We live in the golden age of data.
Information is a hot commodity nowadays so whoever has the means to gather it and knows how to make use of it is one step closer to success.
This is exactly why employees monitoring software has become increasingly popular in recent years, not to mention the sudden work-from-home boom caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
With the wealth of information this technology provides, it’s become quite tempting for business owners and managers to implement it in their professional environments to keep a better eye on employees, ensure effective processes, and work with the best tools.
Why are we telling you this?
If you’ve started reading this article, you’re obviously interested in introducing some sort of software to monitor what your employees are doing when they should be working and how productive they actually are during office hours (no matter how loose the term has become recently).
However, bear in mind that such a large-scale disturbance must be followed by a big shift in the company culture. Before you start asking your employees to download the Insightful software onto their computers and start clocking in and out every day, you first must make them understand why that is necessary and how it can help them be more productive and the company even a little bit more profitable.
What Are the Benefits of Employee Monitoring Software?
Insights into how efficient company processes, employees, and overall operations are - those are the most obvious benefits to having computer software measuring employee office time, browsing history, keystroke activity, taking screenshots, and more.
If you are looking to optimize your business processes, having a clear understanding of which of them suffer from bottleneck issues, should be automated or can simply be discarded, can save you a lot of money and time to focus on other things. It’s in everyone’s best interest for the company to operate efficiently, for the clients to be satisfied with your product and customer service, and everyone to have a positive bottom line. Since employee monitoring can be of great help with identifying such issues, it should be a welcome addition in such a company.
Moreover, not all kinds of productivity lows can be attributed to non-optimized company processes. Maybe you have a few employees who just love to chitchat all day long and actually work for only two hours towards the end of the shift. Those people not only aren’t pulling their weight in the company, but are also influencing other team members in a negative manner.
By implementing proper desktop surveillance software, you can make sure they focus on working more diligently and efficiently. Tools like Insightful give the managers the option to separate productive from unproductive and neutral activities in accordance with every employee’s nature of assignments, and can take screenshots at random, manually, or when triggered by an activity flagged as inappropriate. But in most cases, simply knowing they are being monitored makes employees behaving more responsibly at work - whether in an office or when working from home.
Finally, only the best software for employee monitoring - like Insightful - can give you actionable information that can help you identify which company operations need to be improved or copied to other departments to achieve better results in the foreseeable future.
But before starting to gather that information, tell your employees they will be monitored. Here is why and how to do it properly.
Have a Good Reason for Employee Monitoring
There needs to be a good reason for deciding to implement software able to monitor employee performance.
It’s neither ethical nor legal (in some countries) to introduce this type of software just to see who is working eight hours a day and what websites they like to browse. However, if there is a suspicion certain employees are avoiding their duties and acting unprofessionally at work, then you have a good basis for introducing monitoring software for employers.
It will be able to give you precise and consistent information in regard to workers’ productivity and help determine what needs to be improved to ensure better workflows.
Inform the Employees About What Is Being Monitored and Why
If the work has never before been monitored in your company, then implementing any software for that purpose will be a completely new thing for your employees as well as you (the manager).
That’s why the transition needs to be as smooth as possible.
Before starting to use even a free online monitoring software, management needs to identify all the areas they want to get information on and for what purpose.
Be specific and try to explain the process to the best of your abilities. This will help minimize negative feelings toward this new change and keep employees from wondering if they will be flagged for checking their email too many times a day. Angsty workers tend to make a lot of mistakes in their tasks, so try to avoid that whenever possible.
The best employee monitoring policy, though, is to clearly state which types of behavior are acceptable and encouraged, and which are not. You may even want to create some kind of guide for employees - a handbook of sorts - so that it’s even easier to onboard new arrivals later on.
Also very important to emphasize in talking to the staff is that this isn’t a form of punishment for everyone because some of them may not be acting the way they are supposed to.
Make it clear that this can help all of them advance on the job because monitoring software gives accurate, consistent, and objective information about their working habits and productivity levels, which can come in handy during the reviewing process.
Build and Maintain Trust
When a big change is introduced, a lot of things can happen.
Make sure not to jeopardize the trust that has already been built between the management and employees. In the case of new hires, you need to lay a good foundation for a solid relationship going forward, so be clear about your expectations of them with and without employee monitoring.
Always have in mind that happy employees are ultimately productive employees. So, invest effort into creating a workplace atmosphere that reflects that - big and bright office, modern equipment, tools available, appropriate workload, and more.
Let all employees know that your ultimate goal is to ensure that the company is constantly growing and making progress. Technology simply represents one way that can be achieved, so it’s necessary to implement new tools to enable productive work.
Include Employees in the Process
When you enter the process of choosing the right tool for your organization, include as many of your employees as possible on as many levels as you can.
This will give them a chance to get familiar with the concept behind worker monitoring, they will be able to see what tools like Insightful have to offer, and they can weigh the pros against cons for themselves.
Since data safety is one of the biggest concerns among workers when it comes to monitoring software in general, enlist their help in finding the one solution that will make them feel comfortable using it.
Nearly 50% of employees don’t think information gathered about them in similar tools is unsafe, but Insightful for example stores encrypted data with no way of it being stolen. Use this to turn things around.
You can either explain to them why the tool you want to use is safe or you can ask them to assess that for themselves among all available options. Either way, getting them involved in the selection process facilitates it significantly.
Ultimately, your staff will be able to help you choose the best PC monitoring software for your company and employees’ needs without you having to be some kind of a bad guy.
Depending on the kind of culture you’ve built in your company and the sort of tone you set to it, you might find that introducing software like Insightful helps your productivity, but divides the employees. Or it might make them scared for their jobs because you might think they did something wrong, and now you want to punish them.
But if you approach this issue right, with clear intentions and reasons for why this is a good thing for the company and its employees, introducing employee monitoring software can be an amazing thing that brings your company to new heights.
Try it out and find out - there sure is a reason why more and more companies are doing it as well.
This article was originally written on August 15th, 2019 by Aleksa Misic. It was updated on June 30th, 2020 by Aleksandra Djordjevic.