People leave, it’s a fact of life. It just happens. Their desk is cleared, their office re-assigned, they may even be replaced... But what is to be done with their company email account?
Some companies will have an email retention policy, others will deal with the situation when it arises, but one thing for sure, the information will need to be accessed at a future time. This may happen for either unforeseen data requirements, compliance reasons or in response to an eDiscovery request.
So the real question is; what are your options?
Leave it alone, it’s a problem for the future
It is true that you may have other priorities and this could be the last thing you need to worry about. However, with the amount of daily emails you receive, if an inbox went unattended for several days, or even weeks, the unread and unfiled email build-up could be in the thousands. This will create a huge headache for whoever is tasked with retrieving important information from such a mess.
After a set amount of time, get IT to backup the mailbox
After a set period of time you could get the IT department to create a backup of the existing emails and keep it on the company servers for as long as you need. The past employee may (or may not) have access to their work email address in the meantime, and you can erase it once it has been copied. You could have a permanent, indefinite or a set timeframe on keeping the mail, making it accessible when required.
We don’t need this
You may choose to simply delete the account, and the data that goes with it. Short-term, this is a fine solution, you no longer have to worry about any new emails, or servers to keep the data on, but it may be a catalyst to a host of new problems. Currently there are data retention laws in effect that require you to keep your emails; also your old communications may be subject to eDiscovery in the event of a legal case. If required data has been deleted your organisation could be subject to fines or other severe penalties.
Email archives keep all your data
An email archive will keep all of your communications, permanently. Once it is set up, an email archiving solution will capture and store every email that is sent and received in your company. When an employee leaves, you can store his old data in the archive, and then set policies so that any new, important data will flagged. Archives are searchable, making them the easiest way to access old communications.
Staff turnover, email volume and compliance requests are all day to day business occurrences. The important things is to make sure you’re business is prepared for all three.
Retaining a former employee’s emails is just one of the many benefits of an email archive. To find out more ways in which an email archive can make your life easier you can download our free whitepaper on the Top 10 Benefits of Email Archiving.