Further thoughts

Some more random thoughts on workplace monitoring:

– Your relationship with your employees shouldn’t be antagonistic. They aren’t “out to get you”. They should have a vested interest in helping the company succeed, after all the company pays their salary too. At the same time understand that what is bad for the company is bad for you as an employee of the company.

– Most companies use strict monitoring policies to cover for the mistakes made in hiring decisions. The people who make hiring decisions are too lazy to find the right person to employ and settle for whatever they can find easily. I see it in IT all the time and I assume it’s true elsewhere. People are hired to do a job that they do not have the skills to do, and the hiring manager never took the time to find that out, because this person came recommended from a friend of a friend and took no effort to find. When was the last time a really bad employee was let go and the person who decided to hire them in the first place was held responsible for that decision? I’m willing to bet you’ve never seen it. I know I haven’t.

– Whoever came up with the ridiculous notion that time spent surfing is time not spent working should be shot. Talk about jumping to a conclusion. How about time spent reading an email from my wife is time not spent on the phone with her? Or how about time spent looking at a news site is time not spent chatting with the person in the next office. What’s the difference between writing a blog post and spending 30 minutes rehashing last night’s game with my buddy on the phone? Writing an email to my wife or having your kids call in 3 times a day? Why is one considered inappropriate and the other ignored?

– Your employees are a security threat because they are easy to manipulate. (Ask Mitnick about that!) They are easy to manipulate because they have no idea what security means. Take the veil off the “security” measures and explain to them what their role is, and why it’s important. Talk with them about what measures are being used and more importantly, why.

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