well, I don't really care to get in an argument with you guys... I understand and appreciate the need for policies and the concern over lost productivity resulting from employees surfing the net on company time. I also do not know the exact situations you are facing.
But my general response is there is a difference between surfing a porn site in an office full of women, and your stated policy, which allows for all kinds of arbitrary decisions, not just by you, but by those who come after you. It also allows for expansion later.
Second, the argument that things need to be done at home....ok, not a problem. I also agree with that. This is the argument that employees are "stealing" from employers by using company time and company resources to surf the net, etc
I get that.
I wonder, however, how many companies ever consider how much time they steal from employees?
Productivty has increased exponentially as employees work harder and longer, and get paid the same or slightly more. People are not machines. They cannot work blindly on a task without a mental break...if that means a quick check into their fantasy baseball yahoo league then I've got no issues with that.
Dictatorial, blanket policies lead to poor morale, decreased productivty, employee turnover, high training costs, etc.
They make management's job easier because then managers do not have to think or work to alter behavior in a positive constructive way. It is an exercise in management power.
I have been on both sides of the fence, employee and employer. As an employer, I have gotten more productivity out of less resources then colleagues exactly because I always strive to remember what it is like to be an employee.
A fired employee is a failure by management, and should be recognized as such. You spend a great deal of time training these people, and these people also are part of the family of staffers
You send a message when you fire someone like this--are you certain you sent the right message?
I'm not talking about what message you think you sent--I'm talking about what message your employees received.
In a poor economy, you've got folks over a barrel, but when the economy improves, your ability to retain employees will be an issue for you.
Employees are an asset. It's shameful that too many businesses fail to remember that (generalization, not meant to imply either of you). It's very likely these were bad employees and needed to be shown the door. I get that. Sometimes, it is necessary to let people go.
But, this is what disturbs me about the whole thing, though--both of you took satisfaction over the situation. That is very sad.
Last I will say on the topic. Good luck and if you have any further issues, please don't hesitate to post.