In a healthy business environment, employees enter conflicts freely.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Successful companies actually encourage constructive conflicts among their employees, because that is what leads to the exchange of opinions and problem resolution.
Moreover, when a professional issue needs to be solved in a constructive manner, companies turn to employee monitoring software for objective arguments and a clear view of the situation.
Read on to find out how it helps resolve team conflicts.
Why Are Conflicts Bad?
Even though positive conflicts are welcome in the professional environment, they are very rare.
More often than not, the type of conflict that is present in companies is in a negative context and leads to relationships being disturbed and perhaps even ruined.
Not only that, but it can end up costing companies dearly as employee work productivity drops.
One study found that employees spend approximately two hours per week in hostile situations, which ends up costing companies $360 billion every year.
It also revealed that 25% of the employees who participated in a conflict situation have asked for sick leave shortly afterwards. 9% blamed conflict for related project failure, while 33% stated that conflict led to employees leaving the company - either by being fired or resigning.
Seeing these numbers, it makes perfect sense to implement company monitoring software to prevent or help resolve conflicts, doesn’t it?
But how do conflicts actually happen in the workplace?
How Workplace Conflicts Arise
The simple answer is - conflict is the result of a disbalance in the professional environment.
For example, you may have an employee that everyone knows is coming in late to work every day, but the manager seems to not notice that, or at least isn’t saying anything about it.
After a while, you can expect that kind of unprofessional behavior to bother other employees who are punctual and receive absolutely no recognition for it.
This leads to conflicts among the employees or between the manager and employees, and influences the atmosphere in the entire team.
Employee Monitoring and Conflicts
One of the most important things to know about conflicts is that they must be addressed promptly and successfully so they don’t cause a much bigger issue on a larger scale.
One disgruntled employee can lead to having a problem with the entire team, which spills over onto the entire company and disrupts the entire company’s dynamics.
Not only is that bad for the business internally, but it may also cause external issues as well - reputation damage, employer brand damage, customer or partner loss, etc.
Hence, it’s wise not to let problems grow if you can help it - and this is exactly where having a proper employee monitoring policy can be of great help.
There are numerous ways for the management to resolve conflicts within a team even before the HR has to be involved, let alone the C-level or legal department.
One of them is to quickly recognize a situation that has the potential to turn into a conflict and react promptly.
This approach requires a skilled manager, one with plenty of experience and a good understanding of their team members’ temperament and endurance levels.
This, some would say “unicorn manager” is in tune with the relations of their team members, and ideally, won’t even let this kind of situation happen, especially they have the help of user activity monitor tools that can signal a change in employee working patterns.
Having such tools keeping track of people’s comings and goings can not only prevent workers from behaving in a way that may cause conflicts, as well as resolve them should they happen.
This is particularly important for remote teams, as they are not in the manager’s direct sights, so it might make it a bit difficult for them to monitor employees working from home, for example.
However, no matter where the team resides and works from, never let it slip your mind that employees need to have knowledge of the fact that they are being monitored. Not only is that ethical, but also legally required by numerous countries around the world.
By simply disclosing to the staff that the company is introducing computer surveillance software, you can expect a boost in productivity for 20-30% in the first month alone.
That is the direct result of more responsible behavior from the employees - which is also the first step toward having fewer conflicts in the workplace.
If your employees are being monitored - and actually care about the repercussions of having unsatisfied results attributed to their name and resume - they will be more committed to work than entering conflicts with colleagues.
In this sense, being able to monitor computer activity of your employees is the first line of defense against office arguments.
Moreover, it also ensures that the employees have nothing to argue about.
Tools like Insightful ensure that you pay attention to equally distributing the workload to all the employees, or in accordance with the scope of their duties and responsibilities. It allows you to clearly set up the structure of the team, and establish authority properly.
That way you can see what they are working on during office hours, how long they spend on each task, which resources they use and also label them accordingly.
For example, Insightful’s employee monitoring software gives managers the ability to mark websites and apps their employees use as productive, unproductive, and neutral - all in lieu with their position in the team and company. This means that Mark from marketing should be spending half an hour a day on social media, while Deb from development shouldn’t.
This goes to show that when all roles in a team are clearly defined, there is no room for conflict that lowers productivity.
Furthermore, a clear insight into workers’ productivity levels and assignment handling you get from user activity monitor tools also allow for fair employee promotion and raise policies no one can argue about since they are completely data-driven, objective, and transparent.
There are other avenues you can explore to make your team a compact unit with no room for conflict. Team building sessions on the company and team levels, regular one-on-one conversations between the manager and employee - they can be very useful in making sure the company keeps up employees’ job satisfaction high and prevents conflicts.
If your goal is to create and maintain a healthy working environment, having employee monitoring software at your disposal can be of great help.
Not only does it allow a comprehensive overview of workers’ productivity and professional behavior, but also enables managers to make objective decisions that prevent or resolve conflicts in the team.
This article was originally written on August 20th, 2019 by Aleksa Misic. It was updated on July 10th, 2020 by Aleksandra Djordjevic.