The Construction Association of America (CMAA) National Conference and Trade Show’s featured seminar — Legalities of Emails and Electronic Communications on a Project — touched on the dangers of not speaking to employees about communication rules in a work environment.
It is important to remember that any type of message — hand-written, texted, emailed, or tweeted— can and will be used in a court of law.
According to a blog from The Murphy Insurance Group written by Alissa Pfeiffer, “Electronic Communication in the Workplace: Employer Rights,” there are several reasons why employers should consider monitoring email usage, and the same can be said for social media:
- To maintain a professional reputation outside and within the company
- To ensure employee productivity
- To prevent, detect, and eliminate harassment, either sexual or illegal
- To prevent the risk of defamation
- To prevent the disclosure of trade secrets and other information that is considered confidential
- To avoid copyright infringement in the event that an employee would download illegal software
CMAA seminar speakers Richard F. Panos, AIA CCM Totum; Christian A. Carrillo, The Law Offices of Christian Carrillo; and Derek A. Simpson, The Law Offices of Derek A. Simpson, gave accounts from personal experiences and well-known cases to illustrate how important it is to outline regulations and monitor use.
Although email became a prominent form of workplace communication decades ago, social media use might still make some business owners wary.
However, as professional environments continue to change, and certain trends fade in and out, it’s safe to say that social media isn’t going anywhere. Engineers, along with everyone else, should embrace its positive uses, such as recruiting new candidates, increasing employee interactions, and marketing their company to a wider demographic.
According to the article “Engineering Firms and Social Media,” written by Brian Zeve in 2012, “Engineering firms can take advantage of social computing tools for knowledge management, expertise sharing and information retention, which is especially critical with the pending retirement of baby boomers and incoming millennial generation.”
Therefore, engineering companies that embrace and offer digital training courses on social media, web design, and video creation to their employees and contractors will be ahead of the game.
For more information on The CMAA National Conference and Trade Show, visit nationalconference.cmaanet.org.
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