To monitor and track your employees to increase productivity is necessary. It can be done by incorporating one of the classic monitoring platforms that track workstations in your office space and to block certain websites combined with security camera system by employing some of the advanced monitoring solutions that come with features like tracking communication done via emails and chat apps, GPS tracking of company’s phones, laptops, and/or cars, and monitoring employee productivity. No matter which solution you pick you definitely want your employees to accept the fact that they will soon be monitored.
But how to get their support? Just how to break the news to your workforce and what to do in order for them to accept it and even support it?
You should do this:
Transparency about a decision that affects the whole company is extremely important – and thinking about installing an employee monitoring software will certainly affect the company as a whole. You should be aware that not a single employee will look kindly if you and top managers decide to install an employee monitoring system without consulting the entire workforce. Instead of coming up with a decision behind closed doors you should inform your entire workforce as soon as you start considering implementing a monitoring system. If you keep the whole thing a secret you will most certainly lose your employees’ trust once the news is out.
Make sure to explain the reasons behind the decision, how the company as a whole will benefit from using an employee monitoring system. Focus on positives but do talk about the negative sides of using such a platform. Informed employees are more likely to accept having their work and communication monitored and if you are honest about it there’s a high chance that a large amount of your workforce will even look at the whole thing positively.
Make employees active contributors during the selection process
Being transparent and truthful about installing an employee monitoring system is just the start, you should also think about making workers as active contributors once you make a decision to install a monitoring system. HR managers can have meetings with employees where they will discuss different needs of the company and the reasons why their work needs to be monitored.
Then, based on needs they can choose the appropriate system together. Employees can even test each of the suggested platforms and give you an honest piece of feedback about each. This will make the whole process much more straightforward and it can lead to picking the right choice from the first try. It’s better letting your workforce to contribute because they are the best source of information regarding using an employee monitoring system on a day to day basis.
In other words, your employees are the best possible testers of such a system and if you truly want to use a monitoring system that has all the features you need and at the same time your workforce don’t mind using it testing all the potential solutions is the best course of action.
Respect your workers’ opinion
Now, you shouldn’t look at your employees as simple testers and additional sources of information during the process of picking and installing the right monitoring system. You should respect their opinion and use it as guidance when picking an employee monitoring system. If some platform packs all features you need and is great to use across the company but the majority of your workforce has a strong negative attitude towards a certain feature like the automatic screen recording or monitoring of all communication on each workstation, you should listen to them.
In that case, try coming up with a compromise that is fair to both employees and the company and its needs. For instance, if you don’t really need an automatic screen recording option try to find a platform without one or look if it could be disabled in your current platform of choice. And in case you cannot turn off a certain feature then try finding common ground with your workforce. For instance, if your company handles sensitive data you cannot simply turn off complete data monitoring. In that case, you can offer to turn off communication monitoring during breaks, or to allow employees to use their private smartphones during office hours (but, for instance, not allowing them to take pictures with their phones).
Come up with written rules regarding employee monitoring
Written rules are extremely important to have when using an employee monitoring system. Creating a written policy that clearly states employee rights as well as their liabilities when it comes to employee monitoring. Their privacy should be kept safe but they also have to agree to follow the written guidelines. That way your workforce will be protected but at the same time, your company won’t get into legal trouble.
This policy should be concise and easy to understand (every single one of your employees has to sign it and they won’t do it if the policy is too complex for persons without a legal background). It should offer assurances that private data collected via the monitoring data will be kept secure and that no one is allowed to misuse the data for their personal gain. And finally, data collected cannot be used outside work-related cases because that’s illegal.
Pick a trained and trusted Employee monitoring administrator
Instead of hiring new people to fill out monitoring administrator roles you should instead pick talent from inside the company. Pick managers who earned workers’ trust and who are in your company for at least a couple of years, pick someone who knows the company and its people from inside out, someone who can be trusted because there are many ways in which collected data can be misused.
They should be fully trained before taking this new role, with complete knowledge about the platform and its features. Also, they definitely should sign NDA because one of the most important things when it comes to employee monitoring is keeping the collected data secure.
Keep the collected data secure
While most employee monitoring platforms do not collect personal data, some sort of personal data may be collected inadvertently. For instance, you can track a worker during their break because they used a company car to collect lunch for them and their colleagues. Or some employee might forget that the email clients on all workstations are monitored and they send a private email message during work hours. This cases can happen and the best way to protect collected data is keeping it secure on the company’s servers and only letting select managers access to the stored data. Of course, everyone who has access to the data that has been collected by the monitoring software should also be using NDA.
Always follow the law
And finally, as a bonus tip, you should always follow the law regarding employee monitoring. Your legal team should know about legal and illegal practices of employee monitoring because some platforms offer features that are technically illegal like keyloggers (and while in some countries they are legal, using keyloggers isn’t a moral thing to do, no matter where you live).
Monitoring private employee phones, laptops, or cars also is illegal. Tracking business devices, such as a company smartphone issued to a certain employee is legal, but only during work hours. You can track a smartphone or monitor web activity on a company-issued laptop even if an employee stayed at home but only during work hours.