The employee monitoring industry has experienced significant growth in the past couple of years riding the wave of increased business digitization and demand for remote work. According to the business and workplace predictions for 2022, employee monitoring will become a common business practice.
However, keeping track of employees’ activities is a controversial issue raising numerous questions among the workforce and leadership alike. Employers want to know how to implement monitoring and get the most of the entire process, while employees express their concerns about the ethical and legal use of monitoring software for employees.
The good news is that this article will address burning questions revolving around the employee monitoring practice and provide clarifying answers to all parties involved.
What is Employee Monitoring?
Every act of tracking employees’ activities and time spent at work falls under the category of employee monitoring. Companies choose employee monitoring tools depending on what they want to achieve by it. Employee monitoring can boost your team productivity, provide an additional security layer to your data, protect company equipment, and so on. Once you define the goals of monitoring you can opt for one or more surveillance options:
- Key Cards
- Network monitoring
- Email monitoring
- Call monitoring
- Employee monitoring
How Do Monitoring Tools Work?
As you can see from the list below, you can conduct monitoring using various software or hardware. All these tools function in a specific way.
With CCTV monitoring you have a camera and the software checking on the camera. When it comes to Key Cards, you can program them for different access levels and also use them as locks where your employees swipe them to open doors.
If you want to keep a close eye on calls, emails, or employees activities, you need to install monitoring software on employees’ computers to track specific activities.
Is Employee Monitoring Legal and Ethical?
Most employees have serious concerns about the way their management intends to use employee monitoring software and data. Therefore the issue of legality and ethics has become even more serious and urgent to address.
Before you decide to involve employee monitoring in your workflow, make sure that you comply with the monitoring legislature, especially if you’re running remote teams with employees scattered around the world.
Once you and your legal team make sure that all the law-abiding requirements are met, you can proceed with installing and using employee monitoring software.
When it comes to ethics, things aren’t so straightforward. Only managers can decide how they want to use this technology. If you want to use the monitoring without your employees knowing to breach their privacy and penalize them, you better think twice before you face severe consequences of your actions.
The only way to make the most of the employee monitoring is to use the tracking solution transparently, informing your employees about your intentions. You can do this by devising a clear and concise Employee Monitoring Policy and presenting it to all employees.
How to Break the News about Monitoring?
This question is partially answered above. And the answer is simple. Be open and honest about it. Employee monitoring is a controversial topic and you can expect that many employees won’t be on board with this idea initially.
This is why you need to gather your employees in a meeting, present the Employee Monitoring Policy that should contain answers to what is going to be monitored, when, why, and how. More importantly, make sure that your employees know how you intend to use the monitoring information.
Make sure to organize the Q&A sessions following your presentation where you’ll listen carefully to all employees’ concerns and suggestions giving straightforward answers focusing on the benefits they can have from employee monitoring software implementation. By doing this, you’ll gain a fresh perspective on the issue, and eventually their consent to monitoring.
And to help your employees feel at ease with this new policy, make sure you’re giving them access to their monitoring data. Just by using this simple feature, you’ll elevate a lot of stress from your employees since they won’t be wondering what is it that you’re seeing.
How Does Employee Monitoring Software Work?
If you’ve informed your employees and chosen the monitoring solution that best fits your needs, it’s time to learn how it works. This efficient tool consists of two parts: the agent and the dashboard. You need to install the agent on employees’ devices and then track what they’re doing via a web-based dashboard that you can log into from any place in the world.
You can choose to install agents either in stealth or visible mode, depending on your intentions. Stealth mode won’t allow employees to see their dashboards and they won’t know that their activities are tracked. Contrary to this, the visible mode allows workers to access their dashboards, see their statistics, and clock in or out manually.
These advanced trackers offer apps and website tracking, showing you how employees spend their time online. They can also track mouse movements, keystrokes, take screenshots, or record screens.
You can opt for using all the features offered, but it may be a better idea to focus on using those that best fit your needs and align with the goals that you want to achieve.