Red e App’s CEO and Founder, Jonathan Erwin, is featured in the May issue of HR Compliance Library: Ideas and Trends published by Wolters Kluwer.  The following article discusses the implications of employees now being able to access office and work data on their own personal devices, also known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).  

BYOD and Non-Exempt EmployeesThe Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) trend is taking over seemingly all aspects of companies these days, HR industry included. New outlets for communication are skyrocketing past previous methods and previously disengaged employees are now fully in the know at all times. Privacy is of the utmost importance in HR, so what are the implications of employees now being able to access office and work data on their own personal devices?

The BYOD trend is hugely advantageous to HR in the areas of communication and training. “From a communication, training, and equipping of all employees standpoint, BYOD is the panacea, the magic potion HR has been looking for,” said Jonathan Erwin, chief executive and founder of Red e App in an interview with Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. “And, every employee has a computer in his or her hand.”

Erwin says HR should create connecting links for communication dialogue along every point of the company’s organizational chart to every single employee. “Nothing is more frustrating to an HR professional than asking via survey, ‘How can we help you do your job better?’ and getting a 1% response from employees.”

However, HR will have to change their own learned patterns of ‘HR as usual’ to effectively embrace BYOD, explained Erwin. “Accept that change is happening. Realize that the Internet, digital media, and BYOD is not a fad,” he said. “The traditional needs of HR are still the same. The delivery mediums, however, are not.”

When it comes to communication, Erwin says HR should focus on online and offline. “Online includes SMS, video conference technology (Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime). Online can also mean a virtual “town hall” meeting,” Erwin explained. “If HR needs or wants an ‘all hands on deck’ meeting, it would be wise to consider the costs of travel as compared to employees accessing a private video conference call. Whether online or offline though, HR must ensure that with the new power and reach of digital mediums that they communicate WITH employees, not TO employees.”

Erwin says every company should have a clear and concise BYOD policy. “It should cover proper use of the company’s proprietary information, effective use of resources, compensation for work done with BYOD during work hours and after hours, and it would be wise for a section to cover best practices for an employee’s use of social media since BYOD is the marriage of the business and personal device,” he explained.

“An employer and an employee both have privacy and proprietary rights regarding content that is located on an employee’s personal device,” Erwin continued. “The HR department should follow the official company guidelines and legal mandates in the event an employee’s personal device is compromised.”

“BYOD, while not the best solution for an HR department taxed to support 100s or 1,000s of employees, is the most realistic opportunity for accomplishing traditional HR goals,” Erwin concluded. “Five or 10 years from now, every HR department will scratch their head and wonder what the fuss was all about for BYOD. By that point, it will be the ‘new normal’.”

Amee Kent
Red e App Marketing Director