Your employees, which are a critical resource, also can become a source of difficult problems if you're not careful. What they say and do online, how well they protect their passwords, and how they act with other employees can cause you trouble when you least expect it. So how do you handle these potential difficulties? If you haven't addressed these issues in your plan, check out this week's articles, which can help you develop or refine policies to prevent future problems.
Should employers monitor employees online?
Your business could be liable if employees misuse the Internet.
There is a vast difference between asking for employees to exercise good judgment and hovering over their Tweets like Big Brother.
Employees will never have good password hygiene if a company doesn't make it easier for them by providing better tools.
Here's how IT (working with HR) can help ensure the company's data doesn't walk out the front door.
If you don't deal the problem of difficult employees, it will only get worse.
As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at
Bob Mellinger, President
1. Three Tips for Legally and Ethically Monitoring Employees Online
Employers have a well-established legal right to track Web surfing, emailing and other activities by employees using company computers and mobile devices. There can be several reasons in favor of monitoring. First, it can help protect your company from theft or other harm. Monitoring can also help affirm compliance with regulations, secure evidence in case of lawsuits and ensure the workplace is free of harassment.
2. Tangled Up In the Web
With their speed, convenience and efficiency, the Internet and e-mail have become essential tools for most businesses. But inappropriate use of a company's Internet and e-mail systems can have serious implications and consequences. An employee who abuses these tools may place his position with the company in jeopardy. In addition, the employer may be forced to take legal responsibility for the misconduct of their employee. While a new world of information and business opportunities is available through the Internet, so too is an entirely new world of legal dangers.
3. Why Monitoring Employees' Social Media Is a Bad Idea
It can be embarrassing for a business if one of its representatives posts offensive content or does something illegal via social media. Employers can even get into legal trouble for their workers' actions. Advocates of the practice say that it's necessary to protect companies' reputations, confidential information, and is an inevitable byproduct of the Internet age, according to the Wall Street Journal. But does monitoring of employees' social media really protect a company or can it do more harm than good?
4. Bad Passwords Are Not the Employee's Fault
Every time another website is hacked, or another company suffers from a data breach, the same advice crops up in the media and in corporate blogs. Over and over again experts offer lists of all the things companies should do to protect themselves, especially when it comes to employees and their passwords. But if a company doesn't have a system for measuring compliance, it's inevitable that employees will fail to follow the standard password security advice.
5. Protecting Corporate Data...When an Employee Leaves
When someone leaves the company, the HR department is quick to grab the employee's laptop. But what about the data on other equipment? How can the organization know what's on her mobile devices? Does anyone know to which websites and cloud-based software the employee has access?
6. Dealing with Difficult Employees
All managers will have to deal with difficult employees during their careers. First, there will always be difficult employees. Second, it's your job as the manager to deal with them. Recognize that most employees can be "difficult" from time to time. This can be caused by stress on the job or away from it. Some employees are difficult more often than others. It is not always your least-productive employees who are difficult. So take a moment to evaluate each situation for the unique situation it is.
Quote of the Week:
"Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first."
-- Angela Ahrendts