Email Monitoring?

Should Corporates Monitor Email?

Company management should conduct routine monitoring of all employee e-mail correspondence. Such monitoring will reduce the waste of resources such as time and system capacity, as well as protect the company from lawsuits. .
Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.

The policy suggests that Company Management should conduct routine monitoring of all employee e-mail correspondence to reduce the waste of resources such as time and system capacity and also protecting the company from lawsuits. I partially disagree with this policy and feel that implementing such a policy may do more harm than good to the company. The concerns that this policy aims to solve can be solved in alternative ways, which are almost equally effective and will not create a sense of distrust amongst the employees.

One of the major problems associated with this policy is that it will curb the free flow of thought amongst the employees in the company, the employees may get a feeling that someone is always watching them and they may not raise genuine queries, concerns that they have, fearing that this may hamper their growth within the company. For example: If a person X has attended a knowledge transfer session from another group of people in the company, and he/she has some follow up questions regarding the same. They may be hesitant to reach out to the people who conducted the session, as they may feel that the company management feels that these questions are redundant and feel that this person is actually asking extremely fundamental questions which are requisite to be known. This in turn affects his/her complete understanding of the topic and may hamper his/her ability to deliver the desired outcomes. Another major problem associated with this policy is that it will create an environment of distrust amongst the employees of the company. If they have a feeling that somebody’s always monitoring the emails being sent out, it may lead them to think that the company doesn’t trust the employee to do the right thing. That the company views all employees as vicious people aiming to work in malevolent manners to create harm for the company. Though it may be true that there may be certain people who would have such malicious intents, distrusting the entire employee population to do such things will do more harm than good. Employees would stop raising genuine queries as pointed out earlier, further employees would not freely communicate and this may lead to a state of chaos where people refrain from saying things that they genuinely feel about the company policies, fearing that the management may read the same and possibly take dire actions against the people in question. This hampers genuine employee feedback which is vital for a company to grow. It is said that Seek Feedback, it is a gift, creating an environment which leads to loss of anonymity of feedback will just entirely hamper the feedback received, leading the company to be completely misguided about the employee morale.

The policy is being implemented to ensure that there is a judicious use of system and time resources that are at the company’s disposal and to protect the company from lawsuits. It also says that the monitoring will be done by the company management. The company management is not necessarily involved at the granular level contextual details of the problems that the teams are working to solve, what the management may deem as unnecessary based on their facile understanding may actually be essential to the functioning of the team. So for the effective implementation of this policy it is important that the people monitoring the email correspondence are cognisant of what is important and unimportant to the effective functioning of the team.

The problems that the policy attempts to address can be taken up in alternative ways without hampering the employee morale and the creating a sense of distrust in the company’s ecosystem. To ensure that the company’s resources such as system capacity and time are not wasted. The company’s mail servers can specify a threshold size of an email in bytes, which the senders cannot exceed. This would ensure that people would communicate freely and also bridle them from abusing the resources at their disposal. To protect the company from lawsuits, the company can monitor all the email correspondence that goes out of the company’s mail network. This would ensure that no confidential company data is compromised, and in case of compromise it will enable the company to identify the miscreant. As can be seen above, there are lot of repercussions that come with implementing this policy and the problems that the policy aims to solve can be achieved via other methods. So it is best to keep the best interests of the employee in mind.

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