How can i lock my minions out of the internet with vista

So when i am not at work all my workers have this habbit of siitting online and doing nothing at all when its slow.

what can i do with windows vista to lock them out of the internet so they will be so bored they will have to find something to do…

we use point of sucsess for our POS

Its driving me nuts i am not paying them to browse facebook and craigslist, when they could be cleaning random things

You should be able to control Internet access through your router.

As a side note, it’s in my employee handbook that personal use of the computer, phones, or fax is strictly prohibited and could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. All my employees signed an agreement that they have received and understand the rules of the handbook.

If you can’t trust your employees how they spend their time on your clock, how can you trust them with your money in the till?

Turn on content advisor on each computer: Internet Explorer Content Advisor : frequently asked questions …

I have the entire internet completely blocked with a password on my POS. Also, your POS “should” have a security setting that makes doing anything on it save running POS-related programs impossible. Find out how to make your computer boring and keep it that way!

Both steps are needed. A couple years back at one of my stores, I realized the same problems you are having were going on. I locked down the IE. Then someone managed to get a copy of Firefox on the Main and I only realized it after our POS tech discovered it once computer viruses basically destroyed it and another station.

This sums up your problem more than anything I think. Turn off their internet and what will it get you? Some resentment, then someone will bring in a deck of cards, dice, a book, nintendo DS… and you are back to the same situation only with a poorer attitude.

Being able to check your email, craig’s list, or whatever online during your break is a great perk. Put together a monthly check list of things to clean, and you will have a cleaner shop, and busier employees. A bit of positive reinforcement is going to get you a lot more good will with your ‘minions’.

Monthly? We have a weekly cleaning list (borken down into jobs to do each day) and also a daily checklist. Do I trust my staff, yes, but I also set goals to achieve on a daily and weekly basis in terms of store hygiene. Without these the ‘little’ jobs tend to get forgotten then they become bigger jobs and then its too much to do without a lot of effort.

Once these jobs are done I’ve no problems with a deck of cards or a newspaper etc.

But in answer to the original post - definately get rid of IE. In XP there is a policy editor which you could restrict access to all windows components. Whilst I haven’t do this in vista try looking at ‘restrict access’ in the help menu which then refers to ‘Set Program Access and Computer Defaults’ which may help.

Perhaps stop referring to them as MINIONS and the respect for you business might be returned…

PD

YOUR business, excuse me. LOL

PD

Not sure you can lock out access to the Internet in Vista, but you can set up Point of Success to require appropriate security to exit the Order Entry program, preventing access to Windows and the Internet. You’ll need to take extra steps if you have hardware keyboards connected to your computers.

Here’s another idea: OpenDNS is a service you can use to limit what the computers on your network can do on the Internet. It’s free and easy to set up. Take a look at www.opendns.com

is not work still supposed to be about work?..Keep people focused…For me I have found Chick fil-a to be unbelievable in how much each every person you come into contact working there treats you like you are the most important person they have. I know its tough as today’s young working group seems to lack the work ethic perhaps many of us share…but it starts at the top …We must lead by example…

I had the same issue. Brad is right. Set up parental controls so that a password is required for all web address. Make the password about 10 digits long. You can then change the setting to “always allow” for a few sites you need to get to. For example, I have the cheese price page set for allways allow.

Thank you, you just hit on one of my biggest pet peeves and the solution to it. Make up checklists of what you expect to be done, and as long as they get completed, who cares what the employees are doing with the rest of the time. I’ve worked for enough managers with the “always must be doing something work related” attitude, and all it accomplishes is to make everyone work very slowly while they’re in the store, since the only reward for efficiency is extra random busywork. When that particular manager is out of the store, everything will get done in 1/4 of the usual time and then everyone will just relax and handle the customers as they come, and trust me, happier employees means better customer service.

As regards the computers, install good anti-virus protection such as AVG (which is free) and make sure it updates regularly and you should be good. NEVER assume you are smarter than your employees when it comes to the computers, it will only end in more trouble in the long run. I’ve done the Firefox thing to get around an IE password, as well as used an IE password reset program to lock an obnoxious owner off of his own internet. I used a keylogger on the same guy once to snag all the passwords to the POS and Windows lockout features that he’d activated, though I could have easily gotten some CC numbers and personal info as well… The point is that trying to keep employees off the internet is a losing battle in the long run, even if you succeed in it you’ll only piss them off and they’ll probably just surf on their cell phones anyway.

Just to reiterate, lay out what you want done when you’re not in the store, make a list, and if it’s all done when you come back you’ve got nothing to complain about.

As already stated…there are several ways:

In The POS…disallow your staff to actually “exit” out of the POS program which will prevent them from getting to the Vista desktop.

In the Router: You can add banned sites. Be careful NOT to limit access by time since you most likely use the internet to process your creditcards.

CAVEAT: If you still allow them to get to the desktop…you need to look at ALL of the programs and files available through the desktop. For instance, if you have a HELP file for your HP printer, it will connect you to the internet for more information and then the staff can get to the web via the back door.

Unlike XP, Vista DOES have parental controls…this would be the BEST solution since you can actually track the time the person was on the web and deal with it accordingly.

As for your Minions…I know what you meant and I am sure it was not meant in malice…I have used much harsher names when my manager did this exact same thing to me to get onto the internet to goto myspace and screwed up my system…oh, BTW, he has a 2 year degree in computers.

I just ran across another program that can help you. It’s called WinLock. It’s a VERY comprehensive security program that will fix all your problems. See it here: http://www.crystaloffice.com/winlock/

I agree that about the busy work and people working slower…but here is the rub…far to many times when you have the customer walk though the door…its at the wrong moment and leads to the impression that you least want to make…there is no reason for people to be sitting around in a food restaurant checking email, twixing, chatting…texting…they have remember why they are there…I think shop spiffs work wonders …

Ahh, but there is a perfectly good reason for people to be idle in a restaurant, and that is that everything that needs to be done has been done. Everyone has been there, it’s a slow night, all the prep is done, all the cleaning that can be has been done early, there is well and truly nothing that needs to be done unless a customer calls or walks in the door. Sure, you could come up with something for people to do, but you’re going to pay for it later when they learn to make the regular work take more time, and it breeds the kind of resentment that can come back to bite you down the road. Your problem seems to have more to do with appearances than anything, so just let everyone know to take their texting and such to the back, problem solved.

As to why people are there, they don’t need to be reminded, but maybe you do; they are there because they are paid to be there. I can tell you from personal experience that any worker with even a modicum of retail or restaurant work under their belt has a built in busywork detector that knows exactly what is normal for the work and what is just busywork, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t avoid busywork whenever possible. You should take advantage of that fact to use your labor more efficiently rather than pay people to do unnecessary work so that they “know their place”, which is the subtext I’m getting from your post. Just put your “store spiffing” stuff on the weekly checklist and forget about it so long as it gets done, tell everyone that this is what you expect to be done and if they finish early, take it easy, I think you may be surprised at how quickly things are taken care of.

Sorry, I don’t buy it. My employees are being paid to be productive (to benefit the operation). If they’re not working darn near 100% of the time that they’re getting paid for, then they’re wasting labor dollars. Plain and simple.

I have a very low tolerance for goofing around while they’re on the clock. There is a time and place for this type of activity, but I’m not going to pay for it. I’m a firm believer that in a restaurant, there is never “nothing to do”. That’s a cop-out in the purest form that only the newbies make the mistake of saying it “once”. Luckily, I have built a team that knows what’s expected of them and a culture of helping each other out. I have very little “standing around” and when someone does, the other employees usually let him or her know about it.

I’ve bolded the important part of your quote above, and that is what you really should be concerned with, productivity. What yardstick are you using to measure your labor efficiency by, hours worked or work accomplished? There is a significant difference, and it can be used to both improve labor efficiency and boost employee morale which in turn will lead to smoother operations and improved service, among other things.

Consider the average amount of work that a normal employee accomplishes in a regular shift, let’s call that 100 units of labor. Purely for simplicity, let’s say that you pay $10.00 per hour, and that each shift is 10 hours, so the average employee completes 10 units of labor per hour and earns $100.00 per shift, for an average cost of $1.00 per unit of labor. So long as 100 units of labor are completed each shift, the cost is the same whether the worker labored 100% of the time at 10 units per hour, or did 20 units per hour for 5 hours and goofed off the other 5, the same amount of work was accomplished for the same cost to you. Since you are paying by the hour and not by the amount of work done, there is no incentive to do more than the bare minimum amount of work that is acceptable, because there is no reward for doing so. You could offer to pay more for additional work, but I doubt that many restaurant owners want to pay any more than they have to, and tracking and paying for the additional work would be a headache. The much simpler method is the one that I’ve already laid out, create a set of checklists of what needs to be done by when, and allow everyone to take it easy when the list has been done. People will work much harder for a reward, e.g. being allowed to loaf a bit on the clock, than they will to avoid punishment, and are much more willing to go above and beyond for someone they like than they are to do a favor for a taskmaster. So no, if the amount of work that get’s done is the same, no one is wasting labor dollars.

Though I don’t know you and I’ve never been in your store, I’d be willing to bet that a goodly part of the reason that your staff is always doing “something” is that they’ve learned to stretch out their workloads to cover their time on shift so as to not be “rewarded” with additional unnecessary work. What your employees are probably telling the guy that’s standing around is “don’t let the boss see you standing around, try to look busy”, which is not to say, actually being productive. People don’t say that there’s nothing to do around you because they know you’ll come up with some “project” for them to do, so they drag their feet and make 2 hours worth of actual work take them 6 hours on the clock, and you’re the chump stuck paying for it. I see this all the time, the guy that works the hardest to squeeze a nickel ends up missing the dollars that are right there for the taking because they just can’t see past that nickel. Please don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not trying to be condescending or insulting here, but this stuff just drives me nuts since I’ve seen so much time and money thrown away on what amounts to outmoded management ideas.

I know it’s counter-intuitive, and that it’s hard to see someone killing time on the clock and not wonder what it is that you’re paying them for, but long term this really is a better way to look at it. Think of it this way, once the chores are done, everyone can relax and be ready to make you money.

As regards the computers, install good anti-virus protection such as AVG (which is free) and make sure it updates regularly and you should be good. NEVER assume you are smarter than your employees when it comes to the computers, it will only end in more trouble in the long run. I’ve done the Firefox thing to get around an IE password, as well as used an IE password reset program to lock an obnoxious owner off of his own internet. I used a keylogger on the same guy once to snag all the passwords to the POS and Windows lockout features that he’d activated, though I could have easily gotten some CC numbers and personal info as well… The point is that trying to keep employees off the internet is a losing battle in the long run, even if you succeed in it you’ll only piss them off and they’ll probably just surf on their cell phones anyway.

Just to reiterate, lay out what you want done when you’re not in the store, make a list, and if it’s all done when you come back you’ve got nothing to complain about.
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This should be your main reason for not allowing your employees to get out of the order screen.

Mine is set up that they need a code to exit the order screen properly, of which only one employee has access to. However, we were told unless we get rid of the keyboards there is no way to controll them from exiting other ways.

So we laid down the law, that it’s a $10,000.00 system not a computer and they have no reason to be out of the order screen, and if they ever get caught—they will be fired. (It’s not a matter of them goofing off, it’s a matter of security for your system)

I had a couple thoughts. FIRST . . .do whatever you possibly can to lock down those POS terminals from the internet. That is a huge (did I say really huge?) liability to your company. Effective antivirus is a great precaution, but we as owners simply cannot afford that large dollar investment and key to business operations to be exposed to debilitating infections . . . for what amounts to recreational purposes. Buy a different machine to set up for this use if you absolutely must have it available. My first responsibility must always be to the business security and maintaining the infrastructure required to operate. Second is to my staff.

I have respect and empathy for my staff on slow nights, but will never put my operations at risk to make their lives less “boring”. Too many other things that can be done, like cutting people loose to save labor costs if it is that slow. Further thoughts I’ll take to a different thread so as not to hijack this one further.

To get back to the thrust of the OP, it seemed to me that he was less concerned about damage to his POS system from web usage and more interested in giving his employees one less means of entertaining themselves when he’s not in the store. I think this idea that if there is less to do people will be magically motivated to do busywork is just a fantasy, they’ll just find some other means to goof off. When I used to work Sundays with a friendly AM, the established routine was to come in and prep like madmen for about an hour and get everything on our daily list over-done, so by the end of the night we’d just be coming down to full bins of everything. Then we’d take my car and go cruise the local record shops, go grocery shopping, run errands, etc. We’d always stay within about 5 minutes of the store, so if an order came in we’d have plenty of time to make it back and snag the run. We’d bring in hotplates and crockpots and have staff cook offs, and we’d usually get a six pack of beer and drink it while we did the after-closing cleaning. The point is, everything got done better and more thoroughly than it normally would have, in a fraction of the time, since we had a reason for doing it better; we wanted to get the work over with so we could have fun. The guy that owned that store was this slimeball Moroccan that would have lost his mind if he knew what we were doing, but all he ever saw was that when he came in on Monday that all the prep was done to capacity, the store was spotless, and sales had been good the day before. We were happy to be there on Sunday because we weren’t working for him, we were working for ourselves, and that comes across to the customers as well. People could pick up on the different vibe right away, people that are having fun and are obviously happy at work are so rare these days that they make a real impression on people, and as an added bonus can help poach good employees from local competitors that aren’t as much fun to work for.

So I guess my argument to the OP would be “if everything is done and done well when you come back, don’t worry too much about how it got that way”, if anything try to find a way to use the “carrot” of making being at work fun to encourage your staff to be more efficient.