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Making Monitoring Transparent – How to Introduce an Employee Monitoring Software in Your Company?

Making Monitoring Transparent – How to  Introduce an Employee Monitoring Software in Your Company?

How do you appropriately inform your team that you're planning on using employee monitoring software, without it causing a riot? In this article we will give practical advice on the ways to avoid negative reaction of your employees to an innovation like that.

Any questions that somehow concern human rights, freedoms or personal space have always been very controversial. A company pays its employees money to do a certain job – that's clear to everyone. A company doesn't want to waste money (for example, by paying for the time an employee uses to scroll down the social networks) – there is no problem with this statement either. But as soon as a company tries to keep track of how its employees are spending the time they're being paid for, that's when the trouble comes.

Stalking! Invasion of privacy! Spying! Violation of rights! These are typical retorts employees use when they find out about the monitoring. What can you do about it, and how do you properly organize employee monitoring? Let's go over it in detail.

To hide or not to hide?

The first question and the most crucial one is whether you should tell your employees that you are implementing a monitoring system. We definitely advise you to do everything transparently because of the following several reasons:

  1. Properly organized tracking of work computers doesn't violate any rights and freedoms of employees. You only monitor the things that are directly related to work – what folders are open on work computers, what an employee is doing during office hours, etc. Does an employee have a personal messenger opened on their work computer and they worry about the safety of private information? The question in a situation like this is, what is a personal messenger doing on the work computer? It shouldn't be there – therefore, there can't be a problem in the first place;
  2. If you discreetly install monitoring software and employees accidentally find out about it, that will end the trust inside the company. "If our rights aren't being violated, why haven't we been told? What if they're monitoring personal data? I didn't know about the monitoring, so I checked social networks from my work computer during lunchtime, it's not forbidden, right?" All these questions will result in complete decline in morality and motivation.

So we advise you with absolute certainty to be as transparent as possible. But we still need to understand how to bring the very idea of monitoring to the employees so that it doesn't cause any problems.

The more you tell us, the better.

As a rule, employees don't argue with your decision to monitor their work – it is understandable, natural, and after all it is one of the five main management functions. What people are afraid of is the invasion of their personal space, so it's very important to explain what kind of information you will collect.

Announcing Kickidler installation can look something like this:

Dear team members, starting Monday, Kickidler employee monitoring software will be installed on all work computers in the company. It will:

  1. Keep track of your productivity. The programs you open on the computer, the amount of time you spend looking through certain websites will be monitored. The program will make it easier for me to keep track of the team performance, allocate bonuses for excellent results and support those who have taken on too much workload;
  2. Take into account work hours. The beginning of the day, breaks, the end of the day all will be taken into account. Please note that the program will record not only the times you’re late, but the times you overwork as well. 
  3. Show the screens of all employees' computers in real time and record the activity. No one will be looking at your screens all the time. It's only for me to have an ability to always find out who's doing what whenever I may need that. Video recording of the screens helps with investigating possible accidents. By the way, it could be excellent proof of your innocence. In contrast, I give an official permission to all the employees to spend up to 15 minutes a day on social networks.
  4. Record the keystrokes. Logs are practically never used – we check them only in case a conflict arises (for example, a client complains that a manager was rude to them and then deleted the messages – with Kickidler's help I'll be able to quickly make sure that everything you've done was competent.

Kickidler also gives me remote access to your work computer. I will only use this feature if you need a consultation or if I notice a serious KPI failure (not doing anything at work means letting down both the company and the colleagues, and that's completely unacceptable). If your productivity is fine, such checks won't be carried out.

The main purpose of implementing the new system is to have greater transparency in the company. With Kickidler, we can guarantee that your work will always be appreciated. The service will help distribute the workload among the team members and increase the overall KPI. Any sanctions will be applied only if an employee is openly slacking – don't you agree that it's quite fair?

Let me remind you that the key indicator is still whether or not you are handling your workload. If you complete all your tasks, nothing will change for you with the introduction of the monitoring system. If you're not up to it, Kickidler can help me understand why it's happening in the first place, and that way I can fix it.

Legitimate breaks – up to 60 minutes a day for personal matters – don't disappear. The way you plan on spending that free time is up to you, but I still recommend three 20-minute breaks during the day to get some rest and distract yourself a bit from work.

And I want to emphasize once more, monitoring software is installed only on work computers. Don't use personal messengers, don't enter passwords and credit card data, don't have private conversations on your work computers – all of that, if necessary, can always be done from your smartphone.

The new monitoring system will help us evaluate the real performance of each employee – it will provide new opportunities for career growth, and it will become easier to justify bonuses and promotions. I hope you take advantage of these opportunities!

Avoid using the words "tracking" and "surveillance", avoid the word "control" if possible, remain amicable yet confident. Once the system has been implemented, use it first to assign bonuses, improve reports and ease the workload – show your employees that the program actually helps them receive fair rewards for their work instead of disrupting their routine

Is hidden monitoring ever appropriate?

It is, but only if you suspect your employees of misconduct:

  1. You're sure that one or several of your subordinates are constantly procrastinating or sabotaging the workflow, and now you want to get proof of that to fire them or show it to senior management (by the way, such precedent can show loyal and productive employees Kickidler’s advantages);
  2. You suspect that someone in the company is sharing classified information with competitors and working against you;
  3. You want to obtain perfectly accurate information on employee productivity in a closed monitoring environment.

Keep in mind that hidden monitoring will always be badly received by your employees should they find out about it. Try to ensure that a limited number of people know about the implementation of the system, consider the responsibility for disclosure, make sure that ordinary employees don't have the technical ability to see the installed system (we write in detail about the ways to do it here).

And if you're implementing the monitoring system in a standard mode, we recommend doing everything as openly and transparently as possible – in the end, it will be the best solution. And, of course, we are ready to provide any assistance with the implementation of Kickidler in your company.

Kickidler Employee Monitoring Software

Alicia Rubens

Content Marketer

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