Can you monitor your employees' e-mail?

In an age of mushrooming technology, the question above is voiced more and more often. Employers view e-mail surveillance as a way to ensure security, track performance, and control communications costs.

03/01/2000


In an age of mushrooming technology, the question above is voiced more and more often.

Employers view e-mail surveillance as a way to ensure security, track performance, and control communications costs.

Employees perceive monitoring as an invasion of privacy. This was the position Jim Hollander, a young member of the plant engineering department, took when called on the carpet by Engineering Supervisor Alan Gridley, for "excessive use and abuse of the company's e-mail system."

"You've got no right to look into my personal e-mail," Hollander protested.

"We've got every right," growled Gridley.

"We'll see about that." Hollander shouted as he stormed off.

When word of the incident got to Plant Engineer Fred Royce, he decided some action was necessary on his part to help clear up the situation.

Question: In Royce's shoes, how would you handle the dispute?

Royce's decision: "This is an issue we were going to have to deal with eventually," Royce told Gridley.

In response to Gridley's puzzled frown, he explained. "Hollander is probably at fault as accused. But I can't help feeling that the company should share some of the blame. A clearly defined and stated e-mail policy is long overdue. Were this in effect, this dispute would not have arisen. There's no better time than now to remedy this situation."

Royce arranged a management meeting next day to set and clarify the following policy issues: 1. E-mail use confined strictly to business. 2. Confidential and sensitive information should not be communicated via e-mail. 3. Employees should be informed that e-mail is subject to management scrutiny. 4. Offensive messages and/or language via e-mail are prohibited. 5. Violators of the above-stated policy will be subject to discipline.

The company's e-mail policy was posted on company-wide bulletin boards next day. It was also made clear to Hollander that continued abuse of the system would not be tolerated.





The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me