How to stop staff accessing certain websites.
| 6:09 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I have a small problem and wonder if anyone can shed any light. I have one member of staff who is constantly messing about on various websites and not doing his job properly, what I want to do is fix his PC so he can only access sites that need to be accessed, is this possible?
Maybe I can tinker with his browser in some way?
| 6:17 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Wrong approach, IMHO - why not approach the employee and explain your concerns like an actual manager - draw up a schedule that precludes them having any time to waste on things you claim are interfering with their job duties.
| 6:22 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
If only it were that easy, he is the only member of staff we have to do the job, and he kind of knows it to.
We've been down this road allready and because he works unsupervised, its been very difficult to implement.
We dont want to loose him, but I'm sorry to say I cant control him either.
Other factors regarding his employment make it virtually impossible to get rid of him, and he knows this to.
| 6:27 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Well - then you need to setup something at the proxy level - have your admin create filters just for his machine.
...and cross-train someone to do all his work.
| 6:33 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Thank you for the reply.
Can this be done so that he still has internet access, he needs to use certain sites to be able to do his job?
|...and cross-train someone to do all his work. |
rest assured this has been discussed in detail today.
| 6:34 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Obviously this member of staff you mention is lacking motivation and/or interest in his job. This can come about because of a myriad of different reasons.
Don't take the passive/aggressive approach to tinkering with his browser while he is gone. He'll come to work the next day, figure out that you did soemthing behind his back to keep him from surfing the web, and come away thinking that you don't have the balls to confront him. He WILL lose respect for you.
I think you need to sit him down and find out what's causing his lack of motivation or interest. Find out if there's anything he needs from you, if he feels appreciated, and if his ideas and opinions around the work environment count for something. etc.
| 6:36 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Work towards getting rid of him/her.
Their an adult so therefore know the diffrence between right and wrong. how many times do you have to say no?
Train someone up to do their work and get shot of him.
Banning his sites should only be a temp stop gap
| 6:41 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|Can this be done so that he still has internet access |
Yes - any IT person worth mentioning can set this up in a few minutes.
The problem here will be explaining to that one employee why he is blocked - so you should be thinking about blocking everyone instead.
| 7:01 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Thank you for the replies.
|Obviously this member of staff you mention is lacking motivation and/or interest in his job. This can come about because of a myriad of different reasons. |
The chap in question has quite a few personal problems at present which I am aware of, he has been told not to bring his personal stuff to work, but you can quite clearly see its constantly on his mind.
|Don't take the passive/aggressive approach to tinkering with his browser while he is gone. He'll come to work the next day, figure out that you did soemthing behind his back to keep him from surfing the web, and come away thinking that you don't have the balls to confront him. He WILL lose respect for you. |
I can get round this by telling him that the order has come from a place above me, he will not dare to question this.
|Work towards getting rid of him/her. |
Its not that simple, I'll give you a bit of background. The chap in question has had a nasty accident and can now no longer walk without the aid of crutches. The building we are in is not wheel chair friendly etc, we are a family run business and realise he also has a family to support, we do have some compassion.
|Banning his sites should only be a temp stop gap |
This is what I'm aiming for, just a chance to help him re-focus back into work mode.
| 7:23 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
>>we are a family run business and realise he also has a family to support, we do have some compassion
That's what I thought with one of our employees. It got so bad that he'd fall asleep at work and sometimes get several hours worth of nap before someone found him and woke him up. When we did ask him to leave he took us to a tribunal.
Put in place the written warnings etc so that if you do have to sack him at some point you won't end up paying him compensation for it.
| 8:10 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
If the individual is not a salaried employee, is it possible to separate his online time from his work schedule?
One company I am aware of has changed its employee policy towards just this problem. Simply put, non-work-related online time is now deducted from their salary.
I can say that, because I am NOT at work when posting here.
A clear job description is essential.
I can understand your compassion. If you do not provide psychological counseling, set something up for him...if he is valuable enough to keep on board. Otherwise, time to put a 'compassionate' separation package together that will protect you from any liabilities his current physical limitations may present.
| 8:23 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|- constantly messing about on various websites |
- not doing his job properly
The problem here is the former, not the latter. You need to find out why the person is not doing his job properly - fix the problem, not the symptoms. If you succeeded in blocking access to the websites, he could just as easily sit looking out of the window all day twiddling his thumbs.
He could just be bored, but from your description of the situation, he sounds in need of help and may be verging on being unfit for work duties. I think it is to your credit that you are willing to help and support your employees within your family firm, and assuming there is mutual confidence, an open and frank discussion with the employee will help. You need to help with his situation by involving him in improving his physical work environment by rendering it more accessable and adapted to his needs, and if you have a company health scheme, he may well be able to get counselling which would help him deal with the mental trauma that a serious accident can cause.
If he is a loyal employee in a difficult situation, being loyal and supportive to him is not just honorable but often worthwhile in the long-term: not just for him, but also for the rest of the workforce who can see that you are not the kind of employer who fires people suffering from problems.
| 8:42 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I wont quote you all individually this time, but I would like to say thank you for your input. You have all raised various issues that I haven't really sat down and taken the time to think about.
We'll speak to him later this week and put the cards on the table, if he needs time away from work to come to terms with his problems then so be it.
We’ll also be doing a review of his job description, as to clarify what he is and isn’t supposed to be doing during working hours.
| 8:47 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
"Our pleasure" :)
| 10:19 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)|
This guy sounds like a real slacker and seems like he know that he can get over.
I'm not sure if this is possible with a current employee, but I would talk to a lawyer and see if you can (first get rid of him, legally without owing any dues), if not, then try to see if you can make him a consultant oppose to a company employee. This way as a consultant you both will negoitate a contract and any breach of contract is terms for termination and/or dismissal.
As a consultant you don't have to worry about giving him benefits (vacation, sick days, etc.), insurance, unemployment, etc. It's likely that you will pay him more, but it doesn't have to be much more, depends on how well you negotiate the contract. The upside is even if you pay him a little more, you will still be saving much more money by not being responsible for him as an employee. He will not get paid for sitting hours on the clock only actual worked hours, which a timesheet is signed off by you or someone in the field, or a client at the site, however your setup is. As a consultant you have everything in writing and do a three-month trial period before extending the contract the full term. If you go this route then all you need to do is follow the guidelines of the contract and you and your company will be safeguarded from owing him anything or paying him any compensation. If you breach the contract, then you can be screwed, but that's why you have a lawyer prepare a iron-clad contract.
Denying internet access is so '90's! It just doesn't have the same effect these days. And if he's anything like me, he'll find a way around it! Plus, you don't want to go the girly-man route (no offense)! It's not a very manly, professional, or managerial way of doing things. Behind your back...in the workforce...doesn't sit well with most. The last thing you want on your hands is a disgruntle employee, it seems he is only a step away from that. Deny him internet and that probably send him over the top! Run for you lives!
| 12:14 am on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|This guy sounds like a real slacker and seems like he know that he can get over. |
azzbacwordz, if you want to play the Gordon Gecko, why stop with the lawyers? Why not send the boys round and break his other leg whilst you're about it?
|Denying internet access is so '90's! |
And behaving like a complete scumbag towards your employees is so '80s. I'm glad I don't work for your company. If you consider that it is acceptable behaviour to treat valued employees with severe personal difficulties to an attack of the lawyers and a dismissal with extreme prejudice, you will get the employees - and the success - you deserve. It's not "manly" (whatever that means) to abuse and chuck on the scrap heap people with temporary difficulties who don't meet your performance criteria: it is both cowardly and extremely offensive.
| 1:46 am on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|I'm glad I don't work for your company. If you consider that it is acceptable behaviour to treat valued employees with severe personal difficulties to an attack of the lawyers and a dismissal with extreme prejudice |
You should be glad you don't work for my company, because I could see now that you wouldn't last. I don't tolerate slackers. I rarely every hire employees anyway, my business is small enough to rely on consultants, so I'm lucky. What makes this guy a valued employee, he can do a job know one else does...I'm certain someone else will be able to fill it. A valued employee should not be getting over on his employer because he know he can do it, that is not validation. I never said send lawyers his way to clean him out or to attack him, but whatever business decision he makes he need to know the law and have the law on his side. He don't want to be stuck paying compensation to a disgruntle employee, especially since he doesn't deserve it. Everyone has problems and I'm compassionate to problems, but in the workforce if you have a problem which is too big to deal with work then you take the time off that you need to recoup, you do not bring your problems to work and let it affect you work so greatly that your boss has to post in WW. I'm sympathetic but I am not a mat that you walk over and wipe your feet on. If his problem was that huge, like death in the family, sickly relative, then he should take the time off to tend to his needs. His problem is probably moreso like he lost his girlfriend...boo-hoo! He has a job to do and he must do it. You come to work to work not surf the web and play on your employers. A line must be drawn, and examples must be made. Regardless of what, I do not tolerate slacking, like I said I'm compassionate, but obviously compassion is not the correct action here. CurlyKarl already said that he talked to him, he did what he could, and surfing the web at work is not signs of depression or problematic. Encyclo, I take it that you never had a position of authority for a extensive length of time because if you know like I know, being the hatchet man is not a the best job, but sometimes it is needed and it must be done. Encyclo, stop being a push over, stand up for yourself. Don't let everyone walk over you. And CurlyKarl, I still stand by my original post/comments. Best of luck.
[edited by: azzbacwordz at 2:08 am (utc) on Jan. 18, 2005]
| 2:07 am on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
azzbacwordz, I agree that I wouldn't last long in your company: I wouldn't accept to work for an employer with such a heartless approach to employee relations. I'm quite happy to stand up for myself, and I have held several responsable positions for large companies including managing human resources.
I am acutely aware that to get the best out of a workforce, you have to treat them to a minimum of respect. In this particular case, the person was involved in a serious accident leaving him virtually unable to walk, and I have expressed the opinion that should be treated with the utmost respect and compassion. In doing so, if you succeed not only will you aid the employee in question in regaining confidence in himself, but you will also send a signal out to other employees that their place of work, whilst not condoning unacceptable behavior, is the kind of place where they are not left high and dry if they suffer from a transitory problem. We are not even entering into the question of being on the receiving end of a lawsuit for discrimination against a newly-disabled employee which might well follow a summary dismissal.
Firing employees, while sometimes necessary, is always a failure: for the employer as well as the employee. A company, especially a family firm, has a social responsability which goes beyond a purely financial approach. In fact, a sense of social responsibility is a hallmark of the vast majority of successful businesses.
| 2:40 am on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
This guy is obviously playing the compassion game. If his boss wants to disable his internet access this goes beyond the accident. If his boss has talked to him about this already and been down this road then it is beyond the accident. This guy is not playing fair or showing compassion for his employer. I have been down this road plenty times as a employer and it is going to lead to either two things: The employer is going to fire him or he is going to quit. I can almost guarantee that this guy is already looking for another job or wants this job to be over. When a employee has a lack of interest in his job and doesn't care if his employer reprimands him it is hard to make him gain interest again. Time off would probably be the only thing that can help him regain interest and get his head straight, but he probably had time off since the accident.
|you will also send a signal out to other employees that their place of work, whilst not accepting unacceptable behavior, is the kind of place where they are not left high and dry if they suffer from a transitory problem |
This is a two-way street. You also must send out the signal that as a employee if you are sitting on our clock then you must show merit and do your work. If you allow him to do whatever he wants because he plays the compassion game then that is favoritism, which is a whole other can of worms. You do not want to give special attention to one, like let him surf the web and push his duties onto other employees because he being incompentent. I'm certain the other employees are not dumb to the fact and they will gather at the water cooler.
In the past I have been in a situation where I have been hurt and DECIDED to return back to work...I say decided because usually you have a choice or doctor recommendation. And my company may have given me light duty work but I did not sit the clock and surf the web all day and become incompetent, I was still a assest to the company and the project. I still got work done efficiently. If this guy has decided to return to work on crutches then he must have planned to work, he can't seriously believe that he can come to work, sit on the clock and get paid. If that is the case then the employer might as well let the employee stay home, pay the employee rent, bills, and other expenses for the length of time while he is recouping. Do you know any employers that will do that? Maybe paid leave, and that is compassion enough. Life is full of mishaps, and I'm truly sorry that he has been in an accident, but the truth is many people have been in worse situations than that, but are able to stay focus or take the time off.
| 3:41 am on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
To me, a veteran of a family-run business before striking out on my own, there are only two ways to deal with someone like this employee.
If he demonstrates a desire to continue working then do everything reasonable to help him. We've sent people to school to help them improve their chances at promotion. We've sent people to drug rehabilitation. We've paid for psychological counseling for troubled employees. We've even worked with handicapped employees for whom certain structural modifications were needed even if not mandated by law. The rewards for this type of behavior by an employer are invaluable. The benefits to the employee and the company are numerous and incalculable.
On the other hand, if the employee shows contempt for his employer by not doing the best job possible and by not taking advantage of offers to help then you need to build up a case for dismissal against this person and get rid of them. Nobody is deserving of open-ended, non-reciprocal compassion and absolutely nobody is irreplaceable.
| 10:03 am on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
>>We've sent people to school to help them improve their chances at promotion. We've sent people to drug rehabilitation. We've paid for psychological counseling for troubled employees.
All very nice. But the more you do this stuff the more problems you'll likely create for yourself.
1. You gave him training to improve his chances of promotion, why didn't I get the same training? Because I'm black? Because I took maternity leave last year?
2. You gave her help with her drug problem but you won't allow me to take a cigarette break every hour. Why's that? Because she's a woman and you're afraid she'll sue you?
3. My psychologist - whom I've paid for with my own money, mind you - says I need two months off work. Why won't you pay me for this?
As long as they are on the same side as you they're the best people in the world. Unfortunately, no matter how good an employer you are, one day they'll face redundancy/ an accident/something else and they - or their lawyers - will likely be intent on screwing you for as much as they can get.
Taking the "social responsibility" that far is more for big businesses who have some PR to gain as well. For the mum and pop corner shop who take on only two employees - for goodness sake don't employ a couple. You'll have to give them both leave at the same time if the woman gets pregnant.
| 7:16 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I guess everyone's experience is different. In nearly 40 years the business was never sued by a former employee. Under new owners there have been drastic changes and some successful lawsuits from employees who were treated badly.
1. Every single employee had educational opportunities available to them.
2. We wouldn't give you time to stand outside and smoke because that would take away from your productivity. But we would provide you access to medical and therapeutic resources to help you quit smoking.
3. Substance abuse treatment often involved the employee being away from his/her job for two months.
This was a big business with instant name recognition in South Florida and well known for its generosity and philanthropy.
The main point I was trying to make though was that if the employee was cooperative we'd do almost anything to assist them. But if they had the sort of attitude curlykarl described we'd probably build a case against them and then fire them.
It's hard to sustain sympathy for an employee when said employee acts as if they have a right to be employed and availing themselves of your assistance.
It's also easy to have such an attitude when doing business in a state that is not a "right to work" state.
[edited for grammar]
| 7:28 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Just a thought.
I wonder if this employee is surfing the web looking for knowledge about how to cope with his problems. Things like rehab and new surgical techniques. Or even how to get proper compensation from the other driver's insurance company.
If so, it would certainly be understandable. If he decided to do this from home during his recovery, then the disability insurance would kick in. Then the employers' insurance company would be screaming blue murder.
Two sides to every story and all that.
| 8:11 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
If he's looking for medical info on the web, why doesnt he ask permission to use the net in his lunch break?
I always ask to use the net in a new firm.
Becarful with the compassion - I treated one of my offices with a level of respect unheard of in teh industry. How did they pay me back?
One day neither office managers could get to work so I phoned and told them they were on their own today.
They cleared off for a days shopping all 8 of them.
Only give respect to those that have earnt it.