With the Internet being a tremendous part of everyone’s life today having an employee internet monitoring software to make sure your employees are not abusing the use of their computers. There are so many distractions like Face Book, MySpace, and Twitter to draw them away from their normal duties. Business owners are trying to figure out how to balance the needs of the employees and their business while not destroying morale along the way. There is also the issue of violating an individual’s privacy even though they may have the right to do so.
If you are going to implement an employee internet monitoring software it is very important to make sure you inform them through your employee handbook. This leaves no doubt what an employee can do or not do when using a company computer. There is even discussion today where some companies are requiring brand new employees to turnover their passwords to those social networks. I suspect that this will be tested in a courtroom somewhere very soon. Probably all the way to the Supreme Court. Regardless of whether you think it is reasonable or not it is extremely wise to make sure you check with a legal professional before implementing any monitoring system.
As far as what type of employee internet monitoring software to use it will depend a lot on what type of workplace you have, and how much information you want to capture. For instance, you could go all out and implement software that will capture every keystroke an employee makes on their computer. Of course, this not only pushes the limits of an employee’s privacy but will require someone to review a lot of information.
You may also elect an employee internet monitoring software that only monitors an employee’s email. Again, it is important that you spell out your policy and the intent of it within your employee handbook. I guess it all strikes a nerve for employees. Their one thought is that you are really violating their privacy. This is truly a morale killer. You must measure this against the productivity that you are currently getting. In my opinion unless you are really fighting a huge problem with employees surfing the internet and/or visiting sites that violate other policies like your sexual harassment you should give great consideration to this before moving forward.
If they are spending too much time on the Internet then this would be the time…
What might not be as intrusive as far as an employee internet monitoring software system goes would be keeping track of the time spent on the internet and not where an individual visits. In my opinion this is really the bottom line! If they are spending too much time on the Internet then this would be the time to discipline and eventually terminate them if it continues. Again, don’t forget to put your policy into your employee handbook.
One of the most important things you can do is to cover any employee internet monitoring software system right from the very start of an employee’s employment with you. The last thing you want to do is to secretly monitor people, unless of course you want to create an atmosphere of mistrust. You can say all you want about saying that only those employees that have something to hide should be concerned, but people in general want to know up front what is expected. Just be up front and inform them at their initial orientation and place it in your employee handbook.
Thank you and may God bless you!