There are two areas employers must be aware of with regard to employees: how to keep them safe and how to prevent disruptions caused - accidentally or on purpose - by employees. Some experts cite statistics that show that 80% of business disruptions are caused by employees - perhaps maliciously by mailing a customer list to a competitor, but also carelessly by leaving confidential information where it can be seen by anyone. This week's articles can help you with training so employees know how their actions impact the organization, as well as what you can do to ensure their safety.
While most businesses have continuity plans in place, many don't address a company's most precious assets: its employees.
It is very common for managers to be concerned about how they will be able to effectively manage offsite employees.
A number of concerns motivate employers to monitor employees surfing the Web at work.
You can lower the risk of litigation with a commitment to strategic e-mail management, combining written policies, employee education and technology tools.
Even though employers have a policy against sexual harassment, they still can be held vicariously liable in cases where a supervisor uses sexual content to discriminate against an employee.
There are pros and cons about the electronic surveillance of employees at work.
As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity.
If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at
Bob Mellinger, President
1. The personal side of business continuity
While it is important to build resiliency into your business operations, it's equally important to build it into your human capital. One way to help achieve human capital resiliency is to fully address the people-related components of business continuity planning. We have outlined some of the issues and risks related to human capital resiliency that could arise in any crisis.
2. Telecommuting Concerns for Employers
One of the most common concerns about telecommuting is security. Telework by definition requires that information leaves the work site, and that may put it at greater risk. A properly trained employee with an appropriate setup should be able to handle all sensitive information securely.
3. What Employers Are Doing About Employees Surfing the Web at Work
Concern over litigation and the role electronic evidence plays in lawsuits and regulatory investigations has spurred more employers to monitor online activity. No matter how you feel about it, employers that don't monitor will become fewer and fewer, not to nail employees, but because monitoring increasingly makes business sense.
4. Managing Employee Email Getting Trickier, More Litigation-Prone But Necessary
Many companies are starting to come to grips with the need to monitor employee email activity. More importantly, there is a growing trend to discharge employees who abuse their email and other online activities. Unfortunately, there is a surge in litigation associated with this trend.
5. Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
The Supreme Court on June 26,1998, made employers more liable for incidents of sexual harassment, basically stating that the employer is responsible for the actions of the supervisor, even when the employer is unaware of the supervisor's behavior. An employer can no longer claim that they did not know about the sexual harassment because the employee did not inform them, nor can they claim that they were unaware of the supervisor's behavior.
6. Pros of Electronic Surveillance of Employees
Powerful reasons exist to monitor employee online behavior at work. These reasons are compelling for many employers and understandable as I observe organizations. In my own experience with electronic surveillance of employees, I walked an employee, who had been watching pornographic movies at work, from his cubicle to his car, just thirty minutes after discovering how he had been spending his time at work.
Quote of the Week:
"While employees are considered a company's greatest asset, they can also be its biggest threat."
-- Joyce Repsher, EDS