“How do I keep regular track of my employees?” This is a question that constantly lingers in every employer’s mind. Though they may not publicly admit it, they fear that monitoring employees will take too much of their time, or that it is unethical since they will be intruding on their workers’ privacy.

As unethical as it may seem to you, it is important to understand that at the end of the day there are business goals to be met, like increasing productivity. One of the most effective ways is to monitor employees, which comes with its share of pros and cons as follows;

Pros

  • You are able to gauge how much work to give each employee
  • There is a noticeable increase in company data security
  • Hard-to-find issues like sexual harassment can be uncovered
  • Reduced theft cases
  • Less time wastage leads to more productivity

Cons

  • Employees feel their privacy rights are being violated
  • It costs time to implement and follow up, and money to install devices and software
  • Some employees may resign from their work
  • You do not have full monitoring rights as there are laws in place

Do this before monitoring employees

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Communicate with them

Be honest with your employees. Inform them beforehand that you will be monitoring and provide your reasons behind it. Reassure them of your trust in them and that their privacy will not be violated. Do tell them also of the monitoring of the benefits will bring to the organization.

Review your country’s laws

Canada and some European countries do not allow monitoring employees without their consent. In the US, it is legal. Be sure to consult a lawyer on whether the laws in your country permit monitoring, whether any documents are required and what the limits are as to how much you can monitor.

Know what methods and software to use

First, identify the metrics you want to track and then search for tools that are most suitable. Whichever you choose should not distract employees from their work. It should blend seamlessly without needing too much time to adapt to it.

Efficient ways you can use to monitor employees

There are many ways to monitor employees at the workplace including the use of proximity card readers, user activity monitoring tools, security cameras, GPS, and clock in/clock out tools.

Proximity card readers

These cards are able to track your workers’ movement including their access into certain areas. They are encoded with data and communicate wirelessly through radiofrequency.

Proximity card readers will provide your business with data analytics and trackable entry. Beware that it is possible to hack a card reader with online-purchased devices, which should motivate you to upgrade them when you notice any vulnerabilities.

User activity monitoring tools

These are software tools that monitor a user’s behavior on a company’s device or network. They can detect and stop intentional or unintentional insider threats before company data is breached.

An example of a user activity monitoring tool is the keystroke logger which captures activity on the keyboard including individual keystrokes that have been entered into documents, programs, emails, instant messages, and web browsers.

Security cameras

These cameras are efficient in recording theft, injury, or harassment at the workplace. Most security cameras lack audio because there are some instances where the law prohibits recording oral communication.

Employers must have a legal reason to install security cameras and are prohibited from installing them in restrooms, hotel rooms, and other places where privacy is needed.

GPS on vehicles

Monitoring an employee’s location through GPS ensures that they are not overspending or breaking other traffic rules.

An employer can install a GPS device on a company’s car but it is illegal to force employees to install it on their cars in order to track their movement. Be considerate and only track an employee for a certain purpose related to business.

Clock in/clock-out system

This one offers an effective way to track time, manage attendance and calculate your staff’s exact wages. A clock-in clock-out system tracks the time they logged in, any breaks they had, how many hours they worked, and if there was any overtime. Usually, the system comes with time cards with time logs, digital timesheets, and reports.

Other methods used by employers to monitor employees include recording telephone conversations and tracking emails and voicemails.

Just do it!

No matter how much it may intimidate you, monitoring your employees is crucial to the overall management and success of the business. Just be sure that you have a plan laid out and you don’t go overboard and intrude into their sensitive information like credit cards and private medical records (which can get you sued). Good luck!

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