To maintain confidentiality in the workplace means to create and maintain trust, and thus allowing an honest and open form of communication between the organization, employees and clients.
Workplace confidentiality is defined as keeping the clients and the employee’s information private. Generally, it is seen that organizations will go out of their way to protect client information, but when it comes to the employees not much is done.
This thought process, however, needs quite a few changes and the employees need to understand the severity of the situation, only then will they be treated like the clients.
Confidentiality is highly important; it’s the employee’s responsibility to take care of all the information they come across in the workplace with caution and care. The employee needs to be cautious enough not to reveal any sensitive information that the organization considers confidential to a third party, until and unless, the employee obtains permission from the supervisor to do so. In addition, employees should abstain from sharing any personal or confidential details with their fellow colleagues at work. This will help to sustain a more professional attitude in the workplace.
An employee should know exactly what materials, files or documents he or she is allowed to access in the workplace and should only focus on those. Under no circumstance is it allowed for the files to be given to or shared with unauthorized people. For a simple reason, because if the files end up in the wrong hands, it can be considered as violation of confidentiality, for which the employee may be dismissed. In fact, employees are prohibited to discuss any business dealings with clients outside of the work environment.
As far as the employer goes, any professional and personal details of the employees need to be handled with discretion. Information related to salary structure, health data, references and application forms need to be kept confidential, because they can be misused and might lead to discrimination creating a hostile work environment. Only the staff members belonging to the Human Resource Department are granted permissions to access the personal and professional files of the employees.
Maintaining confidentiality in the workplace is highly crucial for various reasons. If there’s a breach in confidentiality the client can sue the organization, if they prove that the organization or the employee has revealed any private information belonging to the client. This can have an adverse affect on the organizations reputation. So, it’s very important for the employee and the organization to ensure that all private information in the workplace is protected.
In order to maintain confidentiality in the workplace, the privacy guidelines and policies should be updated regularly, according to the laws developed by the government and should then be communicated to the staff to ensure compliance. By sustaining confidentiality practices in the workplace, an organization not only protects itself from legal issues, but even increases productivity by providing employees with a safe and secure working environment.