Why You Should Be Monitoring Your Employees

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In the US, citizens have fabulous protection from the government. The authorities cannot monitor people from afar without the consent of a judge, something difficult to get, and impossible without a warrant indicating clear criminal intent.

But private companies don’t have to jump through the same legal hoops. In fact, private companies are viewed in much the same ways as private citizens, and there are few if any legal impediments preventing them from monitoring each other.

Companies need to monitor their employees for all kinds of reasons which we’ll discuss below. But suffice to say that monitoring has become big business and an essential part of how firms operate. We’re not just talking monitoring of emails or voice conversations either, but also GPS monitoring of company fleets and purchase tracking using fleet gas cards.

What Are The Pros Of Employee Monitoring?

When it comes to monitoring, many companies do it. But why? What are the advantages?

Lower Administrative Overheads

Administration is something of the bane of most companies, eating up large amounts of time and providing little value in return. But the burden of admin could be about to decrease substantially with the widespread adoption of employee monitoring.

One of the byproducts of employee monitoring is that you can easily see when they’re productive and when they’re not. You can also see things like where they’re working and which currencies they use.

Why is this important? It’s important because you can use that information and feed it into software which then calculates how much someone should be paid automatically, without having to do it all by hand. You can use software to determine how much a person should get paid and in what currency, cutting down dramatically on the amount of background admin work and payroll.

Improved Delegation

Without constant feedback, it can be difficult to tell to whom you should delegate. But with monitoring, you can gather all the information you need to make the best decisions. When you delegate to the right person, you improve team morale and boost the productivity of your team, enabling you to focus on the bigger picture.

Monitoring is a great way to build up a profile of each team member. Once you have data on their performance, you can use this to pick employees with the right strengths to perform the task that you want doing. You can also avoid employees with weaknesses that you don’t want.

Better Transparency

Sometimes things can go wrong in the office or at your place of work. In the most severe cases, money can go missing, and a team member could be held under suspicion of theft.

One of the great things about monitoring is that it can be used to clear the names of people in your organization under suspicion. Clear monitoring helps to prove people’s innocence, or provide the evidence needed to expel them from the firm.

Security isn’t the only realm in which better transparency helps. It’s also invaluable in situations where you have a team that you manage remotely. Remote groups can fragment over time, and workflows can become confused. One person can be working on one stage of a project without realizing that a critical component has not yet been put in place.

Monitoring, however, helps to build granular transparency. Everybody can see what other people are doing and then coordinate their efforts more effectively. The person working on an advanced stage of the project can step back and make sure that the other pieces are in place before continuing.

Better Security

Employee monitoring has already proven extremely helpful in reducing incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace. Monitoring can pinpoint where bullying is taking place and provide evidence to suspend or fire the offending employees.

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But monitoring goes well beyond cases of inappropriate workplace behavior. Many companies use monitoring to ensure the ongoing safety of their people.

Take a company that has a large number of operators in the field. The roads can be a dangerous place. A company without monitoring may not be able to raise the alarm if a colleague doesn’t show up at the office at the expected time. But one that is tracking the vehicle driven by that employee has all the data that it needs to send out help in the event of an emergency.

Improved Ability To Promote

Employees and managers tend to view monitoring in a negative light, seeing it as something that can be used to catch criminals operating in an organization. But while monitoring is highly effective at preventing crimes against a firm, it is also great at identifying people who are the most productive in your organization.

Suppose, for instance, that you employ a team of waiters that serve tables in your restaurant. You want to choose a waiter to promote, but you’re not sure which. Just watching them do their work, it’s hard to tell who is the most productive, and who needs to do some work. But when you institute proper monitoring, it quickly becomes clear who is a high-performance star and who isn’t. Monitoring collects data on the activity of each employee and then feeds this information in a bitesize format to managers who can then interpret it.

Promoting an employee to a management position is always a challenging decision, but with the right data, it is much easier.

Reduced Errors In Your Business

Errors can be very costly and add up over time. But with a good monitoring system in place, you can cut down on mistakes and get better insights into where your team is going wrong.

Errors can crop up in all kinds of places, from the content that your marketing team puts together to the implementation of services at a client’s premises. By collecting data, you’re often able to identify where errors start and then set in place strategies to prevent them from recurring.

For instance, if errors are more likely on Monday than on Tuesday, could it be possible that employee excesses over the weekend are taking their toll?

Less Time-Wasting

You pay your employees to work, say, 8 hours per day with an hour for lunch. But when you look at how workers spend their time, you find that for 90 to 270 minutes per day, they’re not performing the task in hand but doing something else non-productive. Now, we’re not saying that employees should be glued to their monitors for a full eight hours every day, but spending 270 minutes on social media and chatting to colleagues is a little excessive.

How do you cut down on this? The first thing to do is put in place a robust monitoring system. Yahoo, for instance, decided to eliminate its work from home programme after monitoring work-from-home employees.

What they found won’t surprise most people: the people who worked from home were far less productive than their in-office counterparts to the tune of nearly 50 percent. It just didn’t pay Yahoo to continue the work-from-home option, giving just how much less value-for-money the firm was getting.

Conclusion

So while monitoring has typically been seen as a big brother approach to management, it has many other side benefits which could benefit your company. It can make your employees safer and identify those who should be promoted, based on their output.

Monitoring also helps to prevent the recurrence of errors and makes the workplace more transparent, which is great for remote teams. So what are you waiting for? Is it time you tried out monitoring in your organization?

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