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Analysis of an Issue # 3


ESSAY QUESTION:
“Companies should be prohibited from monitoring e-mail correspondence of their employees, since this policy destroys the atmosphere of trust and undermines employee morale.”From your perspective, how accurate is the above statement? Support your position with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
YOUR RESPONSE:
According to the statement companies should be prohibited from monitoring e-mail correspondence of their employees, since this policy destroys the atmosphere of trust and undermines employee morale. This issue is a contentious one with a number of people arguing to prohibit monitoring and others adamant on monitoring all employee e-mails. But I would agree that monitoring e-mail correspondence is harmful to employee morale and hence should be prohibited.Firstly, the companies should look at employees as human beings and not just assets working for them for specific hours. Even when the employees are on the company premises, the life in the world around them goes on. For instance there might be friends sending urgent communications or family members trying to arrange a party seeking their opinions. In either case I would be in favor of allowing the employee to spend a few minutes to answer the e-mails which are really important to her, without the fear that all her opinions and words would be evaluated by the company.

Secondly, I know from personal experience that many of my e-mail correspondences have information which is of a personal nature. If the company I work for insists on going through all these e-mails, if I read or reply to them while at work, I would consider it to be a breach of privacy. If an employee feels that her privacy is being breached by her employers that does not augur well for the atmosphere of trust and mutual sharing that is supposed to be a hallmark of any good workplace. Several studies have shown that employees who feel trusted and cared for by their employers exhibit remarkably increased productivity.

And lastly, any company who monitors the e-mail correspondence of their employees, wants to do so in order to track leak of sensitive information or waste of time by the employees. But the act of monitoring would actually just postpone any such leak to out-of-company hours or lead to time wasting through other means, which are usually longer than a few minutes it is needed to read and send an email. In addition the company loses the trust of the employees and alienates them. Thus the monitoring of e-mail becomes counter-productive. the solution clearly is to trust the employees and remove the monitoring, sending them a clear message that their employer trusts them. If the employees trust their company they would be loyal and such leaks of information and non-productive time would be eliminated.

In conclusion, monitoring of e-mails correspondence of the employees by the company can be counter-productive as employees may feel on the edge that all their personal opinions are being evaluated, and their privacy is being infringed upon. Also this leads to an atmosphere of mistrust and disloyalty which could lead to decreased productivity for the company. Clearly, the better approach for a company is to trust their employees and foster an atmosphere of trust and loyalty in the company.

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