Survey Suggests that Employers are Addressing Employees’ Personal E-mail and Web Use

Posted by in Employee Management | Comments Off on Survey Suggests that Employers are Addressing Employees’ Personal E-mail and Web Use

As technology continues to leap forward, many employers continue to develop and apply personal e-mail and Internet use policies, as the data from the 2009 American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute survey would seem to suggest. According to the survey, 27% of businesses have implemented personal blog posting policies. Half, or 50%, of companies surveyed do not allow employees to send or receive personal e-mails at the workplace. Slightly more than 25% of businesses have terminated employees for violating company policies on Internet use.

Nancy Flynn, executive director of the institute, stated that only 2% of employers have fired employees because the content of personal social-networking pages were inappropriate or not permitted as stated in company policies. This may mean that employers and their social-networking policies are lagging behind the rapid expansion of social networking; or employees have become wary of what they put on their sites because they are aware of their companies’ longer-standing e-mail and Internet use policies. Flynn also said that there has been a sharp increase in the number of employees dismissed for their misuse of e-mail: 14% during 2001 to 26% for 2009. Considering how much e-mail technology has changed and its increased integration into workplace and private activities, this data should be no surprise.

Employers who have been the most proactive are working closely with their information technology (IT) staff or service and attorneys to formulate appropriate policies. Many of those employers have developed procedures to monitor employees’ e-mail and Internet use, including special software that finds foul or sexually explicit language.

Employers are also scheduling employee meetings to distribute and discuss addendums to employee handbooks that specifically address this issue. A smart strategy is to ask employees to sign a form that states they have read and understand e-mail and Internet use policies. This topic should also be a specific part of any new-employee orientation.

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.