all that person's information to live? So make sure to add that to the offboarding form and put time frames like I said, 90 days or indefinitely. Putting that on there does matter because if I get a ticket that says a certain period of time, I'm rescheduling that for the 90 days. I'm rescheduling it for the 30 days to retouch it to make sure it's closed completely. Or if it's something as, I don't want any of this person's account. He wasn't here for that long, it wasn't valuable. Just throw it away. At least have an out of office message. What's that say? Hey, this person no longer works for the company. Please message so and so in accounting if you need any so and so as management if you need anything, questions, thanks. And then you have at least addressed until that email is reused or just sits there having an out of office message for whoever wants to email it in the future.

BJ

Well, and so our internal process that we effectively set up for almost every single one of our clients is when somebody is terminated, we just convert it to a shared mailbox and it kind of lives there for forever. So like we hide it so people can't see it. After a while we end up renaming it so that way they can't keep emailing it. What we found is that has saved our clients a lot of frustration in the past, and I think it will continue saving them a lot of frustration in the future. Because what happens is a year from now, they're going to need email that got sent to just that person, and as a result, we can go back and restore it and give it to them, and that way they have it. Or that person comes back and sues them for some kind of workman's comp or there's some kind of legal issue. And I can't even begin to describe how many times we've been able to go, oh great, now we have their email, it's right here, we're going to go ahead and just reattach it to your mailbox. 20 minutes later they've got it and away they go. They can go back through it and it saved their bacon.

Robbz

Speaking of bacon, I have dealt with some companies delicious. Speaking of bacon, I've dealt with some companies in the past that has just said, throw the account away, I don't need it. Then three months, four months later I said, hey, we need the document from so and so. We've completely forgot about that person's work in this and now it's gone. Sorry. After 30 days, both Google and Microsoft, Yeet, all of that forever. Unless you had some sort of weird, crazy extra level backup, the default program will make sure that goes away in 30 days. So even if you're leaning towards the fact that you just want to just delete that person and move on and you're sure that you don't need any data, it doesn't hurt as an It person just to switch their account from a licensed user to a shared mailbox. Both Google, Microsoft do this just the same. Turn that off, turn it to a shared user. And even if no one has access, that data is going to live in your account generally without having to have a Microsoft license you have to pay for.

BJ

Exactly. There's almost no reason why you wouldn't keep it, in my opinion. Probably the only reason is, again, if it's a very short term user than with you a couple of weeks. Outside of that there's almost no cost and almost no frustration for you to just keep it and to move it forward in my opinion.

Robbz

Now there are some roles, there's always an asterisk to every statement. There are some roles that the company wants to delete purposely if someone was involved in something and they have to go back and look at emails. Sometimes having that data on hand doesn't work. Don't expect us to be HR department and figure that out. But having that email account on hand generally has saved me more than it's ever hurt me. So that's your argument that, oh, it's a company risk to have what that person did on hand if we're ever audited, that's a Fred flag. That has nothing to do with It department, my friend.

BJ

But it's also one of those things where it's like, okay, I have it in writing, I'll go do what you told me to do.

Robbz

Whatever you said bro and I have it. I have a carbon forever. This is on you. Not me, I'm just the minion.

BJ

I'm documenting the request right here.

Robbz

If you want a CYB policy soup for cover your bum, that's on you.

BJ

Oh man.

Robbz

Should get t shirts. CYB. You know what I'm saying?

BJ

CYB.

Robbz

Start our merch line. Wouldn't that be good?

BJ

We just wear it to the beach.

Robbz

So what's some of the security implications on not doing offboarding correctly? What have you seen scare some people here?

BJ

So some of the bigger ones are typically people having access to their email long after they're gone or still being able to access the server after they're gone. That one I see a little bit less, but usually it's access to email or OneDrive SharePoint data for months. Usually it's not more than a couple of weeks for our clients because we try really hard to circle back with them every single month on this. But at the same time stuff slips by and if we are not told, we can't help. I'll say bigger security implications are when people don't take away keys, their break ins, they still have their alarm codes. We had a client lose a CDU because somebody still had a key and somebody still had an alarm code.

Robbz

Also, if you want to know what company has a CDO, just know it's a cool, cool company. We can't give you that information.

BJ

Really cool company. We're not telling you who they are, but they are super stinking cool.

Robbz

It rhymes with double o schmeven. Yeah, like a jet ski scene on one of those James Bond movies. That's a horrible jet ski.

BJ

It was a terrible jet ski.

Robbz

That was good.

BJ

It's funny. My three year old basically, I'm pretty sure has a motorcycle living in his head because in order to get him to eat breakfast, you pretty much have to make motorcycle noises at this point. He loves anything that moves on two wheels. He's going to cost me a lot of money both on motorcycles and on emergency room bills.

Robbz

I'm sure you'll be proud.

BJ

Oh, I can't wait.

Robbz

So one more last piece in the security outfit. I've seen different companies just like you said, like a CD disappeared. Also intellectual property. I can't end the podcast without telling you this. If you leave one of those tools open, it's bound to happen that if not that user, someone gets access to an unmanaged user outside of that person because they are not watching the account and they get access to your the proprietary pieces that make your company unique. If you want to have your customer list, your quotes show up. If you have some sort of secret sauce that you've created, like maybe some engineered templates, it could be anything. Close those accounts. So I think to wrap up, we went through onboarding offboarding a bit. But the real hurt to this is number one, you don't onboard correctly, you're going to have a poor onboarding experience. That person is going to feel abandoned, it's going to be trial by fire. And if you're lucky enough to keep that employee through not having an appropriate onboarding process, whether it's the tools that we can help provide as it people or something as simple as training to what you do every day, it's going to affect it and it's going to affect your customers. At the end, if you don't offboard, you're going to have security risks, you're going to have open holes, and potentially, if you don't offboard correctly, you're going to miss some things that someone's worked hard at and no longer is in part of your company.

BJ

Always. I agree. And the realities is, to me this starts off with being a checklist both on hiring and firing. Involve key departments that could be operations, that could be finance, that could be likely, is going to be It at some level. It might be facilities as well, but involve them both directions, both hiring and firing. So that way you can really ensure that your team has a really good on and off boarding experience. It really is going to simplify things when you have a checklist to follow. That's the same every single time. We switched over to an RPA or robotics process automation tool that allows us to be consistent. Probably the number one thing that I've appreciated about bringing this tool on is our onboardings and our offboardings are magnitudes more consistent than a year ago. Our users are exactly the same every time and that's huge. Our firings are the same every single time and we're working on making it even better. But that's the thing. Start with something, use it, and never.

Robbz

Let it just be. I'm okay with that. Keep on evolving it and improving along the way as your business and business changes.

BJ

Exactly.

Robbz

Now, we're at the end of the podcast here. I'm just going to wrap up with the last two questions we have, unless you got something else BJ.

BJ

At this point for us, it's Friday at almost 03:00 P.m. Pacific Time, so we're all starting to run out of steam out here.

Robbz

Yeah, we're checked out Weekend 4 July holiday. We're ready to go. Well, the questions, we're doing this live in our discord, so if you want to join and ask questions, join the community, go to Businesstechplaybook.com bottom of the website, you'll find the link to our discord or even check the show notes. That's even more convenient for you. And we have again another user saying, how long do you recommend keeping paid backups of emails or data of a suspended user? So for 30 days isn't bad in my mind.

BJ

So like I told them so with Veeam, we had our retention set for two years, which is always fun. And so we were paying for licensing and storage for that time. We recently changed our provider, which is all licensed mailboxes are. Charged and shared mailboxes are backed up for free as long as we're not over budget on storage. But the way they give us storage is so lenient that we're at like 10% of our overall usage with over, we're around 550 mailboxes backed up and then probably around 200 shared mailboxes. But we're still only at about 15% to 20% of total storage.

Robbz

I mean, that's the details of how licensing and how we've done it. But generally as a rule of thumb, if someone leaves and you want to save that data, I think 30 days is a fantastic measurement. Unless you have something like we explained where parts that are included if they want that data past 30 days, make it someone else's data. If Kevin left, Brian gets that data and it becomes part of his account if they want it to go past anywhere, otherwise it's hanging data. It's something else that could be forgotten and just adds to it budget in the future.

BJ

Well, but that's also part of why I do enjoy the shared mailbox so much. And even for users that are completely gone, we end up typically holding onto those mailboxes for pretty close to forever. We delicense them and rename them and hide them in the address book, that kind of thing. And so the only people that it really bothers is the It people. Yeah, that or if they have a lot of storage.

Robbz

It's storage costs, but it's one user.

BJ

As long as it doesn't cost me any extra from Microsoft, I don't really care.

Robbz

Walka. Walk. All right, one last question. How do you make it more fun for a person onboarding through the complicated process? Cookies. Easy answer. Fresh baked cookies, preferably chocolate chips. See, if they have a nut allergy, you could put a Macadamia nut in.

BJ

It, but cookies, definitely Macadamia nuts. Everyone loves Macadamia nuts, except for those with nut allergies until they're really hungry. Then maybe they would like Macadamia.

Robbz

You got anything else, BJ?

BJ

No, I'm good, man. I appreciate it. This is a really good episode, I think.

Robbz

Yeah, I'm going to offboard the podcast. See you guys next time.

BJ

Oh, snap.