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.





No comments
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.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

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.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me