Monitoring user activity can be a hot topic in the workplace. While employers have legitimate concerns about protecting sensitive and proprietary data, not to mention preserving their own networks, software, and hardware, employees also have legitimate concerns about ensuring that their own privacy is protected. Too often, this can manifest itself as employer versus employees and can result in lowered morale and an unhappy work environment when employee monitoring software systems are implemented.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – employees and employers should be on the same side when it comes to protecting the company, and they can be. Here are some tips and tricks to starting monitoring user activity without damaging morale.
Know Your Legal And Ethical Limitations
Educate yourself about your legal obligations and responsibilities when it comes to collecting data on your employees.
Perhaps the most important thing that employers can do to ensure to rollout user monitoring without damaging morale is to make sure that they’re adhering to the legal and ethical limits of this type of monitoring. Though they vary by location, there are usually laws regarding your employees’ privacy that you’re supposed to follow – however, it’s not unheard of for employers to overstep these boundaries, and employees may not feel that they have much recourse in those cases. Making it a priority to respect your employees’ legal boundaries can help prevent and defuse tension.
Employers should also consider the ethical boundaries of employee monitoring in situations that aren’t explicitly covered by the law. You don’t necessarily need every bit of information that you could collect. For example, some information can be anonymized, giving you important information about patterns in the workplace without singling out individual employees. In many cases, you can get more useful information from observing anonymized patterns than you could from calling out individual employees, so why not preserve their anonymity when possible?
It doesn’t matter how many good reasons there are to monitor your employees, if you allow your employees to find out after the fact that you’ve been monitoring them, rather than telling them up front, your employees are going to feel that they’ve been unfairly spied upon when they find out.
This is a natural reaction to discovering that one has been monitored without their knowledge, but it doesn’t have to happen. You can avoid this experience with your employees by being transparent and upfront with your monitoring plans. Let your employees know what you’re going to be monitoring and why. Inform them about what data will be collected, what you plan to do with that data, and how you’ll make sure that their data won’t end up being misused.
Allow your employees to express any concerns they have and make a good-faith effort to address those concerns honestly. This is a simple way to help ensure that you aren’t damaging employee morale..
Incorporate Training Into Your Roll Out
Provide additional training to help bring your employees into the process of protecting the company’s data.
As an employer and leader, it’s your job to set your employees up for success, not to try to catch them doing something wrong. You can do that by incorporating computer security training into your employee monitoring system roll out.
After all, the most important thing that your employee monitoring software can do is help you prevent data breaches and other types of malicious infiltration. Your employees can also help prevent these problems if they’re properly trained in security protocols and suspicious contacts. By including security training for employees in your roll out, you’re emphasizing to your employees that your focus is on protecting the company’s data and network, not singling out and punishing them. You’re including them in your efforts to make your company more secure.
Your employees will be happier if they see themselves as partners in protecting the company’s data, not targets of monitoring software. And your company’s data will be that much more secure.
A good user activity monitoring platform can be customized to meet the needs of your employees and address their concerns. For more information about how employee monitoring software can work for your company, start your free 7-day trial.