You, as an employer, have the right to know what your employees are doing on the devices you’ve provided to them for official use during working hours. It’s not just productivity and company’s profit at stake, but also its repute. If indulged in inappropriate activities during working hours, employees can ruin the image of the organization. This is the main reason a large number of companies are using different monitoring solutions like Mobistealth for monitoring browsing history, emails, keystrokes, etc. But there are certain legal and ethical boundaries you must not cross while monitoring employees. Here are several tips to avoid legal and ethical issues related to employee monitoring so that your employees cannot point fingers at you or take you to the court for violating their fundamental rights.
1. Create Policies in a Document Form
If you want to avoid a lawsuit, then you must create employee monitoring policy in a document form instead of simply communicating it verbally. It is even better if you send the copy of the policy, or at least the most relevant excerpts, to all your employees so that they can read the rules and regulations regarding the installation and usage of monitoring software on official devices thoroughly. To make sure they’ve read and understood the policy document, have them sign it. Some of the things that you must consider while creating a policy are:
· It should be easy to understand
· It should be clear and precise
· It should neither be too strict nor too lenient
2. Involve Employees in the Policy Making Process
There may be a solid justification for using monitoring software at your workplace, but sharing that justification with the employees, and furthermore clearly defining the scope and rules of monitoring in a comprehensive employee monitoring policy is extremely important. So how do you develop such a policy? Simple, you get the stakeholders involved and keep everything transparent. Transparency is the key to successful implementation of such a policy. If you want your policy to really work and at the same time fulfill all the ethical and legal requirements, get the input of employees by involving them in the process, or at least taking their rights and legitimate interests into consideration. If you simply develop a policy that solely covers and protects business interests while having little to nothing about employees and their interests, then the policy is likely to fail. A good employee monitoring policy is a perfect balance between what an employer wants and what an employee agrees on. You must tell employees that the major purpose of taking their input while devising the policy is to avoid conflict and create rules that everyone agrees on. This single action of yours will increase the level of employees’ commitment and loyalty towards the organization, as they will feel that their company values their opinion.
3. Educate Employees About Company’s Policy
Creating a policy pertaining to employee monitoring is one thing, and getting it implemented is another. You must arrange a training or discussion session with your employees after preparing the policy to guide them on what they are expected to do. Discuss all the rules mentioned in the document, and also explain why these rules are developed in the first place in order to make them realize that the policies are not only important for the organization, but also for the employees. Do not forget to tell them that you trust them and that this policy has nothing to do with the trust as it’s created to make the management of business concerns and employees systematic and transparent. In addition, you must also share the consequences of not following the policy. Make sure the employees understand it well. Encourage them to ask questions if they are confused about anything, but it’s better if you explain the content of policy in detail.