Employees are given a lot of privileges through working for your company. They’re given access to company computers. In some cases they may be driving the company car. And in many cases, especially now that smartphones are becoming more and more common, many businesses have decided to give their employees company cell phones.
You may decide that a company cell phone could be a handy solution to many common workplace annoyances, such as getting in touch with your employees or keeping your employees’ work and personal life separate. But as any company that has office computers already knows, some employees might abuse their privilege. Here’s what you can do if you discover that your employee is abusing their privileges and misusing the company cell phone.
What’s Appropriate Behavior Anyway?
But before you make a move, it’s important to understand what constitutes appropriate workplace behavior in the first place and what you define as an abuse of privilege.
For example, who are your employees allowed to text or call on their company cell phone? Are they allowed to download apps? If so, what kinds of apps can they download if any? This is why installing tracking software on your employees’ phones can be so important. You need to know exactly how your phones are being used.
In general, your employees should understand that the company cell phones should absolutely not be used for personal business. But there may be certain situations where they may be forced to make personal calls from the company cellphone. For example, if their personal cell phone dies and they need to call their children or spouse, that can be one acceptable situation. If an employee needs to make a call home from their company cell phone, emphasize that they should only make personal calls if they have no other way to do so.
A company cell phone should never be used to make personal calls that, for whatever reason, the employee refuses to make on their personal phone. For example, they shouldn’t be able to contact mistresses or conduct potentially shady/illegal business on their phone.
Don’t hesitate to remotely shut down certain features of the phone if you find your employees are abusing certain features on the cell phone, such as browsing inappropriate websites online or sending obscene photos. You also shouldn’t be afraid to take disciplinary action. If an employee continually abuses the privilege of a company cell phone, seize the company cell phone. They can rely on their own personal cell phone for communications. Consider reducing hours or other company privileges if abuses of office privileges are abused further. You may also want to consider letting the employee go or terminating their employment. After all, an employee who cannot respect privileges associated with their position does not truly respect their company. You need to show that company privileges, such as phones, computers, cars, and more are not toys and need to be treated with the same respect as the rest of the company. When employees don’t respect their company, productivity goes down, your company’s reputation is diminished, and your own profits could potentially take a nosedive. Your phones are your property. Demand respect.