Did you know that almost 80% of big companies monitor employee emails, internet, and phones? Meanwhile, 94% have some form of surveillance to track employee activities.
While these aim to protect the business, some employees may feel discomfort from the lack of privacy. This issue can even lead to employee turnover.
As an employer, it’s important to keep confidential employee information from potential threats of being stolen for malicious purposes. Here is a guide about privacy in the workplace and how to securely meet the needs of your company and employees.
1. Develop Clear Privacy Policies
Set up privacy policies that are clear and thorough. Ensure that your company’s privacy policies are aligned with US data privacy laws. Explain what information is gathered, how it is used, and who can access it.
Clear privacy policies should be implemented in the employee handbook at the onset of employment. This should be reviewed regularly and updated with changes in technology.
2. Limit Data Collection and Retention
Employers should set up policies that restrict employers from gathering confidential personal information from their employees. Information like Social Security and bank account numbers shouldn’t be collected unless needed.
Employers should also have a policy that tells workers how to store and get rid of private information safely and how long they can keep it. A safe and secure method for collecting and storing data will lower the risk of a breach and protect employees’ privacy.
3. Educate Employees on Privacy
Employees should know what information can be shared and how to keep others confidential. Employees must learn how to use the implemented tools to keep data safe.
Check in with workers occasionally to ensure they understand and follow the organization’s privacy policies and have the support and tools they need to keep their data safe. It is also important that everyone knows what will happen if privacy rules are broken.
4. Implement Strong Data Security Measures
As part of a larger strategy to protect staff and customer privacy, it’s important to be careful about collecting and keeping employees’ personal information. Employers should have a team of experts who can:
- create data security policies
- protect employee data with encryption
- set up access controls
- conduct regular security audits
- train staff on cyber security and data protection best practices
- implement layered security (firewalls, antivirus software, and malware protection).
Setting up and using these measures will help protect employee data and companies from possible data security risks. Data protection is an investment that pays off in a lot of ways.
5. Respect Employee Communication
Employers should be clear on what communication is acceptable or unacceptable at work. For safety, all internet communication should be tracked. Only a few people should be able to see private information, and managers should encourage employees to talk to each other safely.
Employers should also give them lockers, desks, and privacy screens to protect workplace privacy. Physical barriers or privacy booths for private talks and a quiet place to take calls, such as cubicles and meeting pods, can also be installed.
Promote Privacy in the Workplace
Employee privacy is a critical element of the modern workplace. Employers should take strict but reasonable measures to ensure the privacy of their employees.
Establishing privacy policies and conducting employee training can help protect the sensitive personal and professional data of the employees. Emphasize the need for risk reduction and to create a culture of data protection and privacy in the workplace.
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