Confidentiality in companies is key to aiding in building trust and rapport with employees, and for helping to keep a company out of court with lengthy and expensive lawsuits. What should a company keep confidential? Everything! Employers should keep wages, complaints, medical information, drug test results, phone number and addresses, and any personnel challenges and / or write-ups completely confidential. In a world where technology is allowing more and more information to be stored electronically it is becoming easier for this information to leak to sources both inside and outside of companies.
Every company should put a few systems in place to help ensure this information about both their employees and customers is kept as confidential as possible.
First and foremost, the proper employee training is necessary to ensure that all employees understand what information should be kept confidential, how to keep it confidential, and what the repercussions are if information is leaked. Having confidentiality agreements is helpful, but not always necessary. Only allowing specific people within the company to have access to certain information about employees can also help to reduce breaches of confidentiality.
Several programs exist to store employee and customer information. Finding the right program for your company will take some research, and possibly some trial and error, but well worth the price. Having a program that allows different access to different information based on employee status (i.e. management vs. sales employee) so that privileged information is kept confidential. Also, having the appropriate safeguards in place with disclaimers can help to reduce confidentiality breaches.
At the end of the day, if the company’s sincere intent is to keep the information confidential by being proactive instead of reactive, they will be less likely to find themselves in a lawsuit.
Does your company offer such training and electronic systems to help ensure information confidentiality?