It's every boss’ dream to know what their employees are doing during the workday. Today we are going to discuss the pros and cons of employee monitoring software, which is rightfully considered nowadays to be the most effective method of monitoring your employees.
When we mention monitoring software, we mean software that gets installed on a work computer and records all user's actions, be it their activity in apps, keystrokes, and so on.
Pros of Employee Monitoring Software
Below are six main reasons to use employee monitoring tools.
They increase the efficiency of the supervisor
The most apparent benefit is that you’ll always be aware of your subordinates’ actions. For example, Kickidler in a single click provides you with reports on the following indicators:
- User activity time at the computer. It shows with an accuracy of a second when the user started working, when they took a break, when they got back to work, and when they finished working for the day;
- Activity in specific apps. It tracks open tabs, visited websites, time spent at each site, work intensity, and time of inactivity. You can easily track your employees’ stats and notice in advance if an employee is starting to procrastinate or visit job sites (which is a sure sign that they are about to change their job).
All the data is available on each specialist, as well as on project groups, departments or the company in general. Are you looking for a summary report? It requires just one click. Do you need details on a particular employee? Another click. It’s extremely user-friendly, convenient, and very effective.
With a tool like this, a supervisor is able to minimize the time it takes him to understand exactly what their employees are doing and just how productive they are.
They increase the productivity of employees
MIT research indicates that it’s enough to simply inform the employees that their work is being monitored and work efficiency will immediately increase by 7%. The mere presence of unbiased and constant monitoring already has a positive effect on the general level of discipline in the company, increasing the efficiency of each employee.
In addition, monitoring software allows a supervisor to easily detect procrastinators or under-motivated employees. It takes 5 minutes to check the daily report, and it displays all the problem areas in the company – all you need to do is analyze them.
They ensure objectivity
This point is crucial. A supervisor, even the fairest one, is still only human. And it’s impossible to treat all of the employees equally. There will always be employees you like more than others. Sure, you probably try to make an effort not to let your personal feelings influence your decisions, but such willpower requires a lot of time and effort. And there’s still no absolute certainty of impartiality.
Second, employees tend to take supervisors’ decisions personally. “While Smith would’ve been forgiven for arriving five minutes late, I was fined,” is a common grievance echoing around the smoking room. Such conversations negatively affect the atmosphere in the team and decrease staff motivation.
Monitoring software provides you with accurate, reliable and 100% impartial information. Both you and your subordinates are certain of its objectivity, which allows you to make the appropriate decisions with confidence.
They collect the data that’s necessary for analytics
No matter how well your team is performing, there’s pretty much always room for improvement. Various ways to optimize task distribution, adjust schedules or simplify processes are available.
In order for you to notice these stepping stones, you need to collect some data: the amount of time employees spend on a project, the things they engage in during that time, strengths and weaknesses of particular specialists, and so on.
Monitoring software collects all of the above-mentioned information. You simply need to review the reports and highlight areas for improvement.
They enable supervision of remote employees
Although 2020 is over, the trend toward remote work isn’t going anywhere. First, no one can say with absolute certainty that there won’t be another lockdown in the foreseeable future. Second, there are many reasons why having remote workers on your team is actually quite beneficial: you get the opportunity to hire qualified professionals from other parts of the country and reduce the costs associated with setting up a workplace.
At the same time, it’s obvious that remote employees need supervision just as much as office workers, and probably even more. Kickidler and other employee monitoring programs have a rather esy solution of this problem. A remote employee simply installs an agent program on their computer, and you start to get as much data about them as you do about the office personnel.
They provide risk insurance
No matter how nice the people who work for you are, certain risks are always present. Somebody may be careless with their login information, creating the risk of confidential data leaks. Another one, assuming that management isn’t watching, may violate the customer communication policy, affecting the company’s reputation in a negative way. Yet another one may harbor a grudge, making preparations to leave the company after selling the database to competitors.
Such situations can be prevented with the help of monitoring software, which can be configured so that the system warns you about any suspicious activity. Is there a risk that an employee is leaking your customer database? We have an example of a real-life case that illustrates how monitoring software can detect such risk.
Cons of Employee Monitoring Software
Employee monitoring software disadvantages are fairly relative. Most of the time it’s not about the software itself, rather the mistakes companies make while using it. We suggest that you focus on three key aspects.
Staff perception of monitoring
No one likes to be monitored, especially when their every move is literally under scrutiny. However, virtually all people agree on two things:
- When you’re on the clock, you should be busy with your actual work;
- Since the company is paying you salary, it has the right to monitor what you do during working hours.
These notions are what you should rely on. First of all, explain in clear terms to your employees what sort of data you will collect, how it will be collected, during what time the program will be active, and exactly what things it will monitor. Advise employees that they shouldn’t access their personal accounts, such as social networks, from their work computers.
The more transparent you are about how everything will be organized, the better. Ideally, an employee is aware of the monitoring, yet they barely notice it or they notice only the automated part (for example, Kickidler can be set up in such a way that notifications on violations are sent without human involvement, by the program itself. The function is called Autokick).
Time for analytics
When you first open the reports, it may seem that they are almost too detailed, since the program diligently collects virtually all the data you may need. The amount of information can be baffling, for sure.
However, once you have the system set up, then monitoring will take around 10 minutes of your time each day. You always have basic reports that show the overall situation at your disposal, and you only need detailed ones when you already suspect some kind of trouble – or if you want to keep a close eye on a particular employee.
If you use monitoring software without briefing your employees in advance, you may get access to their personal data that you shouldn’t know, such as personal passwords, credit card data, health condition, sexual orientation, etc. To avoid this, you should provide all the employees with a detailed explanation of how the monitoring program works, what data it collects, and what things shouldn’t be done on the work computer.
At the same time, no matter how much you warn people not to open their messengers on the work computer, they may ignore you. There’s always a risk that you’ll stumble across someone’s private conversations or billing information while using a monitoring program.
You need to figure out your actions in such situations in advance – and make sure that all the information collected by the program is well protected. That’s why we suggest installing Kickidler on the company’s own servers or in a trusted cloud.
Is using employee monitoring software necessary in 2021?
We believe it is. After all, such software is merely a monitoring tool. And, as we all know, monitoring is one of the five core management functions. When organized properly, monitoring becomes a significant aid to the company and has virtually no downsides.
You can test our product free of charge for 7 or 14 days if you leave your phone number in the order form. Moreover, Kickidler has a free version with limited functionality.
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