We have had relatively low turnover rates during the history of the company, but people do leave and when they do here is how we make sure no messages fall through the cracks.
- Have the employee notify their most frequent contacts of the change. This only applies if it's a smooth transition and you've been given notice. Luckily that has always been the case for us. And generally our employees have relationships with some of their email contacts where they want to at least say goodbye to people they've been working with for years.
- Have the employee start unsubscribing to every marketing email they get.
- Now is a good time to see if it makes sense to have a role based email rather than a person based email. For example one of our longtime employees who handled accounts payable left, and when she left we decided to create the email email@example.com and had all of our vendors use that. Now we have an employee monitor that email, and if that employee goes on vacation or leaves then someone else will monitor it. No need to contact vendors and have them update their systems.
- After the employee leaves update the password and consider adding Two Factor Authentication (google for your domain/gmail offer this) with your own phone number as the recipient as an added security measure.
- If you use google for your domain/gmail have the exiting employee delegate their email account to someone who sets a daily calendar reminder (or Asana/Trello/whatever productivity app your company uses) to check that email. No need to leave the email open. You're really just looking for people who email less frequently due to the prior leg work to get people to update their systems.
- Unsubscribe to every marketing email you get during this phase.
- After the volume of emails has slowed to a trickle consider autoforwarding all email to another person's email address to catch the existing emails and to avoid having to check the delegated email at all.
- Since we use gmail and google drive we usually do not delete a long time employee's account. I have gone back into an employee's email address years later to find a rarely used contact or search some detail about what happened in the past.