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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many of you read your employees emails? do you let your employees read your emails? (business email accounts)

We get service calls by email. My wife thinks I am crazy to let my operations and office managers read my emails. I do this so that any request for service or for pricing is handled quickly.

For the same reason, I read their emails to make sure nothing gets missed when they might be busy. We all know each other is doing this.

Is this bad policy, or good customer service? My wife thinks it is wrong, maybe a customer may share info that is sensitive and assume I am the only one reading it, and this may cause a breach of trust.

Any opinions?
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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It's really best to have a general email account that everyone can access. One thing that can be bad about other people accessing your email account is that the sender can think that they are communicating with one person not knowing that someone else is reading it and acting on it before you are even aware of what's going on.

Secondly, if you get an inflammatory email from an upset customer who mistakenly thought the wrong thing or misunderstood something, then everyone else in the office is trying to resolve the issue before they know what the deal is.

Damage control is much easier if only one person is reading their email.
 

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If customers are sending in service requests by email I don't think they are "employee emails" at all despite you or others calling them that. They are company emails.

Unfortunately the confusing way you have it set up is causing some (ehem your wife) to miss the concept of them being company business.

I disagree about a confidentiality concern on a service call request but I don't like the way you have it set up because it is clear others disagree and that is enough reason to change it to something that is more streamlined and crystal clear.
 

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I'm sure my corporate overlords have the capability to, and if they get bored enough they probably do. But the reality is, I'm sure they've had the I.T. guy flag certain key words that trigger a closer look. Oh well, it's their computer and their rules, so I don't break too many of them.
 

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Normally you'd set up an account like [email protected], or something similar to have these in one place., or you can have customers title their emails Service, and have the email system have it pop up on both a central email and the individual addressee's email system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Normally you'd set up an account like [email protected], or something similar to have these in one place., or you can have customers title their emails Service, and have the email system have it pop up on both a central email and the individual addressee's email system.
We have "[email protected]" and "[email protected]" but they still send service requests to whomever they feel is their personal contact.

I want my customers to be able to communicate which ever way they feel is easiest for them. I think I will keep my emails private and just keep a closer eye on it during the day.

Thanks for the replies
 

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I'm sure my corporate overlords have the capability to, and if they get bored enough they probably do. But the reality is, I'm sure they've had the I.T. guy flag certain key words that trigger a closer look. Oh well, it's their computer and their rules, so I don't break too many of them.

my wife and I have a friend whose actual job is to read other peoples Email, check who is looking at **** on the company computers etc.

she works for a major trucking Company, LOL
stephen
 

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If you have a need for the employees to have individual email accounts then you should respect the accounts as private. Legally you don't have to but if you want to create respect and employee trust then that is the path. Thinking you need to look in their accounts in case they are not following through is just telling them a) you don't trust them to follow through and b) they don't have to be very worried about following through 'cause you will catch it if they don't.

Ismael
www.ismaelsinc.com
 

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OP- If it's your company, then you can read any damn email that comes through your URL. Sounds like you need to write up a company handbook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OP- If it's your company, then you can read any damn email that comes through your URL. Sounds like you need to write up a company handbook.
It is my company, I do read there emails. They know it and also know it is for company use only.

There is little or no personal emails coming in except for maybe a realtive trying to get a message to them while working.

I will add this to my handbook when I figure how I should word it properly (thanks).

I was mostly concerned with giving access to my emails, but thought that it would be good to hear opinions both ways. My office manager thinks that as an "Administrative Assistant" it is not improper for her to read my emails. I was mostly worried about confidentiality for my customers not for myself or my employees.
 

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Although I believe the OP should centralize service calls to one email for the purposes of efficiency, the quotes below are too much to let go. I am positive there would be no significant difference of customer "comfort" level sending service requests to a centralized email.

If you have a need for the employees to have individual email accounts then you should respect the accounts as private.
The purpose of the emails accounts is for company business. If it's company business then there is no expectation or need for privacy. If the purpose was for personal business then privacy is a matter for consideration but that is not the purpose.

if you want to create respect and employee trust then that is the path.
Employees need to respect the use of company resources and their responsibilities. Coddling them and allowing deviation from expectations is not how you get there. Accountability is how you get there.

Good employees will respect accountability. Trust is earned by being accountable. Conducting personal business on company resources is should not be tolerated or rewarded with more latitude and less accountability.

Thinking you need to look in their accounts in case they are not following through is just telling them a) you don't trust them to follow through .
Wrong. Inspect what you expect. It tells them you expect the rules and responsibilities to be followed and you will follow up to be sure they are and take corrective measures if necessary.

b) they don't have to be very worried about following through 'cause you will catch it if they don't.
Bullzhit. If they drop the ball then corrections are made including termination, demotion, write up, lack of a raise at salary review, a stern talking too, etc.

No employees worth keeping enjoy being corrected for their screw up. Counting on boss man to fix their screw-ups is a sure path to at a minimum a stern talking to and a warning if not a swift kick in the arse toward the exit door in well run companies.

Employees need to know expectations including being subject to inspection that they are meeting the standards.

The only employees that would mind an owner reading emails meant exclusively for company business are those that are using company resources for personal use including anti-company agenda.

There should be NO email that would concern the owner written by an employee.
 

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I think that quote should define a management culture
Another reason to "inspect" is to spot training and development opportunities.

An error made by one may be a hole in my training and development efforts that others also need to know so I address it in a group setting. Staff can teach of as much as we teach them from their triumphs and failures.

Not "inspecting" your subordinates work is equivalent to sticking your head up your arse on purpose and leaving it there.

Some employees get too comfortable and make mistakes. That is a failure of management to allow that. Inspect and correct addresses and prevents that issue from developing.

I think the "develop trust and respect" concept misplaced is feel good hogwash that grants too much foolish latitude even if, in the right place, it is very effective. The details of how that is done is important though.

Allowing inmates to run the asylum would be popular with the inmates. "Trustees" earn their "limited" freedoms.
 

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I think the "develop trust and respect" concept misplaced is feel good hogwash that grants too much foolish latitude even if, in the right place, it is very effective. The details of how that is done is important though.

Allowing inmates to run the asylum would be popular with the inmates. "Trustees" earn their "limited" freedoms.
Not hogwash at all. There are many ways to judge and monitor employee effectiveness without having to look into private areas. I am sure recording their conversations with their wives or husbands would also help ferret out bad attitude employees but that doesn't make it right.

Many companies if not most follow the philosophy to which you are referring. The most successful companies (IMO) build teams and trust.

Ismael
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without having to look into private areas.

Many companies if not most follow the philosophy to which you are referring. The most successful companies (IMO) build teams and trust.
On your first point we disagree 100%. Emails setup by the company for the purpose of customers sending in service requests are not private. Company resources, company purpose, company staff, company time.

Free email accounts are so readily available by anyone with the ability to use the internet there is NO EXCUSE for using company email for personal use.

I agree on your second point entirely but the method by which you suggest in this this thread to do so is entirely flawed because they are not personal emails with an expectation of privacy.

Your other example is equally flawed since the use of company phones for personal business is inappropriate and also do not provide an expectation of privacy.

Using your many if not most language, many if not most successful companies record phone calls for quality and protecting against litigation purposes.

You don't develop teams, respect and trust by allowing employees to rip off the company by using company resources to conduct personal business.

I am not suggesting any company has the right to monitor private emails or phone conversations but you are suggesting the company does not have the right to monitor communication on company emails and phones. I respectfully disagree entirely.
 

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I respect your position and in fact if communicated clearly to staff that their emails and phone calls ARE being monitored and audited, then it is 100% appropriate to monitor them.

That said, I would personally choose not to work for a company that employed those practices and it is up to the individual to decide on their own if they feel that is something they want to live with. Perhaps that is the only difference we have on this topic.
 

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I would personally choose not to work for a company that employed those practices (monitoring use of company resources by employees) and it is up to the individual to decide on their own if they feel that is something they want to live with
If you are working for a company that does not monitor employee use of business resources and they assigned you a business email account and telephone...

Would you disclose to them that you will be using both of these company resources for conducting your personal business?

If yes, is that announcing intent to steal?

If no, I can see why you would want to work for a company that is too stupid to monitor employee use of company resources.
 

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We have "[email protected]" and "[email protected]" but they still send service requests to whomever they feel is their personal contact.

I want my customers to be able to communicate which ever way they feel is easiest for them. I think I will keep my emails private and just keep a closer eye on it during the day.

Thanks for the replies
Sounds like you need to set up their email accounts to automatically forward to a general email box. That way they have a copy but everyone else with access to the @service account also knows what is going on. Works great if someone happens to be away on vacation.
 
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