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Management Monitoring Essay

As technology in the twenty first century reaches numerous unprecedented heights, managers have proportionately discovered the need to install monitoring and surveillance systems in their workspaces. From the perspective of the employees these devices can be construed as a form of privacy invasion or lack of trust. Managers and employees, on the average, generally have a different take on such devices. These devices provide them with many tools that enhance the performance and productivity of the entire organization.

Whatever stance you choose to take, it is important that both managers nd employees realize that such devices are becoming more readily available and used in the working environment. The use of these devices is so steadily on the rise that managers almost have to implement them to adapt to technological advances and to Monitoring and surveillance, in one form or the other, has been utilized by managers for quite some time. A classic example is the time clock, which monitors when employees arrive and leave for work. Tardiness and overtime efforts are recorded by this method.

Another example would be the bell on the some of the older cash registers that allow toreowners to know when they are open. A third example is mileage that many organizations utilize to regulate travel in company cars. These could all be considered controlling devices. But monitoring devices over the last decade have become much more advanced. Telephone Employees that-wear headsets are finding that those conversations are frequently being listened to as well. Phone logs are being used to traffic all outgoing calls.

Many companies also use what is called pen register that enables them to monitor outgoing phone calls from specific numbers within the workspace. More than nything, perhaps the most “Orwellian” of all, computers are consistently monitored by managers. Some of the programs, tactics, and methods of monitoring are simply amazing, some say simply horrifying. Software programs such as Disk Tracey, Spector, Little Brother, Internet WatchDog, Net Snitch, Win Guardian and Investigator 2. 0 are all designed for monitoring employees’ work habits, good and bad.

Internet WatchDog and Net Snitch watch and record every single move that one makes on an office computer. Spector takes periodic snapshots of an individual’s computer screen periodically, in intervals dictated by anagement. System administrators replay the photo sequence and identify every application loaded, every e- mail sent and every website visited. The application that provides the most “spying” capabilities is the Investigator 2. 0, which enables an employer to monitor every keystroke made by an employee. “In the U. S. 0 Xerox employees lost their jobs last year after a snooping program called Web sense, currently used by some 4,900 companies worldwide-detected their office surfing activities” (Sautter p. 26). These programs are rapidly developing and the more the Internet plays a key figure n the lives of many employees, the more the need for It seems that the majority of managers that make up the present workforce feel that the use of these devices is advantageous for them, and in some instances, the employees themselves. Recent trends and polls tend to show support towards that notion.

The bottom line is the fact that this equipment can assist managers and can produce a better working environment. One of the many ways that monitoring can assist organizations is that it simply identifies those who are actively engaged in such practices as sexual harassment and illegal Internet activity, i. e. ornography and gambling. Sexual harassment has become a major issue for managers today and by monitoring e-mails and computer activity, they can more effectively identify those who are offenders. “In 1995 Chevron Corp. paid $2. million to four female employees who asserted that they had been sexually harassed because of jokes sent through the company network. For abuses to end, snooping proponents argue, monitoring must take place. It cannot only prove guilt-it can prove innocence” (Faltermayer p. 159). Illegal online gamblers and those who visit pornography sites are individuals that no one needs at work anyways. Of course, other online activity is detrimental to the overall healthiness of a work environment as well. These are just two examples.

But, managers can use these devices to weed those individuals out and promote a much healthier environment for their employers by protecting them from such individuals. Monitoring also promotes discipline. Discipline is often extremely necessary to accomplish any mission. If an employee knows that they may be subject to monitoring, they should have enough self- discipline to focus on work related issues vice such activities as recreational use of the Internet. Discipline here is taken to be the willing acceptance of a social force that rationalizes organizational work to ensure normalized and controlled collective action (Sewell p. 0).

It may force employees to follow company policies and rules, nonetheless; they are being followed. Another aspect of monitoring that is often either overlooked or underestimated is that it can actually promote teamwork. Teamwork is essential for organizations to produce favorable results and to attain an overall positive working environment. When productivity within a team setting is monitored and the results from this monitoring s relayed to the employees from managers, employees can evaluate themselves as a team and can eventually incorporate ways for the overall production of the team to increase.

After all, we have all heard the old adage that you are as good as your slowest person. In many ways this holds true. For instance, if employee (A) is working slower and much less efficiently than employees (B) and (C), then (B) and (C) are either going to assist him or her to raise their level of performance or make recommendations to them on how to get better results. If the problem persists, employee (A) may eventually be erminated and replaced with someone who will perform more effectively. In either scenario, teamwork is being utilized and the benefits of it will assist the organization as a whole.

In this same manner, managers can institute these monitoring systems as a way to increase the performance of their workers and to produce more efficient, productive results from the employees at the same time This also could be considered as opening the lines of communication for the employees. Something else evolves from the whole monitoring concept. The lack of intervention from management can be directly related to these devices. Although it is important to have considerable contact with your subordinates, in effect, these computers are enacting as managers.

They relay the information to upper management and the information assists them in evaluating the overall wellness of their company or business. Managers can easily utilize the information attained during monitoring and surveillance to assist them with performance evaluations. Computer information is generally extremely accurate and what better way to evaluate someone’s work proficiency than by utilizing this compiled information. Many managers are doing it uite frequently. In essence, this monitoring system can promote fairness too.

Hard workers who have consistent results that exceed those of others are rewarded when monitoring reveals that their output is better than others. If managers were rewarding such individuals, one would believe that others would strive to reach these objectives as well. Again, this is a plus to the whole organization. Aside from the management/employee issues, companies are using monitoring techniques to ensure customer service for two reasons in particular: to make sure customers are satisfied and to make sure their mployees are treating the customers adequately.

It also provides them legal protection from outsiders who may make false claims of negligence against company employees. Corporate assets that are spent on entertainment can be decreased dramatically thus saving the company money. So many companies have reported significant monetary losses due to extended periods of time that their employees spend on the Internet. “It all boils down to one thing. The time the company pays the employee for belongs not to the employee but the company, as does company equipment. The firm has the right to monitor the usage of both” (Menezes p. 2).

Obviously, by having this surveillance equipment, much money can be saved and used for other purposes. In many retail stores, video cameras are set up not only to protect from customer theft but also to protect against theft-from its’ employees. Once again, the long term effects of using security cameras proves to be cost efficient and provides security and safeness for customers and employees. Managers recognize the benefits of using monitoring equipment and unless law dictates otherwise, A study conducted by the American Management Association (1999) shows that electronic surveillance is teadily the rise. Forty five percent of the U.

S. firms that were polled say that say that they monitor staff communications and computer activity. This represents a steep rise, only two years earlier, thirty five percent of the same firms used monitoring. Most monitoring was strictly done for the purpose of spot checks and focused on specific job categories. Additionally, twenty seven percent of those questioned say that they monitor e-mail activity, both internal and external. More than one hundred of the Fortune 500 companies are believed to be using some type of surveillance as well, leading one to elieve that if some of the better companies in the U. S. are using them, they must be effective. Forecasts reveal that by the year 2001, eighty percent of these same companies will be utilizing monitoring as well.

About twelve percent of the companies said they do not notify their employees of the monitoring activities. Lastly, the American Management Association (A. M. A. ) survey shows that twenty eight percent of the companies that participated in the poll said that they have dismissed workers due to violations detected by the monitoring. The results from the studies conducted by the A. M. A. rtainly show that every move you make at work might just be watched by “big brother”. Not everyone is an advocate of using monitoring systems at work. In fact some, managers and employees, are completely against them. Nay Sayers argue that it promotes a negative sense of trust between employees and employers. Some feel that the employers have too much control over them and that they are an invasion of privacy. They general feeling amongst these people is that a sense of dissension is created when utilizing such practices. Research also reveals that stress is more predominant in enviroments that use these systems, vice

Some feel that because of these reasons, the use of monitoring equipment produces negative results at work. Still, others just want to be alerted of such procedures and feel that as long as companies have set procedures in writing, they are alright with it. Some lobbyists are campaigning for the elimination of monitoring altogether. Regardless, the majority of management personnel and business owners feel that the current laws are set up to support them and that there policies have precedence over the made to some how even the tables. There are certain restrictions to what management and employers can and cannot do.

Federal law does allow unannounced monitoring for business-related calls, however; certain state laws require that the phone parties be informed that the conversation is recorded. If you wear a headset at your work, you should use the same care as talking to a customer on the phone because you can be monitored. Employers, in most instances, have free access to all or any kind of computer usage since they usually own the computer network and terminals. However, union contracts usually contain clauses that may limit the employer’s right to monitor. In these cases, the company must inform the employers in writing, via emos, employee handbooks, or contracts, of the company’s policy towards surveillance and monitoring” (www. privacyrights. org p. 3). If that is not done, they may be held liable for damages under the Fourth Amendment, which safeguards against unreasonable search and seizure. The employer must honor that policy. Recent legislation introduced in Congress would prevent employer’s from “snooping” and spying” secretively, without affording the employee proper notification.

This act, “The Notice of Electronic Monitoring Act requires “clear and conspicuous notice” to all employees if any form of surveillance is to be used. Management ould be required to provide, initial, annual, and “as required” notices to all employers. It would require the type of monitoring to be stated as well as the frequency of monitoring. This would also allow employees to sue if such procedures were taking place without prior Bibliography: computers are consistently monitored by managers. Some of the programs, tactics, and methods of monitoring are simply amazing, some say simply horrifying.

Software programs such as Disk Tracey, Spector, Little Brother, Internet WatchDog, Net Snitch, Win Guardian and Investigator 2. 0 are all designed for monitoring employees’ work habits, good and bad. Internet WatchDog and Net Snitch watch and record every single move that one makes on an office computer. Spector takes periodic snapshots of an individual’s computer screen periodically, in intervals dictated by management. System administrators replay the photo sequence and identify every application loaded, every e- mail sent and every website visited.

The application that provides the most “spying” capabilities is the Investigator 2. 0, which enables an employer to monitor every keystroke made by an employee. “In the U. S. 40 Xerox employees lost their jobs last year after a snooping program called Web sense, currently used by some ,900 companies worldwide-detected their office surfing activities” (Sautter p. 26). These programs are rapidly developing and the more the Internet plays a key figure in the lives of many employees, the more the need for managers to use them.

It seems that the majority of managers that make up the present workforce feel that the use of these devices is advantageous for them, and in some instances, the employees themselves. Recent trends and polls tend to show support towards that notion. The bottom line is the fact that this equipment can assist managers and can produce a better working environment. One of the many ways that monitoring can assist organizations is that it simply identifies those who are actively engaged in such practices as sexual harassment and illegal Internet activity, i. e. pornography and gambling.

Sexual harassment has become a major issue for managers today and by monitoring e-mails and computer activity, they can more effectively identify those who are offenders. “In 1995 Chevron Corp. paid $2. 2 million to four female employees who asserted that they had been sexually harassed because of jokes sent through the company network. For abuses to end, snooping proponents argue, monitoring must take place. It cannot only prove guilt-it can prove innocence” (Faltermayer p. 159). Illegal online gamblers and those who visit pornography sites are individuals that no one needs at work anyways.

Of course, other online activity is detrimental to the overall healthiness of a work environment as well. These are just two examples. But, managers can use these devices to weed those individuals out and promote a much healthier environment for their employers by protecting them from such individuals. Monitoring also promotes discipline. Discipline is often extremely necessary to accomplish any mission. If an employee knows that they may be subject to monitoring, they should have enough self- discipline to focus on work related issues vice such activities as recreational use of the Internet. Discipline here is taken to be the willing acceptance of a social force that rationalizes organizational work to ensure normalized and controlled collective action (Sewell p. 10). It may force employees to follow company policies and rules, nonetheless; they are being followed. Another aspect of monitoring that is often either overlooked or underestimated is that it can actually promote teamwork. Teamwork is essential for organizations to produce favorable results and to attain an overall positive working environment.

When productivity within a team setting is monitored and the results from this monitoring is relayed to the employees from managers, employees can evaluate themselves as a team and can eventually incorporate ways for the overall production of the team to increase. After all, we have all heard the old adage that you are as good as your slowest person. In many ways this holds true. For instance, if employee (A) is working slower and much less efficiently than employees (B) and C), then (B) and (C) are either going to assist him or her to raise their level of performance or make recommendations to them on how to get better results.

If the problem persists, employee (A) may eventually be terminated and replaced with someone who will perform more effectively. In either scenario, teamwork is being utilized and the benefits of it will assist the organization as a whole. In this same manner, managers can institute these monitoring systems as a way to increase the performance of their workers and to produce more efficient, productive results from the employees at he same time This also could be considered as opening the lines of communication for the employees.

Something else evolves from the whole monitoring concept. The lack of intervention from management can be directly related to these devices. Although it is important to have considerable contact with your subordinates, in effect, these computers are enacting as managers. They relay the information to upper management and the information assists them in evaluating the overall wellness of their company or business. Managers can easily utilize the information attained during monitoring and surveillance to assist them with erformance evaluations.

Computer information is generally extremely accurate and what better way to evaluate someone’s work proficiency than by utilizing this compiled information. Many managers are doing it quite frequently. In essence, this monitoring system can promote fairness too. Hard workers who have consistent results that exceed those of others are rewarded when monitoring reveals that their output is better than others. If managers were rewarding such individuals, one would believe that others would strive to reach these objectives as well. Again, this is a plus to the whole rganization.

Aside from the management/employee issues, companies are using monitoring techniques to ensure customer service for two reasons in particular: to make sure customers are satisfied and to make sure their employees are treating the customers adequately. It also provides them legal protection from outsiders who may make false claims of negligence against company employees. Corporate assets that are spent on entertainment can be decreased dramatically thus saving the company money.

So many companies have reported significant monetary losses due to extended periods of ime that their employees spend on the Internet. It all boils down to one thing. The time the company pays the employee for belongs not to the employee but the company, as does company equipment. The firm has the right to monitor the usage of both” (Menezes p. 12). Obviously, by having this surveillance equipment, much money can be saved and used for other purposes. In many retail stores, video cameras are set up not only to protect from customer theft but also to protect against theft-from its’ employees. Once again, the long term effects of using security cameras proves to be cost efficient and rovides security and safeness for customers and employees.

Managers recognize the benefits of using monitoring equipment and unless law dictates otherwise, they will continue to do so. A study conducted by the American Management Association (1999) shows that electronic surveillance is steadily the rise. Forty five percent of the U. S. firms that were polled say that say that they monitor staff communications and computer activity. This represents a steep rise, only two years earlier, thirty five percent of the same firms used monitoring. Most monitoring was strictly done for the purpose of spot checks and focused n specific job categories.

Additionally, twenty seven percent of those questioned say that they monitor e-mail activity, both internal and external. More than one hundred of the Fortune 500 companies are believed to be using some type of surveillance as well, leading one to believe that if some of the better companies in the U. S. are using them, they must be effective. Forecasts reveal that by the year 2001, eighty percent of these same companies will be utilizing monitoring as well. About twelve percent of the companies said they do not notify their employees of the monitoring activities. Lastly, the American Management Association (A. M. A. survey shows that twenty eight percent of the companies that participated in the poll said that they have dismissed workers due to violations detected by the monitoring. The results from the studies conducted by the A. M. A. certainly show that every move you make at work might just be watched by “big brother”. Not everyone is an advocate of using monitoring systems at work. In fact some, managers and employees, are completely against them. Nay Sayers argue that it promotes a negative sense of trust between employees and employers. Some feel that the employers have too much control over them and that they are an invasion of privacy.

They general feeling amongst these people is that a sense of dissension is created when utilizing such practices. Research also reveals that stress is more predominant in enviroments that use these systems, vice those that do not use them. Some feel that because of these reasons, the use of monitoring equipment produces negative results at work. Still, others just want to be alerted of such procedures and feel that as long as companies have set procedures in writing, they are alright with it. Some lobbyists are campaigning for the elimination of monitoring altogether.

Regardless, the majority of management personnel and business owners feel that the current laws are set up to support them and that there policies have precedence over the made to some how even the tables. There are certain restrictions to what management and employers can and cannot do. Federal law does allow unannounced monitoring for business-related calls, however; certain state laws require that the phone parties be informed that the conversation is recorded. If you wear a headset at your work, you should use the ame care as talking to a customer on the phone because you can be monitored.

Employers, in most instances, have free access to all or any kind of computer usage since they usually own the computer network and terminals. However, union contracts usually contain clauses that may limit the employer’s right to monitor. “In these cases, the company must inform the employers in writing, via memos, employee handbooks, or contracts, of the company’s policy towards surveillance and monitoring” (www. privacyrights. org p. 3). If that is not done, they may be held liable for damages under the Fourth Amendment, which safeguards against unreasonable search and seizure.

The employer must honor that policy. Recent legislation introduced in Congress would prevent employer’s from “snooping” and spying” secretively, without affording the employee proper notification. This act, “The Notice of Electronic Monitoring Act requires “clear and conspicuous notice” to all employees if any form of surveillance is to be used. Management would be required to provide, initial, annual, and “as required” notices to all employers. It would require the type of monitoring to be stated as well as the frequency of monitoring.

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