Do’s and Don’ts When Implementing Employee Productivity Monitoring
One type of software that has taken off since the pandemic has been employee tracking and productivity monitoring apps. In just the last year, 78% of surveyed organizations said they used monitoring software to track employee performance and digital activities.
The switch to employees working from home has been an adjustment for everyone. Employers aren’t yet sure how to keep everyone on track and working productively in the same way they could when everyone was in the same building.
Companies like Microsoft have brought out various cloud tools to enable the monitoring of productivity in applications. Helping companies understand if employees, in aggregate, are using the most productive workflows and providing tips on how they can improve.
Other companies have brought out apps that are more like “babysitters,” taking screenshots of computers, tracking keystrokes, and that even have the ability to take over a webcam and mic remotely.
These are two examples of the extremes of productivity monitoring tools, also known as “bossware.” There are many cases where task and productivity monitoring are needed and helpful. For example, it can help remote employees feel a sense of direction and knowledge of what’s expected of them.
Productivity monitoring can also help supervisors better allocate workload and understand the performance areas where employees may need additional training.
However, there is a dark side to bossware as well. It can become invasive, especially if activated at all times, even when a remote employee is officially off duty and may be doing personal computing activities on their PC.
Here are some tips to help you put employee productivity monitoring in place in a way that’s helpful for you and your team.
Do Be Transparent About Monitoring
It’s important to be upfront with employees about any software being installed on their devices or business apps designed to track their performance.
Explain what it is for, what it does, and exactly how it works. This will help you avoid any problems later, should someone find out after the fact that their online activities were being tracked. It also fosters a positive employer/employee relationship.
Don’t Use Apps That Hide Their Activities
There are some employee work monitoring apps that are designed to work in stealth mode and hide the fact that they’re tracking a person’s every keystroke or movement.
Not only could you end up losing a good employee should they find out they were being monitored without their knowledge, you could also run into legal issues related to invasion of privacy.
Do Use Productivity Focused Apps
Keep your focus on productivity rather than just tracking movements. This means to track the work product and its quality, rather than simply counting keystrokes.
It’s productivity that is really the main focus of most supervisors. They want to make sure employees are efficient and get their work done in a timely manner. Keep this in mind when choosing the types of productivity tools you use.
Don’t Use Apps That are Too Invasive (keystroke tracking, etc.)
The apps that employees find the most invasive are those that track computer activities, such as keystrokes, logins, website visits, etc. While you may need to have network protections blocking certain websites, that’s not quite the same thing as tracking your employees’ online movements.
Stay away from monitoring apps that are too invasive. They’re bound to cause privacy issues down the road.
Do Have a Conversation With Employees About Monitoring
Be open with employees about the need to track productivity to help ensure everyone is on the same page with expectations. Have a conversation with them about suggestions. You might just find that they agree that it makes sense to track certain activities and they may have some helpful recommendations.
When you open the monitoring conversion to your team, it makes it more about how the entire team can succeed while working remotely, rather than an “us vs them” scenario.
Don’t Track Activities Just Because You Can
Yes, you can install software on employee devices that will take screenshots of their desktop every 15 minutes. But are you really going to look through all those screenshots to try to catch someone on Facebook?
While there are many different types of monitoring you can do, don’t just do it because you can or as a scare tactic. This could backfire on you by inconveniencing employees and hurting their productivity. You could also end up losing good employees who feel you don’t appreciate all the hard work they’ve done over the years and don’t trust them.
Choose your monitoring carefully and ensure it’s a productive use of your time.
Need Effective Solutions for Your Remote & Hybrid Team?
AhelioTech can work with your Columbus area business to put an effective and productive workflow in place for your team using smart cloud productivity tools.
Contact us today for a free quote. Call 614-333-0000 or reach out online.