Politics and Business
Strategies To Monitor Your Employees Without Putting Them Off
Once your business expands beyond a specific size, it becomes almost impossible for management to keep a beady eye on every employee all the time. At a certain point – perhaps when the enterprise hires more than twenty people – you need other methods to keep watch.
Unfortunately, monitoring staff is unpopular. People don’t like the idea that their employer is watching them all the time. Even though you’re paying for their time, they still want to feel as though they have freedom and autonomy. It shouldn’t feel like they’re operating in a totalitarian state.
The trick here is to find smart solutions that allow you to monitor your staff and provide them with value at the same time.
But how do you do that?
This concept might sound a little strange when you first hear it, but it can make a substantial difference in how people feel about working in your organization. You can monitor employees from the start of the day to the end, without them ever really getting the sense that they’re under surveillance. And ultimately, that’s what you want. They should feel like they are free agents.
The case for monitoring employees is robust. Thanks to data protection laws, preventing data theft is now a primary reason for keeping tabs on what they’re doing. Disgruntled employees could be using their access privileges to send files to rival companies or hackers.
Monitoring also tells you whether you have harassment or bullying in your workplace. It allows you to intervene in situations quickly before they go to tribunal or court.
Finally, surveillance tells you whether employees are complying with company policies or not. You’d like to believe that you can trust them when you turn your back, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes they’ll download illegal programs or fail to operate the correct security protocols when interacting with clients.
So how do you monitor employees without them getting cheesed off? Let’s take a look at some strategies for making it a reality.
Put Your Surveillance Policies In Writing
Most employees quite like a high level of surveillance in a company. There are several reasons for this:
- Feeling protected. Many employees like the idea that surveillance policies protect them from the malicious activities of others. If somebody is keeping a record of events somewhere, then it protects them from sabotage, and it helps them make their case if they trigger a disciplinary
- Working for professionals. High-quality companies invariably use monitoring as a matter of standard practice. They do this to protect employees – and workers know this. That’s why it is so popular.
- Helps them to focus. Ultimately, most employees would prefer to spend their time at work productively instead of browsing on Facebook. The reason for this comes down to their career objectives. The majority of workers want to get ahead in the world of work, and they sometimes need a nudge to push them in that direction. That’s why security monitoring can help.
Putting your surveillance policies in writing can help to sell all these benefits.
Tell Employees What You’re Doing And Why
The next step is to tell your employees in person what you’re doing and why. Don’t say things like “to stop you all from stealing.” Instead, focus on the positives, such as protecting everyone from false accusations and encouraging better performance on the job.
Please note that getting the dialogue here right is extremely important. If staff members come away from the meeting with the impression that you don’t trust them, it will immediately show up in their work. Their productivity will fall, they’ll become less engaged, and they might even slack off entirely for a while as they consider their options.
Don’t frame security measures as something to keep your employees in line. Instead, talk about how it will protect the business as a whole, catch wrongdoers and maintain brand reputation – something that everyone in your organization wants.
Hold Regular One-On-One Meetings
Keeping tabs on staff is about more than tracking their internet activity and monitoring them with CCTV. It is also about finding out more about how they feel about their work in general. This can often alert you of issues well before they become a serious problem for your business or lead to a disciplinary. If an employee is able to voice their concerns, you can often defuse a situation before it gets going.
Utilize Modern Technology
There are all sorts of ways to deploy technology, monitor employees, and ensure a safe working environment.
Obvious solutions include CCTV cameras and internet trackers. Other technologies include things like Watchcard, which allows you to track fleet spending. You can also use vehicle GPS systems to see where drivers are going in real-time.
Again, you can sell these monitoring methods as positives for employees. For instance, with the fleet spending cards, you can make it super simple for them to fill up when they get to the gas station. Or with the GPS, you can point out that you know where to send help, should they get into trouble.
Watch Employees Work
You might also want to watch employees working to get a sense of how they behave on the job. Often after a few minutes of interacting with a customer, you can see if there is an issue with a worker’s behavior or attitude. There might be something wrong with their tone of voice or choice of words.
Incidences like these are an ideal opportunity for you to intervene. You need to make sure that your employees represent the company brand faithfully when interacting with people outside of the business. Sometimes, attitude issues can seep in, and they find themselves talking to customers badly, in a disrespectful way.
If you notice ongoing issues with an employee, you might offer to shadow them. Again, you can sell this as an opportunity for them to get expert feedback and improve their skills. You might also tell them that it is a great way to evaluate their performance and make their job easier.
Watching employees’ work can feel a little awkward if you frame it in the wrong way. Don’t mention monitoring at all. Instead, set it up like a buddy system. Here you’re just partnering up with people to find out more about the issues that they have on the job and what can be done about them. A small gesture like this will be all you need to put them on the straight and narrow for some employees.
Review Their Work Regularly
Millennials want regular feedback for their work. They have a yearning to find out how they’re performing and what they can do to improve.
Most of the time, they’ll be doing okay and performing to the level you expect. Occasionally, though, there will be issues.
If there are, sell the reviews as an opportunity for them to get meaningful feedback and improve their marketable skills. With them, they could rise up the company and get promotions.
Remember, reviews are an opportunity for employees to talk about the value they’ve brought your organization. They can, therefore, act as an incentive to push ahead with projects proactively and get things done faster.
You don’t want your business to feel like a school where all the managers act like teachers, and all the workers are like the students. You’d prefer a situation where employees monitor themselves and ensure that they meet their own goals and deadlines.
Get them to clock in and out and report precisely when they are working throughout the day – and when they’re not.