You’ve probably read a thousand texts about all the great things PC monitoring software can do for you and your business. And yes, they’re true. Increased productivity, better time management, automating tasks, objective employee evaluations, delegating tasks, client reports, extra security and so on and so forth. You can have all of this if you know what you’re doing.
Here, however, we’re going to discuss the less glamorous side of things - what happens when you make some basic mistakes and how employee monitoring can go wrong (or, at the very least, not go right).
1. Choosing the Wrong Software Can Be a Waste of Money
The number one rookie mistake many employers make is buying the most expensive and most popular PC usage monitoring software out there, thinking that since it’s expensive it must be good. And seeing that it has a million different features and reports only confirms their belief that it clearly must be the best.
And fair enough, it probably is good, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good for you.
Even if you don’t buy the most expensive one, looking only at the number of features and not what they do can lead you to overpay for your monitoring system.
Let’s look at it this way: You’re comparing two types of employee monitoring software. Software A has seven different features and costs $15 per employee, whereas software B has three different features and costs $8 per employee. Now, simple math tells you that software A pays off more that software B.
But choosing computer monitoring tools shouldn’t be based only on math, it should be based on careful business planning.
Now, let’s say that you analyze these features a little bit, compare them to you business goals and problems you want solved, and the final verdict is this: Out of seven features of software A you can effectively use two, while in software B you find all three features useful. Now it’s much more clear which one’s a money-saver.
Getting as many features as you can won’t get you anywhere and it will actually make you waste a lot of money on things you don’t need. Always choose your computer monitoring software carefully to avoid this problem!
Not only that Insightful is cost-effective, it provides you with the most essential and only necessary features each business needs to stay on track.
2. Focusing on the Wrong Things Won’t Get You Results
Very often, this problem actually stems from the first one - you didn’t choose the right computer monitoring system and now you have a bunch of different metrics that you don’t know what to do with!
So the first variation of the mistake of focusing on the wrong things is tracking useless metrics. For example, if sensitive data leaks aren’t your concern and you want to see projects getting done on time, then do you really need to track keystrokes? This is very detailed data and tracking it will waste so much time if you can’t use the results.
The general rule is to try and match your business needs and goals to the features within your employee PC monitoring software. And only track those features regularly.
Another variation on this problem is not knowing how to scale and aggregate data. If you have 2,000 employees, there’s no point and it’s impossible to track each one individually. You’ll soon get lost in the enormous amount of information and you won’t know what to do with it.
Basically, one way to solve this is to delegate. Give access to the Head of each department and look only at the bigger picture while they take note of the details. Another solution is to look at the data on team level instead on individual level. This approach is much more useful, especially for big companies.
If you choose Insightful to monitor your employees, we will make sure you receive customizable reports that provide you with the data you need to improve productivity and your organization's progress.
3. Careless Implementation Can Make Your Employees Leave
Or sue you! But more on that later. For now, let’s consider that everything you’re doing is perfectly legal. Even if you have implemented the employee monitoring system with the law in mind, have you done it with your employees in mind as well?
The most commonly cited disadvantage of monitoring employees is that it can be seen as a sign of distrust. And this is definitely true if you go about it the wrong way.
First things first, you should definitely tell your employees that they’re being monitored, even if you’re not legally obliged to. This will give them the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns and you’ll get a chance to explain how and what you’ll be monitoring and what improvements they can expect to see as a result. This way, there are no surprises.
Imagine for a second that they find out you’ve been monitoring them for months on end without telling them. What do you think they would do? They would probably leave. They would leave and spread the word.
You can expect the same outcome if you don’t use the employee computer monitoring data right. Don’t hold small things against them. Linda tweeted ‘Can’t wait to go home’. So what? She also wrote a 2,000-word report today, of course she wants to go home.
Always look at the big picture. Remember, employee tracking serves your business goals, not taking out your frustrations. And always be honest! Honesty and openness are the best way to ensure your employees’ loyalty.
We've implemented Insightful in many organizations, big and small, and we are now using that experience to help each of our clients through the transition process. Feel free to ask us anything you want to know about how to properly implement employee monitoring software, we're happy to help!
4. Not Knowing the Law Can Get You Into Trouble
And here’s the big scary one. Is employee monitoring software legal? If you haven’t asked this question, that’s your first mistake. You have to know the employee monitoring laws in your country to be able to comply with them.
In most cases, it’s legal. But don’t take this simplified answer as the ultimate truth and install the software right away. Every country has different legal stance when it comes to employee monitoring, some of them are very strict and some of them are more lenient. In some countries you might have to notify your employees beforehand and in others you might have to ask for their consent.
So just to be sure, consult your lawyers, look at the regulations and compare your situation to what is defined by the law to the tiniest of details. This way, you’ll not only protect yourself from any possible legal suit, but you’ll also protect your employees’ rights and privacy.
We are not lawyers, and we cannot give you definitive legal advice when it comes to regulations in your country. However, given that we've installed our software all around the world, we have some insights you'll definitely find useful. Still, we do recommend that you consult experts from your region.
Implementing employee tracking software can be tricky and there are many stumbling blocks. But knowing what the most common mistakes are and how to avoid them will help you succeed in reaping all the benefits that such a system can offer. So think about how you’re going to use PC monitoring tools carefully. Choosing the best computer monitoring software for your needs will ensure that your money as well as your time are well invested.