Discuss monitoring and testing within the workplace
Employers want to be sure their employees are doing their job, and doing this properly without looking aside, but employees don't want their every step to be watched. That's the essential conflict of workplace monitoring.
New technologies make it possible for employers to monitor many aspects of their employees' jobs, especially on telephones, computer terminals, through electronic and voice mail, and when employees are using the Internet. Such monitoring is virtually unregulated.
Electronic Monitoring. Visual surveillance devices, such as closed circuit television systems, are often considered the most commonly used in the workplace. Telephone surveillance, in the form of call management systems and service observation, is being used to monitor employee telephone activity and to collect performance data. Computer-based monitoring uses specifically designed software to collect performance data for employees working on computers from the time they log on, to the time they log off.
Examples of the use of video cameras are increasingly common. More and more people are becoming accustomed to the watchful eye of the camera in the bank, in the variety store, or in the department store.
Our country, unfortenately, is not so developed in the sphere of electronic monitoring, but there are some places where the video cameras are in use. For example, almost all banks and their cash dispensers are appointed with cameras, some successful organizations equip their entrance door with cameras not just for security but also to monitor the time when their employees come to work and go home.
Central to the issues of workplace privacy for employees are feelings related to dignity, trust, respect, autonomy and individuality. The ensuing negative impact of invasions of privacy on work quality and productivity, is hidden human and real costs not often calculated by employers. Monitoring is one of a growing list of surveillance techniques used in the workplace. Like drug testing, background data checks, handwriting analysis and "integrity tests," it is seen by management as a means of ensuring employee honesty and productivity.
I think it is very useful way of electronic monitoring but employers should not forget that no one wants to be as laboratory animal or feel like in a cage.
Employee Testing. The second category of workplace privacy testing used by employers to enhance their knowledge of their employees; in this category are included drug, genetic, lie detector and psychological testing. The dominant privacy concerns about these practices are rooted in loss of personal autonomy, lack of consent, invasion of privacy of person, and invasion of informational privacy.
Drug testing can detect the use of alcohol as well as illicit drugs; testing may be mandatory or voluntary, random or universal. As with drug testing, the term "genetic testing" refers generally to a number of techniques used to examine the genetic make-up of an individual and to determine the existence of inherited genetic traits or environmentally induced genetic changes.
In Ontario, the mandatory use of lie detector tests is prohibited under the Employment Standards Act. Unlike lie detector tests, the use of psychological tests is not prohibited and is becoming increasingly popular. These tests usually include a range of instruments: general intelligence tests, aptitude tests, performance tests, vocational interest tests, personality tests and honesty tests. The validity of these tests has been questioned due to possible built-in cultural and gender biases.
So, there is a strong link between many of the privacy concerns discussed ... in the paper, and the potential counter-productive results of monitoring/testing. The loss of personal autonomy, the lack of consent to intrusive measures and the invasion of privacy, can all lead to job stress, poor morale, lower job satisfaction and possible employee resistance, all of which .