Amidst the increasingly competitive business world, maintaining company’s confidentiality should be a must-have policy for every company. In today’s era of digitalisation, information from particular sources can be easily obtained, copied, and distributed to a wider audience. If the company fails to protect confidential business information within the organisation, it could bring detrimental effects for business’ sustainability in the long run.
In fact, the breach of vital material could be the beginning of your company’s declining power. Considering the importance of certain confidential information, some materials are supposed to be circulated within the company’s milieu only. Also everyone should not be allowed access to sensitive information concerning the employees and management.
Employers must set a practical strategy, such that confidential information is not heard by unauthorised employees or even leaked outside the company. If the information falls into wrong hands, they could misuse the data for illegal and criminal misconducts.
For example, they could commit fraud on behalf of the company or disclose highly-confidential C-suite information to the competitors. If this happens, employers must bear the costly lawsuits and lose employees’ trust and loyalty. If you want to be discreet in managing the flow of confidential information within your company, here are three steps to do so:
Review your current employee contracts and make sure that, there are confidentiality clauses clearly stated. Before an employee starts working for your company, you should check if they have signed the confidentiality agreement as part of their employment contract. This step is the most practical and legal in the initial company efforts to protect private information.
This method will help the employee understand fully on what is defined as “confidential information” and what is not. You should explain clearly in details about company’s confidentiality such that, there will be no misunderstanding about the term. Also, do not forget to explain the penalty and consequences, in case information is disclosed to third-parties. Hence, employees are expected to be more careful when dealing with confidential information.
For orientation of new hires, you need to provide proper confidentiality training that is integrated as a part of the onboarding process. Be it through issuing employee handbooks or online course training, you should actively participate in explaining to your employees, on how to deal with sensitive information which is related to legal laws.
Additionally, you should develop a confidentiality policy that helps prevent breach of private data. One of the example of such policy that you can develop is the social media policy.
Do not underestimate the power of social media. While it might sound trivial, failure in managing social media can cost your company’s reputation. You certainly do not want your employees to reveal company secrets on their Facebook posts, right?
What happens within the company should stay only with employees who are aware about it. Before allowing employees to leave the organisation, you should create employee termination procedure to secure the company’s confidential business information. Conduct brief discussion with them, prior to the dismissal about confidentiality issue.
You might need to require employees to submit and return all company properties and work. For the employer, you should deactivate prior employee’s business accounts, emails, and prohibit other access. This way, you can ensure that employees, do not take away any confidential data with them.
When it comes to company confidentiality, it is better to observe safety and security of data first, then to regret on trusting employee relationships. To avoid any unnecessary issues related to breach of private confidential material, you need to carefully manage access for vital information. Develop well-arranged confidential policy and socialise it with your employees, so they are aware of what is expected from them when dealing with sensitive materials.