What are the Pros and Cons of Employee Monitoring?
Every employee should be monitored, and this is not meant to be done in a negative way. Every employee -including a productive, strong and dedicated workforce needs to be monitored. This should be done because employees need to know their workforce. They need to understand who is doing the most productive work and bring an adequate amount of effort as well as an output to the table. Even though employee monitoring can be considered as somewhat creepy, it still remains one of the surest actions that an employer can take to read into the pluses and minuses of his or her business.
Simply put, tracking the actions of employees can allow employers to:
Observe employees and witness first hand how do the employees perform or do not perform within the roles and responsibilities of their jobs.
Employers can witness if their business is functioning properly or if it needs attention in certain areas or on certain levels.
Employee monitoring has proven to be an effective business tool for determining business safety. For instance, every employee is fully capable of performing their job role. Or if not, do they need to be trained again? Is their job safe or does the job poses a potential health risk, how does the employee execute the job role.
For many pros that employee monitoring has and can present in an argument for itself, there have been some cons also present. Here are the pros and cons of employee monitoring.
The Pros of Employee Monitoring
1) Putting a limit on distractions:
We can limit the amount of distraction causing instances such as limiting the use of Social Media Websites, YouTube, Etc. Through monitoring software, it is now possible to detect when an employee is wasting time on activities that are not related to their work and also see how long they spend their time on these distractions.
From there the business owner can either block these distractions or guide his or her employee not to take part in such distractions while working.
2) Search out the problem areas:
The employee monitoring software allows employers to not only keep track of how long employees focus on non-work related distractions, but it can also reveal how long employees spend time on certain tasks. Using this aspect of employee monitoring, it becomes possible to find out what issues businesses employees have with their tasks.
For example, an employee needs help to figure out a problem or maybe they are just better suited for a different task altogether. Employee monitoring can figure out the problem areas and help to minimize them.
Must Read: Benefits Of Employee Tracking Software
3) Reallocate resources:
As the employee monitoring software is being implemented, the employer will soon have a handy record of where time, as well as resources, are being spent throughout an average workday. This record allows employers to figure out where the resources can be better allocated and what tasks should be raised or lowered in priority. This prioritization allows the employer to find out the important tasks. That their employees do as well as optimize the schedule and deadlines for the tasks being given at hand.
4) Detect hackers:
The act of employee monitoring goes beyond the employees to focus on cybersecurity. After all, a business these days is only as good as the website or its content. If either one is threatened, the website and its content may find itself down for the day’s count, maybe even the weeks count. It is possible that the employees could leak information crucial to the company and this can be easily tracked through the help of monitoring software.
5) Prevent unauthorized access:
Another way that employee monitoring can help is to tighten up security on which employees access what. When this is done maliciously or by accident, the employee monitoring software is able to help alert employers when the users access data that they are not supposed to. Employers can help safeguard their sensitive data against insider threats.
6) Explain the benefits to your employees:
An important action that can be taken by the employer before implementing employee monitoring is to explain the employees beforehand. Without a doubt, generally, employees are wary about monitoring software. Given this, a simple explanation detailing the goals and benefits. That an employer can hope to achieve with employee monitoring software can make the process operate significantly smoother.
7) Adhere to the law:
Obviously, when going for implementation of the employee monitoring software, it’s important that employers make sure they don’t break laws while doing it. Although certain country laws differ depending on country and state. The general rule of thumb is that employers should never monitor employees’ personal devices unless they have given their permission in writing. Likewise, it is against the law to monitor employees outside of working hours.
The Cons of Employee Monitoring
As you might guess, there are real and present cons to employee monitoring. None of which are favorable to a productive work environment. Nonetheless, these are issues that are worth considering for an employer. If they do decide to introduce employee monitoring to their businesses.
1. Employee monitoring can injure employee trust:
Any employee monitoring policy will more than likely hurt someone on your team or workforce, putting into jeopardy your employer/employee relationship(s). Depending upon the culture of the workplace or organization, this could be an injury that goes beyond repair. This is especially true if the monitoring is implemented after an employee has been hired. Or employees have already built a reputation for doing the right thing.
2. Employee monitoring can reduce motivation and commitment:
People don’t like to be watched. If an employer is keeping a close watch on every action an employee takes, then there isn’t much motivation to do anything but look for a new job in their spare time – which in some cases will happen if an employee feels uncomfortable while being monitored.
If in the very least, an employer can expect some employees to be pushed back through a lack of motivation. Which could result in the death knolls for any business.
3. There may be privacy issues involved:
Are you certain that you can legally pursue your employee monitoring? If not, you better make sure lest you get taken down by someone who works for you complaining of privacy invasions, etc. There are certain laws as well as restrictions that are put in place, dating back as far as 1986, that prohibit the interception of communication or accessing stored communications in an authorized way.
Phone calls and emails are exempt, but other monitoring requires employee consent. That consent in many cases is unfortunately assumed instead of asked for by employers.
4. Employee monitoring can be costly/there is a certain expense involved:
To implement employee monitoring, there must be an investment in the technology that makes it happen. There are also staffing costs as well as training costs. That is involved because someone has to look at the data which is being collected.
5. Who will watch the watchers:
This is exactly where debates about employee monitoring often go. You’ve got people who are watching the data being collected. But who is watching the people that monitor the employees and the data? Eventually, there will need to be a person or in larger cases of employee monitoring, a team that oversees the implementation of standards while understanding their position’s power and how it can lead to abuses.
6. Employee monitoring can lead to discomfort which can hamper performance:
Nervousness, extended sick day periods, or an out-and-out mass exodus of employees can be the result of your employee monitoring. Of course, when that happens, your businesses’ workplace performance can suffer dramatically. As you think about employee monitoring, give particular consideration to your employees and how they may react to your actions. Ask yourself how they will first act about being monitoring. Whether or not they may get used to it and learn of its benefits after some time with monitoring in place.
7. Unfavorable rumors may crop up among others within your industry:
No employer likes negative press when it comes to them and their business. Well, to put it directly, it is more likely than not that employee monitoring isn’t going to earn you any pats on the back. In fact, the polar opposite may occur in which employers and employees alike within your industry may now see you and your establishment in a negative light. Which can ultimately affect your business, especially if that negativity spreads into the public.
Implementing Employee Monitoring software has its share of pros and cons. It depends upon the organization to go forward with the implementation.
If you’re looking for implementing any employee monitoring software or employee monitoring app that can help you to boost sales and revenue, you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call and we will provide you with a free demo on our world-class employee monitoring and geo-fencing app Field Force Connect.