Employee Monitoring: Good or Bad? And When Is It Acceptable?
When it comes to employee monitoring, many organisations have some common questions.
Should we do it? Will it be good or bad for the organisation’s growth? How to implement it correctly?
Well, these are genuine questions because employee monitoring is both good and bad.
It can benefit your organisation if appropriately implemented, but it can also lead to legal troubles.
Many employees might be distracted and engage in many personal activities during work hours. Employee monitoring can help track this and manage these issues.
On the other hand, employees can feel that their employer doesn’t trust them as they are being monitored every day.
Thus, employee monitoring can be a bewildering task. It can be done in an optimum way only after you understand how to do it correctly.
This article will let you understand the good and bad of employee monitoring and whether employees should do it.
What is Employee Monitoring?
Employee monitoring is the act of monitoring employees’ activities. It includes monitoring emails, internet usage, keystrokes, or any other activities of the employees.
This term may sound scary to some, but you need to understand that it’s not illegal if done correctly.
Many organisations do this because they want to ensure that their employees are working for their growth.
While at the same time, some organisations also do this in the wrong way by tracking personal emails and chats.
Why Do Companies Choose Employee Monitoring?
There are several reasons behind the company’s choice of monitoring employees. Some of these are listed below:
- Many cyber threats are caused by irresponsible internet usage like data loss, shadow IT risks, malware, etc. Therefore, to prevent employees from indulging in such activities, the company tracks their activities.
- To save the organisation from any losses. For example, if an employee uses a company’s laptop or PC, if they sell it or lose it somewhere, the company can track it.
- To make sure that employees don’t cyberbully others. There are many cases where some bullies use the company computer to bully others on the internet. It is terrible for an organisation’s reputation and can harm other employees’ mental health.
Pros of Employee Monitoring
One of the main reasons why companies monitor their employees is to enhance organisational security. Certain types of monitoring will prevent employees from installing unknown programs.
Additionally, there might be other protective measures taken to control the data exchanges between teams.
Software like project management systems enhances efficiency apart from monitoring.
You can use tools like time tracking software or time management apps to track whether employees are efficiently performing their tasks.
It also helps in improving the overall output of your company which makes you more successful and profitable.
Helps in choosing good performing employees
Employee monitoring helps in selecting the right employees.
When you monitor their work, you will get to know the good employees and who need help. It makes the promotion process more transparent for every employee.
Cons of Employee monitoring
Lack of trust among employees
When your employees don’t accept that you monitor their activities, they will avoid using company devices. Moreover, if employees don’t trust the organisation, it becomes difficult to work with each other.
After all, it is a matter of trust on both ends. Employees will want their companies to respect their privacy.
In turn, businesses will expect their teams to be passionate about work and avoid slacking off.
Employee doubt on intrusive behaviour
If your organisation constantly monitors the employees, they will start to doubt the company’s invasive behaviour.
It lowers their morale, and eventually, they end up working in a very inefficient manner.
In some cases, they might leave for companies that trust their employees more.
Risk of data leak
When a company collects data on employees, the risk of someone hacking into the system also increases.
If this happens, the entire employee database can get leaked, harming the organisation and employees.
When Is Employee Monitoring Acceptable?
Now that you know what company monitoring means and its pros and cons, let us discuss making an effective employee monitoring policy.
This can ensure maximum acceptance percentage in your employees.
- It is essential to tell your employees that you monitor their activities. Transparency is one of the most important things here. They must be aware of your organisation’s policies concerning the internet, mobile, etc. You can use awareness sessions, newsletters, and emails to make them aware.
- You can also let employees know what kind of data you plan on collecting and why it is crucial to collect this data for the company’s security and success.
- Apart from making them aware, provide them privacy policies to read. It will help them understand what you can do with their data and whatnot.
- You must also let your employees know about the consequences if they violate any policy.
- Give enough reasons as to why employee monitoring is necessary.
- If you do not want to monitor your employees, there are ways to secure your business operations. For instance, encourage employees always to use a VPN app when they work. It will ensure that the communications and other data-sharing activities happen safely. If your employees use personal devices, recommend them to use a VPN application to protect their browsing outside of work, too.
Employee monitoring is vital for the success of an organisation, but you should do it fairly and transparently.
You can send company reminders or conduct awareness sessions to let your employees know about the policies.
Apart from this, it would help if you take the help of software for monitoring to enhance transparency.