It’s not uncommon for employees to slack off at work. Whether it’s checking social media, watching videos on the internet, making personal phone calls or any number of distractions, employees often have their attention diverted away from work. For this reason, among many others, companies may wish to implement a monitoring system to keep tabs on their employees.
However, if you’re an HR manager and your business is thinking about implementing such a system, there are a few important things you need to know first. These range from different benefits that employee monitoring can offer your company to critical pitfalls that should be avoided.
One good benefit of employee monitoring is that it limits distractions. By installing a monitoring software in employees’ work devices, it’s possible to track what websites they visit, what apps they use, and what they’re spending their time on.
This way, you can see what distractions they’re wasting their time on. You can put a stop to it by both blocking access, as well as speaking with your employees about it.
2Train new employees
Whenever a new employee is hired, a lot of time and effort goes into training them. Employee monitoring can significantly improve this process by tracking new hires’ habits and correcting accordingly.
For example, perhaps your monitoring logs are showing that one of your new employees is not following the usual protocol. You can look over these logs to see what their habits are like. After that, guide them towards doing things correctly.
3Improve on weak areas
Not only is employee monitoring a great tool for training new employees, but it’s also good for helping improve the employees that you already have.
Because employee monitoring tracks the activity and habits of employees, it can also show you the areas they’re having the most trouble with. Once you detect the problems, you can guide them and give them the support they need to improve.
4Protect from wrongful dismissal lawsuits
In the event that an employee needs to be let go, the records that come with employee monitoring can come in handy. If the former employee decides to sue the company for wrongful dismissal, you use these records as evidence that your company was in the right.
Not only could having these records help make a lawsuit end in your favor, but it can also help dissuade such lawsuits from happening at all.
5Follow the law
Before implementing employee monitoring, it is very important that you make sure it is done according to the law. The last thing you’d want is for your company to get in trouble for overstepping boundaries.
As laws can vary depending on country and state, you need to know what laws you need to follow. However, as a general rule, you should inform your employees that you will be monitoring them. Have them sign an agreement allowing you to monitor them. Along with this, it is typically illegal to monitor your employees outside of working hours. Be sure to avoid doing that.
Again, while following these guidelines should keep you on the right side of the law in most cases, you should still research the laws in your local jurisdiction because they can vary a great deal. What might be perfectly legal in one country could be a felony in another.
6Explain the benefits
A lot of people have misgivings about their company monitoring them. In order to ensure a good transition, let your employees know why you’ll be monitoring them. Discuss what you’ll be monitoring them for and how it can benefit not just the company, but them as individuals as well.
If this is done before your company begins monitoring, then it should help to assuage any negative feelings or apprehension that your employees may have about being monitored.
7Use your resources better
By tracking where time and resources are being spent within the company, you’ll be able to allocate your sources better. You can direct them towards the more important work that needs to be done.
8Bonus: Solve disputes between employees
Employee monitoring software keeps logs of emails and other communication between employees. This makes it easier to solve any disputes that may arise. By having accurate records of what was said to who, you’ll be able to sort out any misunderstandings. It will also be easy to get the full picture of any sort of conflict in order to make mediating a much simpler process.
Yuri Martsinovsky has been working in the security software industry at SoftActivity – computer and employee monitoring software development company – for over 15 years. He covers insider threats, computer monitoring, and other enterprise security topics. To read more posts by Yuri, follow Monitoring and Security Software Blog or company Twitter @SoftActivity.