Experienced business leaders know how difficult and expensive it is to hire, train and retain good employees. It can take years of “on the job” training for an employee at any level to become master of their trade. Businesses invest thousands of hours and dollars in honing those skills and often do nothing to protect their most valuable asset, their people. You must take steps to protect your business up front; otherwise, former employees and contractors may be free to solicit your employees and customers or claim ownership or co-ownership in your intellectual property.
In over 30 years, I have received many calls from anxious clients regarding former employees. Do any of these statements sound familiar:
- “What can I do, my office manager just took a job with another company and he/she is calling on all of my best employees/customers to jump ship?”
- “What can I do, I assigned one of my employees to create a new marketing plan [product], he/she left and is claiming ownership.”
- “What can I do? I hired a company to do [blank] for me, and now they’re using that same concept for my competitors.”