You probably wouldn’t want someone standing over your shoulder, watching every move you made while you were working. You’d probably like it even less if that person berated you for every small mistake or lectured you every time you took a brief break from working. That’s how a lot of workers envision employee computer surveillance – and in fairness, that’s how some employers use it, so we can’t blame employee for pushing back. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can be raising productivity and improving your workplace without being a judgmental overseer hovering over employees.
Be Upfront With Your Employees
Give employees an idea of what kind of information you’re looking for and how it will be used to benefit the company without being intrusive.
If there’s anything that employees like less than feeling like they’re being watched, it’s finding out after the fact that they’ve been monitored without their knowledge. While you may think at first that you can avoid negative reactions to digital surveillance simply by not mentioning it, the truth is that your employees will eventually learn that they’re being monitored – as soon as you start raising productivity by addressing problems picked up by the computer surveillance system, employees will figure it out and word will spread.
It’s best to confront the issue head-on. Not only will employees prefer knowing about it upfront, you can use the opportunity to address some of your employee’s concerns. For example, you should stress that an important feature of monitoring is that it allows you to pick up on patterns that affect productivity in whole departments or in the workplace as a whole and that this information is often more valuable than singling out individuals.
Approach Problems With A Positive Attitude
Negative responses to data obtained by monitoring can be counterproductive. Try a positive approach instead.
When workforce surveillance does reveal that individuals or groups of employees have weak spots that need to be worked on, consider carefully how you approach those problems. It’s often best to approach these issues with a positive attitude. No one likes to feel like they’re being berated.
Employees will make honest mistakes, and sometimes groups of employees have common weaknesses in their training or in the execution of their duties. When you identify these issues through monitoring, let your employees know that you want to address the issue in ways that both improve productivity for the company and help the employees to be more successful and satisfied in their jobs. Be sure to praise them for what they’re doing well, and ask for their input on what they need to work more effectively when it’s appropriate to do so. Focus on retraining and working together for mutual success, not on punishment for mistakes. This will help your employees feel that digital activity surveillance is for their benefit as well, and not meant to be punitive or intrusive.
Respect Personal Devices and Off-Hours
It’s easy for employees to feel intruded upon if something that happens during their own time comes up in a meeting with their boss. While monitoring employee smart phones during working hours can be beneficial, monitoring employees phones around the clock is rarely helpful to employers, and can foster low morale among workers.
An easy way to differentiate is to confine monitoring software to work devices only. This allows employees to easily separate their personal online lives from their work lives by simply confining their personal internet use to their personal devices – and this is better for productivity as well.
If you have remote workers or employees who are required to carry a work device on them outside of work hours, you may need to choose monitoring software that has the ability to turn features off when the employee is not actively working. Employees should not need to worry that their employer is tracking their movements or collecting other personal data when the employee is off the clock.
While employees may initially be skeptical, employee monitoring software can be beneficial to everyone when used correctly. For more information, read about how employee surveillance software can raise employee productivity in your organization.