Dear Ethix – Issue 34

The Value of Monitoring

In a previous issue of Ethix (“Privacy in a Technological Workplace”), Mr. Erisman stated, “My belief is that monitoring will stifle performance for most employees … .” After managing a catalog sales call center for five years, I can say definitively the exact opposite is true—monitoring can increase the performance and value of an employee.

As a regular monthly practice we would listen to calls being placed for merchandise. Using an established set of metrics to rate performance, we would ensure the employee was meeting the strict level of quality. We would then work together with the employee to develop training plans to train and coach for greater performance and quality.

Although the employees did not enjoy knowing they could be monitored at any time, they did appreciate the extra training and coaching that came with it. With work and training each employee became more productive for the company overall.

The real question on privacy in a technological workplace should be, what does the company plan to do with the data collected from its employees? When used as a tool of intimidation, the company will reap what it sows. When used as a training and coaching tool, it can move employees to higher levels of performance.

Jim Jenkins,
Everett, WA

Suggestion for the Website

You need to add the capacity to email the IBTE web page to yourself or to a friend, in order to expand the audience of readers of your very import message about ethical values.

Paul Roth
email response

Ethical Sales?

I’ve worked in Information Technology companies in sales and marketing for the better part of forty years. I’ve worked for companies that weren’t at all impressive regarding ethics and for two that stood out as being “top drawer”—at least for a while. I’ve sold to companies that had solid reputations but had flaws under the skin—flaws that were known but not addressed for some reason.

The CEO for one company I worked for was genuinely proud of his corporation’s good ethics but was obviously blind to activities once they left his office.

I do have empathy for management that would like to address issues but doesn’t, for “political reasons.” That being said, if it’s significant you are obliged to get out your club or your resume.

In the final analysis there are pockets of rot on both sides of the seller/buyer street. I can tell you that I would work my fanny off to support the kind of person I admired, be they customer, boss, or associate—that was easy.

I believe that executive management, especially in technically oriented companies tends to turn a “blind eye”to their sales and marketing organizations as long as they’re “making their numbers.” Big mistake!!

Tim Towey,
Bellevue, WA

Good Review

I particularly enjoyed your review of “There is no such thing as Business Ethics.” Trying to reduce any complex subject to one rule tends to be simplistic and somewhat absurd.

John Hippely
Woodinville, WA