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Ethical aspects of using employee monitoring software and its smooth introduction to the team

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The decision to implement employee monitoring software seems like a smart way for employers to stay on top of everything and to prevent any delicate situations. At the same time, employees aren’t as eager to embrace such changes. Today we’ve decided to help you formulate the right approach to employee monitoring keeping in mind its ethical aspects and the goal to boost employee productivity without violating anyone’s privacy.

The global pandemic has made employers realize that their teams can in fact work remotely and complete their tasks from the comfort of their own homes. However, most companies don’t have any experience with monitoring remote employees and keeping track of them using automated solutions. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if your team works at the office or from home, the challenge of ensuring high employee productivity and keeping track of their activity during working hours is universal for every supervisor.

In the recent years employee monitoring software has proven its tremendous value for employers, yet it still raises ethical concerns, especially among employees. Your job as a supervisor is to make sure employee monitoring in your company is implemented in an ethical way and is accepted by the team.

Basics of ethical employee monitoring

Employees mainly feel uncomfortable about the possibility of them being monitored because they consider it almost like a privacy invasion. Tracking employees without their consent not only presents a serious legal issue in most countries, but also tremendously weakens overall trust in the workplace. There’s a difference between monitoring and intrusion. Checking your employees’ personal accounts or reading their private messages isn’t the way to go about ensuring they aren’t doing anything illegal.

Generally, employees are fine with the kind of monitoring that is:

  • Open and transparent. Monitoring employees without their knowledge is the number one practice that’s universally considered unethical. Of course, if you suspect that someone from your team is committing a fraud and you want to get concrete evidence of that, you have legal grounds for more in-depth monitoring. However, if you simply want to keep an eye on your employees and decide not to tell them about it, you could face serious consequences. To avoid this, we strongly recommend that you notify your employees about the implementation of monitoring software and encourage them to keep private matters to their home PCs and personal smartphones.
  • Within working hours. Nowadays, when most teams have switched to a WFH mode, after-hours monitoring poses quite a problem. It’s not uncommon for the employees to use company-provided laptops for personal matters after they’re done for the day. And when it comes to any type of monitoring software, there’s always the risk of recording sensitive personal data. Our advice is to either ban your employees from using company-owned laptops for personal affairs or to allow them to turn off monitoring when they stop working for the day.

For example, Kickidler employee monitoring software allows specialists themselves to turn off monitoring once they’re done with work for the day. This option will make your employees more relaxed about the monitoring since they’ll have more control over it.

  • Reasonable. Ethical employee monitoring isn’t just about collecting the data, it’s also about having purpose for such supervision. If you decide to use employee monitoring software purely for the sake of using it or, even worse, for spying on your personnel, it’s not going to end well. If you actually want to get the most out of employee monitoring, you need to have clear understanding of the reasons behind it, the type of data you’ll be collecting and the performance targets you want your employees to achieve. For example, if you’re using employee monitoring software to increase your team productivity, you can start by tracking how productive they are on a daily basis (by the way, Kickidler calculates this metric automatically. Once you have that information, analyze what causes the productivity to go down. Do your employees spend too much time in various meetings? Or perhaps they spend too much time on social media? Pinpoint the exact issues that cause bottlenecks and deal with them by talking to your employees and minimizing the distractions.

Importance of conveying the need for employee monitoring

If you decide to introduce employee monitoring in your company, you should also help your employees understand why you’ve made this decision. We suggest you inform your team that you’ll be monitoring them for professional purposes only and strictly during working hours. We also strongly advise you to be as transparent as possible about the monitoring from the very beginning.

Besides, an Accenture survey found that 92% of employees are actually willing to have their data collected as long as it’s used to boost their own well-being and performance. One way to get your team on board with the monitoring is to share with them how the accumulated data will be used and how it will actually be beneficial for everybody in the long run – for example, in balancing workloads, avoiding burnout or improving your performance (e.g., Kickidler’s Autokick enables employees to view their personal statistics and compare them with previous reports).  

Overall, it is possible to monitor your employees ethically – everything is in your hands. And with the help of Kickidler employee monitoring software this process won’t be just automated, it’ll also bring great value to the company.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Belén Garijo

    2022-04-19 at 05:51

    Employee monitoring software has many ethical implications that need to be considered before purchasing or implementing. Some of these implications include invasion of privacy, and loss of trust in management.

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