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Jimmy Harrison wrote:
>I just wonder if a lot of these issues regarding employee use of
e-mail/the
internet, etc. can be solved by having supervisors simply ensure that
assignments and work are being performed!!  Is this so difficult?

Hear, hear! It seems that some of the monitoring tools being developed
are
designed to absolve managers of the responsibilities of..well...
managing!
Must be so we all can attend more meetings ;>)

Dick Montgomery wrote:
>I would like to go on record by saying provided the employee knows
that
he/she is under surveillance, the use of such tools at large companies
are
definitely indicated. The company can and will be held responsible for
anything the employee says or does.

Dick, I absolutely agree with you on this. Our own county e-mail
policy,
which I helped develop, allows monitoring by supervisors, and notifies
employees of this.  However, my suspicion is that the widespeard use of
the
monitoring tools cited could potentially cause as many problems as the
problems they were intended to solve or prevent.

You legitimately raise an issue about company responsibility for
employee
statements and actions. I think there is something telling in what is
actually being targeted in the examples cited in the article - the
words
"boss" and "union". I won't get into "union", but every boss should
expect
to be subject to occasional criticism from their employees. To
implement a
system such as this to target such communications strikes me as being
unnecessary and counter productive overkill. In fact, I can see a tool
like
this subject to great abuse by incompetent managers, with all the
resulting
headaches in lost productivity, lowered morale, increased overhead,
and
potential liability such abuse would entail. Tim also raises some
interesting points. I've had some experience with harassment issues -
much
hinges on management's response the instance harassment is alleged to
that
manager (side word of advice to anyone confronting this - don't sit on
it or
blow it off. React appropriately ASAP and make sure appropriate
followup is
done with all parties involved so there is some sort of closure). Would
the
existance of such such a monitoring system assume the manager knew or
should
have known?

It seems there are areas where such a tool (like any other information
tool)
would be justified, particularly as a quality control tool in areas
involving direct customer communications and service. I can even see
it
being used in a targeted fashion during an employee's probationary
period.
IMHO, use of the tool would have to follow strict guidelines, and be
performed by carefully trained and qualified individuals that are
familiar
with the operations being monitored. I see less circumstances where
the
blanket use of such a tool would be justified on an enterprise wide
basis,
and I think you'll agree with me that sneaking in after dark to install
such
a tool is probably not advisable.

Dwight Wallis, CRM

Multnomah County Records

2505 SE 11th Avenue

Portland, OR 97202

ph: (503)988-3741

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