It’s not easy running a business.
The constant worry over getting new clients, keeping the old ones happy, upgrading the product, watching the competition, paying the bills on time - this is what fills the days, weeks, months…
Add to that the constant need for employee monitoring, and you’ve poured gasoline on the fire called business operation management.
With so many things to think about without a respite, running a business can be very stressful no matter how much experience you have. Although, the longer you’re present in the game, the easier it becomes - in theory, at least.
Sometimes it’s the staff that can cause the worst headache - for both business owners and managers. If you’re distrusting by nature, or just don’t want to leave anything to chance, you have probably considered implementing a tool that can help you monitor employee computer use.
Why Managers Don’t Trust Employees
One of the main reasons behind thinking about monitoring the employees in the company is distrust coming from the manager.
One research shows that while 50% of employees trust their managers, only 33% of managers feel the same way about their staff.
So, what is the cause of such an attitude towards colleagues that spend several hours a day together?
Lack of Training
One of the reasons why managers don’t trust their employees is their own lack of training and the consequential inability to deal with employee issues.
Generally speaking, managers somewhat rarely receive any sort of coaching on how to lead a team of people under their control - and it’s not exactly something that can be picked up via employee monitoring tools.
One survey showed that only 35% of managers received training pertaining to this part of their job, while 40% never did. 25% said they were coached only after officially starting the position, while 5% said it was a year after.
While over 80% of managers who have received training stated they felt properly prepared for it, one question remains - How did the training influence their understanding of the role?
Most managers don’t feel comfortable dealing (or even discussing) employee problems - just over 10% of managers felt confident in handling issues reported by time tracking software.
This, however, doesn’t mean that managers don’t actually deal with reported problems.
And why shouldn’t you?
Consider why you’ve hired people in your team. You’ve felt confident about their abilities to handle the assigned workload then, right? So, let them justify the trust you extended when you assessed if they were the right person for the job.
Unless they’ve done something to break your trust, there is really no need to hover over their every move and micromanage their tasks. Even if you run a distributed team, you can always use remote employee management software to ease your worries, but leave it to them to do the work they were hired to do.
When it comes to emotional intelligence in managers, the scores are not very high - most got four out of six.
Upon realizing that a particular team member’s productivity levels are down, many of them just don’t make the connection that the cause may be personal issues or that there may be a case of team miscommunication, for example.
Even when they do, plenty just fail to react in a helpful manner. Whether they believe that it’s only an excuse to dodge work commitments, don’t know how to help, or are just worried about crossing the line of unacceptable behavior, many a manager simply won’t even bother to get to the root of the problem pointed out by company employee monitoring tools.
While emotional intelligence is not something that can be learned, it’s good to stop and question what may be the possible reasons behind the behavior that is unusual for a team member. Sometimes even showing interest in staff’s problems will help with the resolution and in time increase employee productivity.
No Sense of Camaraderie
Every other employee doesn’t equate colleagues with friends, especially their managers.
And while that is completely understandable - some people just like to separate their personal from their professional lives - it can often influence the atmosphere in the office and the way problems are handled.
Employee monitoring can come in different forms - from watching employees at work particularly diligently, through talking to them in a specific manner, to using specialized software for that purpose. And each comes with its own set of pros and cons.
But dealing with issues will almost always be easier if there is a healthy relationship between manager and employee. You don’t have to drink together or meet the spouses, but you shouldn’t be strangers who work together either.
Remember, creating a pleasant environment can go a long way in increasing workplace productivity.
How Can Employee Monitoring Tools Help?
Specialized tools like Insightful can help managers keep an eye on their employees’ workplace behavior.
That doesn’t mean they should be used for spying on the staff, but access to such tools can greatly help in making sure your employees are actually working on their tasks when they are supposed to and not watching their favorite reality show.
How can they help exactly?
Well, Insightful for example, offers time tracking (clock-in and clock-out monitoring), screen capture, website and app usage monitoring, idle time and activity measuring, etc. Moreover, you have access to reports for each employee with complete insight into their activities and task management for the designated time frame. You can also set up the alert system where you get notifications about inappropriate worker internet use and long periods of inactivity.
Not only that, but managers have the ability to label certain websites and apps used by their employees as productive, unproductive, and neutral based on their duties and responsibilities.
As one of the best time tracking and invoicing software on the market, you will find Insightful immensely valuable for making sure each employee is paid as much as they deserve and contribute.
Make sure to always tell your employees why this sort of tool is indispensable for your team and company in general and how it can help them work more productively. Point out all they can learn from monitoring software about the way they work and encourage them to use the input for the sake of the company.
Without that, you risk having people feel betrayed and undervalued. This, in turn, can lead to having employee monitoring backfire on you and lose people’s trust, effort, and enthusiasm toward working.
This article was originally written on August 19th, 2019 by Aleksa Misic. It was updated on July 1st, 2020 by Aleksandra Djordjevic.