All employers want to create a workplace where employees feel safe, valued, and trusted. We know that work satisfaction breeds life satisfaction, and generates more productivity and engagement among employees.
As leaders, we naturally question the ethicality of any system involving data and privacy, because we want to make sure our workforce feels protected and trusted. When it comes to employee monitoring, the practice can sound much more sinister than it actually is.
Ethical vs. Legal
First of all, ethicality is different than legality. Each state and country has different monitoring and privacy laws and regulations, which need to be observed. Talk with your legal team about considerations to keep in mind when it comes to instituting an information security policy.
Right vs. Responsibility
Organizations have a right to protect their data – and a right to use appropriate measures to do so. Beyond that, organizations have a responsibility to their employees, shareholders, and customers to keep that information secure. A secure system means employee information, customer records and data, and proprietary information are all safeguarded from threats. Additionally, this security protects an organization’s reputation and bottom line. To effectively provide a sufficient level of security, some level of employee monitoring is necessary in this digital day and age.
Employee Monitoring Best Practices
Monitoring employees should be done with clear parameters and accountability to maximize privacy. We suggest the following best practices for employee monitoring:
Transparency: Tell your employees they’re being monitored. Make it clear that what happens on corporate assets, including devices and networks, is subject to monitoring.
Keep it professional: Only monitor corporate data. Don’t monitor personal material such as social media or online banking access.
Minimize exposure: Don’t make data collected from monitoring widely available. Restrict that access to only those who need to review it.
Monitor broadly: Don’t single any person out. Monitor your whole employee base to make sure you cover all possible threats and avoid any discrimination or favoritism.
Use behavioral analytics: Behavioral analytics software takes human subjectivity out of the monitoring. It monitors and collects data and determines if there is a potential threat. If so, the technology alerts the security personnel that a review of information may be necessary. With this protocol, people are in contact with that data as little as possible, and only when it’s necessary for security reasons, which maximizes privacy.
Employee monitoring is an effective way to protect your organization’s important data, which is a huge benefit to your employees. By following these suggested best practices, your organization can experience greater information security, ethically.