There has been a surge of employee monitoring software in recent years, as companies utilize them to monitor their workforce’s activities in the workplace. In essence, the system can be an effective way to measure one’s productivity levels, performance, number of hours rendered, punctuality, among other factors that are pertinent to running a successful business.
In the United States, 21% of employees claim that their companies utilize an employee monitoring software as per the research of Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews firm. This number is projected to grow amid the COVID-19 pandemic as most companies have shifted their workforce to working from home.
However, according to experts at Computer World, the trend is concerning for some employees due to privacy and how far companies should be allowed to go to keep tabs on their workers. Here are some challenges companies may have in introducing employee monitoring software to the workplace, and some tip on how to overcome them:
- Invasion of Privacy
Among the most popular contentions of employees to a monitoring software is the invasion of their privacy. There is a question to what, why and in what way exactly are they being monitored. To add to this, there may be suspicion as to the purpose and possible consequences of procuring a software to begin with.
In order to reassure your workforce that the software’s scope of monitoring is limited to their professional workload only, there should be complete transparency between management and employees. It would also be helpful if your employees were part of the process of choosing the software. FinancesOnline lists examples of employee monitoring software if your company is exploring investing in a system.
- Data safety
Another major concern is the safety of employees’ personal information. This issue is relevant especially today as a lot of people are utilizing their personal gadgets for work purposes. Plus, with the proliferation of hacking in the digital age comes the insecurity when it comes to data safety.
To mitigate this concern, companies should invest in top-of-the-line cloud servers that will help safeguard the company’s assets, which includes employee data. It is important that management reassures its workforce that their data is in safe hands.
There is a question of what companies are allowed to monitor under the law, and under what circumstances. There are various limitations and prerequisites per country, and even per area, and it is imperative that companies analyze legal matters prior to investing in monitoring software. This will protect not only the company’s best interests, but the welfare of its employees.
To resolve this issue, the company’s employees must be educated on the legal aspects of employee monitoring upon introduction of the software. From the beginning, employees will be reassured that the process abides by the law, and they will understand the possible repercussions of utilizing this software.
In any kind or manner, monitoring raises the issue of distrust and loyalty in the company. Is monitoring ethical? Will employees constantly be under a microscope? How do employees feel about being monitored? These are some of the questions that may arise upon the introduction of an employee monitoring software.
Companies can overcome this hurdle by introducing the software as a means to achieve the company’s goals. It is important that there’s an element of inclusivity in the company’s messaging so there is a common goal for employees to aspire for. This way, they would perceive the software as a means to contribute to the success of the company.
Another helpful method would be to orient employees to the software in a way that would highlight how the software benefits them personally by improving their project management skills. By putting a positive spin as to the purpose of the software, companies can dispel possible reservations their employees may have, and turn it into motivation for their workforce to excel.
- Effect on productivity
The primary purpose of an employee monitoring software is to boost productivity, but there is a question of its effectiveness. Some employees may argue that the software has no profound effects on their output, and only adds to their workload.
To offset this concern, companies must reinforce the primary objective of utilizing the software, which is to improve workforce productivity. This can be done through the orientation of various ways of boosting productivity levels. This way, the software is positioned as a means to an end, which is for employees to become the best professional versions of themselves.
Empowerment as Key
With an introduction to any new protocols or systems will come apprehensions and doubts. Concerns about workplace privacy and employee monitoring go hand in hand. That is perfectly normal. That is why it is imperative that companies orient their workforce on the benefits of employee monitoring. It is important for them to understand that the software is a helpful tool in order for the company to achieve its goals, and for employees’ self improvement.
Empowering one’s workforce will benefit the company, and making employees feel part of the process makes them feel involved. It makes them feel important. Isn’t that what we all want?