Running a small tech company or a startup is not as easy as it seems. The more people that become involved with the company, the greater the difficulty in keeping everything running smoothly. Put simply, people create conflict and sometimes act in an inappropriate way on the company’s property.
In this article, we cover a few of the ways that employees can behave badly and what can be done about it.
Media-related Online Activities
While it’s possible that an employee may need to look at a YouTube or Vimeo video to learn about a topic or to review its content before considering adding it to a company blog post, not all media usage is measured equally.
An employee can waste time watching mindless videos when they’re bored. While it’s not always appropriate to block certain sites during specific times of day, be aware that enterprising employees often circumvent such blocks with the use of proxy servers or VPNs. Therefore, it’s necessary to review activity logs to determine where there has been inappropriate usage on company time.
Some employees may be so addicted to a particular game that they play it on the company PC through a link to their home computer. Many techies are avid gamers too! They could play a game on their smartphone either online or offline too. You just never know.
Smartphone use is difficult to control, especially within a tech company where their use is ubiquitous. However, excessive use of a smartphone is tell-tale sign that perhaps the employee is less focused on their work than they should be.
Deleting or Removing Company Information
Some employees can get malicious with company files by either deleting them or making a copy and taking them out of the building. They might put them on a public server for anyone to access or attempt to sell them to an aggressive competitor as payback for some perceived slight by the company.
Businesses must lock down their file access to only permit the appropriate people access to certain folders on the company’s hard drives. USB and storage access options must be strictly controlled. It’s possible to use hardware devices to plug into USB ports to stop their use, or software to prevent access in Windows 10.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Employee Misconduct?
Employee misconduct can be anything from digitally harassing coworkers to losing confidential data.
Unless the employee willingly admits fault and confirms what they’ve done, an employee misconduct investigation will be required. This is necessary to get a complete understanding of what’s been done on the company’s servers and any behavior that is unfitting too.
The purpose of an employee misconduct investigation is to work through the issue to determine where problems lie for the company, determine fault and decide how to proceed. An employee handbook should already spell out what conduct is unacceptable and the procedure that follows based on the findings of any investigation.
The company has to proceed using the employment policy as their guide. In situations where the conduct is found to be egregious, it may be necessary to part ways with the employee. Also, in some situations, either legal or criminal actions could result depending on what action(s) the employee has already taken.
While it might appear unseemly that an employee acts against a small tech company or makes the lives of other employees uncomfortable, it’s not that uncommon. It’s good to be prepared, so that employees cannot do too much damage to the business’s reputation or its ability to remain a going concern.