• New Wave Accountants

Guarding Your Company’s Intellectual Property From Employees

In light of the recent wave of employee resignations across the globe, it has become vital for employers to make sure that their employees do not bring any of their company’s trade secrets and intellectual property.


The good news is that there are some steps that your company can take to minimise the risks incurred as a result of employees who take your IP with them. Read on for some ideas on restoring order to your company’s intellectual property.


Be Proactive


No sane business owner would want employees to jump ship. That said, you want to be careful not to create an environment that is hostile or adversarial. Employees who feel that their work is underappreciated and that their contributions are not valued will be more likely to leave and take your IP with them.


While you don’t want to go overboard in flattering your employees, it is in your best interest to praise them for a well-done job. Offer them regular performance evaluations, with feedback and suggestions to improve on their weaknesses. Regularly give your employees bonuses or salary increases when they deserve it.


Set Up a Non-Compete Agreement


Another way to stop your employees from taking your IP when they leave is to set up a non-compete agreement. This legally-binding document will prevent your employees from leaving and competing against you by poaching your clients, employees, or suppliers.


The non-compete agreement will also protect your employees from working under another company whose products or services are too similar to yours. If a court deems that your non-compete agreement is too harsh, it will be scrapped, so be sure to assemble a legal team to draft it.


Train and Educate All Staff


Employees need to know that your company values them and their contributions. I’m sure you’ve seen the employee exit surveys you can provide to your employees at the end of their employment. These surveys will show you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, so make the most of them.


If you see that your employees feel that they are not well taken care of, then it is up to you to do something about it. Listen to their suggestions and implement the ones that make sense. They may not feel that they’re being well taken care of because they don’t know all the benefits they are entitled to, so inform them.


Provide a Secured Workflow and Encryption


If you want to secure your company’s intellectual property, you cannot leave your doors unlocked and allow your employees to walk in and out as they please. You need to set up an efficient and secure workflow and protect your data and documents with encryption software.


You should also provide your employees with locks to store their laptops on their desks. Not only will this help secure their laptops, but it will also remind them of your security policy.


Set Up a Password-Protected Website


The best way to keep your IP secured is to set up a password-protected website where your employees can upload their documents and work.


This will allow you to regularly check your company’s business goals, plans, and documents, but you don’t have to worry about them taking your IP with them because you have a solid password on the website.


Conclusion


The take-home message from this article is that you need to keep your employees happy, empower them to make decisions, and establish a clear pathway for your company. Remember that the key to successfully keeping your company’s intellectual property is to be proactive. Don’t wait until your employees have already left to set up a backup plan. You need to put some solid legal policies in place before such an incident happens.


If you need bookkeeping services on the Gold Coast, rely on New Wave Accounting. We understand each industry and create tailored accounting and bookkeeping solutions that meet your needs. Request a free meeting today!


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