The latest survey by Personnel Today and KLegal shows that e-mail and the
internet are the biggest cause of disciplinary problems in the workplace.
Remarkably, office technology causes more problems than violence, health and
safety and dishonesty combined (News, page 1).
HR has to take this issue seriously because it can lead to costly
disciplinary hearings and even damage the company’s reputation. With that in
mind it is surprising that more than one in 10 employers have no policy on e-mail
or internet use. In those organisations, the HR team would be wise to get their
act together quickly.
But even companies that monitor the use of systems and have a policy in
place are finding it hard to control e-mail and internet abuse. So what is the
solution? Preventative measures such as firewalls and staff monitoring
obviously play a part.
However, policing staff is not enough on its own. Policies have to be
regularly communicated to staff together with the rationale behind them.
Managers need to be trained to nip problems in the bud rather than wait until
they become a disciplinary matter. Managers also need to understand the rules
of the Data Protection Act. All of these are HR issues and the profession must
waste no time in getting to grips with them.
Sharing recruitment best practice
Online recruitment is another example of how the internet is profoundly
changing HR and the workplace. So far, HR professionals and recruiters have struggled
to get to grips with the implications of e-recruitment.
Over the coming weeks and months Personnel Today will be covering
developments in depth and we welcome readers’ views about the issues thrown up
by online recruitment. It is in all our interests that the profession shares
best practice, so please tell us about your experiences.