Employee Digital Rights are Fundamental

By Cliff Stevenson, Principal Analyst, Talent Management and Workforce Management

Employee digital rights are in the news and have a been a hot topic in HR circles lately. Not understanding or respecting employee digital rights can result in real-world consequences, as anyone who understands the term “GDPR” can tell you. And it’s not just GDPR. In fact, GDPR might be more of a symptom than a cause for employee digital-rights concerns.

There’s growing interest in breaking up the big social media giants; multiple states implemented employee digital rights legislation; and there is growing public distrust in how their data is being collected and what it is being used for.

I would argue that this concern is a positive thing! People should be concerned about how, what, where and why their personal data is collected in all aspects of their life and they have a right to know that information. However, I also believe that honest companies, acting in good faith, can use that data to create a more humanistic, hospitable and healthy work environment for their employees.

It’s often a scare tactic to say the machines are coming for our jobs, though in many cases, they are. But it’s the jobs nobody should have in the first place: converting paper documents to digital files, moving info from one database to another, assigning numerical values to bubbled-in answers on an application. Nobody should want or have those jobs. Instead, let’s allow the machines to do the kind of work they do best: mindless, thankless, uncurious drudgery. Let humans do what we uniquely do: listen, act with a sense of fairness, relate and empathize.

One way or another, software will eventually take on these roles. We just have to make sure we understand how to create a more human-centric process to ensure we control the data resulting from those actions. That’s employee digital rights in a nutshell: being transparent, taking ownership and enabling the data we collect to be used to make us more human, not less.

Join us on May 22nd when I’ll be discussing this issue from my perspective (research and data) and from a business case, real-world application-side with my co-host, Andrea Palumbo. And don’t be afraid to ask us what you need to know. It’s your right, after all.

To sign up for the free webinar, Employee Digital Rights: Ensuring Engagement and Compliance, click here

Cliff Stevenson, (Twitter: @CliffordDarrell email: cliff.stevenson@brandonhall.com) Principal Analyst, Talent Management and Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group

For more information on Brandon Hall Group’s research, please visit www.brandonhall.com