For HR managers, having oversight over email communications is extremely important. In some cases, the circumstances require them to find a particular piece of company correspondence.
However, all too often, HR managers discover this when it’s too late. They’ve been asked to search and retrieve a specific set of emails because of an investigation. They’re faced with a decentralised archiving system where historical emails are stored locally (for example, in PST files) in a number of mail accounts, including historical mail accounts from backups.
So HR managers run to IT they to get a better grasp of the situation. But if they had an enterprise email archive, their lives would be much easier.
Here are 3 situations where an enterprise email would greatly benefit HR Managers:
1. Bullying in the workplace
Unfortunately, this is still a big issue in Australia. In fact, Sydney Morning Herald reported that out of over 60,000 NSW government employees, 48% had witnessed bullying at work, 29% had been bullied in the past 12 months, and 6% had formally complained about bullying behaviour.
Unless there is an irrefutable record, such as video footage, it will be difficult to prove a verbal or physical harassment claim to Fair Work Australia. This is where emails come in – as supporting evidence in such harassment claims.
According to Graeme Head, the Public Service Commissioner who released the report, “it is likely that a proportion of what people perceive as bullying arises from the absence of good performance management practices and organisational culture.”
Having an email archive in place that automatically stores each email coming into and going out of the organisation is the best way to ensure visibility and transparency in investigations. Allowing employees to archive their emails in an ad-hoc manner leaves room for destruction of evidence (otherwise known as data spoliation).
Enterprise email archives which allow role-based access are the best choice, so that HR Managers can self-serve without asking for help from IT.
2. Misuse of email
The top concern with work email misuse is the sharing of pornography among employees. The Courier-Mail reported that porn is still the most common type of offensive material being sent around office computers, followed by rude emails about managers or co-workers.
As evidenced by what happened to Thales Australia, the fact that this is arguably part of ‘common sense’ is not enough. Thales reminded employees through emails and login popups, but this was not enough, resulting in the judge voting against their favour for failing to prove that their policies were communicated and understood by offending employees.
In case your organisation finds yourself in this type of dispute, it is important to be diligent in recording the enforcement of these policies.
3. Email compliance
Having a good email archiving system is actually necessary to comply with state legislation around staff. The Fair Work Act requires that a minimum of 7 years of employee records pertaining to work performance must be retained.
Email sent between co-workers can count as being relevant to work performance, so every email should be retained. Without total visibility over organisational email, HR managers are at a significant disadvantage.
Move towards better email archiving
What can your organisation do to comply with email retention laws whilst aiding HR and IT in the event of an investigation?
- Save each email, even though it can be deleted from individual employee mailboxes
- Create and enforce a specific internet security and email policy
- Have a central repository where email is stored and easily searched through
A comprehensive email archiving solution will support role-based access to the archive, so it should not be seen as an attempt to control how and what employees say to each other via email. Instead, it will protect the company from fines incurred by accidental email deletion, and support HR managers in difficult situations.
Please download our free eBook to learn more about email archiving solutions: