HR must take the lead to stop e-mail abuse

first_imgHR must take the lead to stop e-mail abuseOn 29 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Research by an Internet security firm, Peapod, confirms the worst suspicionsof many employers about staff abuse of Internet systems. Data from an audit ofe-mails at 40 large companies shows that six out of 10 sent by employees arenot about company business. This finding suggests companies are spendingmillions paying for the private correspondence of staff, and on top of thatthere are big questions about employee productivity. The concern doesn’t end there, unfortunately. Despite widespread publicitysurrounding high-profile sackings of staff for sending pornographic material bye-mail, a significant percentage of staff are still doing this – and usingdubious means to avoid detection. There are also a worrying number of e-mailscontaining racially or sexually discriminatory material, and of messages thatdisclose confidential company business. If these findings are representative of employers as a whole, there areserious HR problems to address when it comes to e-mail. One of the causes isthat when organisations suspect they have a problem, they treat it as an ITissue and look for technological solutions without involving HR. This is a bigmistake as it is HR managers who have the knowledge about how employers couldbe breaching employment law. And it is often the HR specialist who is bestplaced to advise on the complex tangle of regulations surrounding data used onbusiness systems. Preventing e-mail abuse is not simply about the knee-jerk reaction ofmonitoring staff e-mails. In people management terms monitoring often amountsto locking the door after the horse has bolted. It is crucial HR plays a central part in combating e-mail abuse. HR shouldplay the leading part in drawing up an e-mail policy and ensuring this is communicatedeffectively to staff. HR should also lead in how to prevent abuse. By Noel O’Reilly Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img

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