Monitoring your employees is like walking a tightrope. Make the slightest of mistakes, and you can be categorised as a controlling and micromanaging boss, or worse you can lose your employees altogether. But, to ensure efficiency in an organisation you would still need to have some level of monitoring for your employees. However, striking the right balance is critical. You need to know where to draw the line between what’s illegal or not necessary to monitor and what’s fair. Here is everything you need to know about monitoring your employees the right way:
What is Employee Monitoring?
It is all about tracking the employee activities on a day-to-day basis and monitoring worker engagement with workplace-related tasks or projects. A business that uses employee monitoring can measure productivity, track attendance, ensure data security and collect proof of hours worked.
Modern employee monitoring tools and software are evolving, but this practice itself has been around for a long time now. The very first time sheet was invented way back in 1888. Now, you can track not just how many hours people spend at work but also their productivity, internet usage, which applications they use the most, what tasks they find challenging when they work best and a lot more.
In fact, according to a survey of 239 companies, Fifty-seven percent said that in 2018 they expect to monitor employee data such as movement, texts in internal messaging systems, workspace usage and biometric monitoring.
Types Of Employee Monitoring Systems
Let’s take a look at some ways you can monitor your employees!
1. Internet Usage:
It can be helpful to use an internet monitor to see which URLs are being accessed by your team.
For example, you can track whether they spend most of the time surfing the net or be reasonably certain whether they are doing their assigned tasks. Tools and apps like Hubstaff, Veriato, and InterGuard can be used for certain URL blocking and give you a better sense of what someone is doing online.
43% of Employers monitor email to help them be proactive and settle disputes. Special software tools like Pearl and Activity Monitor aid companies with monitoring emails.
We always hear from several customer service interactions that your message is recorded for quality assurance. Recording such interactions help a great deal and give valuable insights into the business including customer service statistics.
With the advent of remote workplaces, tracking the location of employees has become crucial.
Some companies like Buffer and Hitachi have activity trackers or badge-like devices that keep a track of employee movements. These also count as part of employee monitoring.
The Pros Of Employee Monitoring
Entrepreneurs, executives, and team leaders can earn great benefits from employee monitoring software. Here are some:
1. Less Wasted Resources:
With employee monitoring apps and tools, you can eliminate wastage of resources. You will be able to track the exact time a worker spends and only pay a salary for the time they have spent working.
2. Minimize Errors:
You can gain more insight into the activities and catch any errors before they go out of control. For instance, you may have noticed that your employee has shifted focus on a low-priority task, and ask them to focus their efforts on a more deadline-approaching task.
3. Identify Strengths:
Monitoring your employees does not just identify the least performers, it also draws attention to high performers who are going beyond the call of duty
4. More Security and Transparency:
You can earn a bird’s eye view to catch potential safety issues, security breaches and also unify a group of disparate employees who are located at different workplaces or remote locations.
5. Effective Delegation Of Work:
When you know a great deal about your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, it gives you an upper hand to delegate tasks accordingly. There are several employee monitoring tools that foster delegation, better collaboration, make the employee more productive and increase their loyalty.
6. Avoid The Hassles Of Administrative Work:
Automate a large chunk of your administrative paperwork and duties. This also eliminates human errors and generates timely reports.
The Cons Of Employee Monitoring
Despite the advantages, there are several drawbacks of employee monitoring as well, which you can anticipate and set right:
1. Low Employee Morale:
Nitpicking and intruding into the day-to-day affairs of the employees will make your employee think that you don’t trust them and lead to low morale. It also unnecessarily stresses the employees and raises anxiety.
2. Lack of Privacy:
Many employees feel it’s unfair to monitor their actions. This can amplify the issue and lead to higher turnovers as well.
3. Legal Implications:
There is no law stating that private companies cannot monitor their employees. With that said, employers should ensure not to overstep the boundaries. Check with a lawyer and your state’s laws before you implement an employee monitoring system.
How To Choose The Right Employee Monitoring Software?
Today’s employee monitoring tools go beyond the core time tracking functionality of monitoring clock-ins and clock-outs. It is loaded with advanced features such as keystroke logging, location tracking and screenshots to full-blown monitoring platforms. Here are some features to look out for:
- Three Underlying Questions — Firstly, jot down your needs and requirements for an employee monitoring system. In addition to mitigate the negative effects, assess whether the system is not too intrusive whilst also offering some flexibility. Ask yourself — will it be helpful for the business and in what ways, will it help you avoid liabilities and will it help your business to solve problems and also spot problems before they arise.
- The Type Of Team — Is your team all within one office, in remote locations or a bit of both? Consider the team’s requirements and choose a versatile solution that offers some flexibility.
- Task Management & Productivity Evaluation — The software should include these two important features to keep a track on who is doing what. It should also serve as a good decision-making tool generating reports on productivity levels and performance.
- Flexible With Scope For Integration — You should be able to customize settings for each employee to assess their actions on a need-basis. Also, it should enable integration with other tools or apps in order to move data seamlessly.
Some popular Employee Monitoring Software in the markets are Hubstaff, Teramind, ActivTrak, Toggl, InterGuard, VeriClock and more. The technology in these employee monitoring tools can offer great benefits to the business through comprehensive insights, data gathering, reporting, and automation.
Don’t be too terribly intrusive, yet exercise a certain control with your employees by monitoring them. It’s all about striking a balance!