Employee monitoring has been heightened due to the continuous technology advancements. Organizations have a resolute legal right to monitor the workplace activities and it seems that staff monitoring will never go away despite being a controversial practice. Employee monitoring can be an intrusive act and should be the last option of acquiring information, but it has become a necessity in most businesses and organizations. Before deciding to monitor a workplace, there should be a collective agreement among the organization stakeholders on the most appropriate approach to use for staff monitoring.
Before implementing the practice, it would be ethical for the managers to take the initiative to educate their workers on the monitoring system. An educational campaign can be conducted by a skilled private investigator to disseminate organizational policies to the staff. Organization policies mainly contain electronic policies that help organization mitigate technology misuse. The set of corporate policies should be written and be clear on the rights and responsibilities, as well as, on any right to privacy waived to any communication including messages and documents received, sent and saved over the companies’ systems or network.
Employee Monitoring Ethics
Entails striking a balance between employee’s expectations and the company security need. Doing this help reduce invasion of privacy claims. Comprehensive monitoring policies should:
- State the intention of monitoring
- Explain the advantages of monitoring activities to the company, employees and clients
- Clearly draw up forms of communication regarded as unacceptable, banned and illegal
- Outline websites considered unacceptable, banned and illegal, as well as, those that will be filtered and blocked
- Define the use of company network considered acceptable
- State that all internet downloads will be subjected to thorough virus checks
- State the necessity of keeping personal communication to a minimum and the boundaries of using company networks for those communications
- Specify the types of monitoring activities used
- Describe consequences of policy violation
Managers need to be aware that monitoring can cause potential pitfalls in the organization. Monitoring can create a morale problem and a hostile work environment in the workplace. It can affect the workers’ performance by constraining the work flow. Most employees view workplace monitoring as an invasion of privacy, thus hindering the freedom of autonomy and expression. Monitoring can also cause an increase of stress in the workplace. The employers should establish ethical grounds in the workplace by setting a tone that conveys respect for others and organizational responsibility.
Fissures can be avoided in the workplace if the organization guarantee workers that employee monitoring will be consistent. The staff can also be at ease if they understand that monitoring is undertaken in an equitable manner across all scenarios. To avoid pushback from employees, managers should guarantee the staff that the personal information obtained should be kept secure. The monitoring techniques should be automated to minimize the availability of extraneous information to anyone else other that the parties involved unless there is a well-founded suspicions of legal or corporate policy violations.