Many startups fail because managing a new organization comes with different challenges. Numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reflect this fact. According to the body, 20% of startups don’t make it past their first year, 30% fail after two years, and 50% fold after five years.
One of the business aspects that set you up for success or failure is employee management. Your business will flourish if you manage your workers right. On the other hand, a workplace with disengaged employees will struggle.
There are different ways to manage employees, motivate them, and boost their productivity. One of those managerial practices is employee monitoring.
Keeping tabs on workers allows you to manage workload, measure and boost productivity, as well as identify areas for improvement. However, workplace tracking comes with some concerns.
Your employees may not be entirely comfortable that you’re monitoring them. Trust begins to erode, and the workplace becomes toxic when they suspect you’re invading their privacy. That’s where ethical employee monitoring comes in.
What is Ethical Employee Monitoring
Ethical employee monitoring involves tracking how your employees work without invading their privacy and collecting sensitive personal data.
To be ethically compliant, you must avoid surveilling workers without their consent, collecting personal data, and monitoring them outside work hours.
You can do that by providing work devices for workers and using the clock in and clock out apps that preserve sensitive data. You can also ensure your workers can turn their time tracking apps on and off and check what is tracked.
What’s more, ensure you’re transparent about your employee monitoring practices and collect feedback from employees.
Once you’ve applied these ethical policies, your organization can enjoy the benefits of employee tracking without causing discomfort in the workplace.
Now, let’s discuss how ethical workplace tracking can help your organization achieve more.
Boosts Employee Trust and Loyalty
Trust between employees and employers is one of the building blocks of a successful business. It ensures both parties understand each other and are on the same page.
When you track employees without their consent, collect personal data, and monitor them outside work, you kill their trust in your organization. As a result, they begin to second-guess the company’s HR management policies and believe something is always amiss.
Work output and efficiency begin to suffer, and disloyalty plagues the workplace. Employee engagement, productivity, efficiency, creativity, and decision-making are other things a lack of trust will cost your business.
However, opening up about your tracking activities and proving to workers you’re not collecting personal data helps you build trust and loyalty. Employees can now take your word and work with the confidence that you’re looking out for them.
Builds a Healthy Workplace
Your workplace becomes toxic when employees suspect you’re engaging in unethical monitoring. Apart from losing trust, they engage in other activities that significantly affect collective productivity.
They take extra measures to maneuver your monitoring system. Unfortunately, this behavior distracts them from work, resulting in interruptions and costly mistakes.
However, they will be free and comfortable at work if they believe you’re not tracking and collecting their private data. Also, open up about what you’re monitoring and how it allows them to work without looking over their shoulders.
This practice builds work focus, motivation, and loyalty. You no longer have to worry about workers being preoccupied with how to maneuver your monitoring systems. This way, everyone trusts the work process and can focus on their jobs.
Your firm needs to be productive to achieve its goals. Whether you’re trying to expand, stay afloat, or boost revenue, you need efficient workers. Unethical employee monitoring is a direct threat to your company’s output and business operations.
Workers are often stressed out when thinking about what you may be tracking and how to secure their private data. As a result, they spend time on things other than work. They also become less creative and innovative because they’re always preoccupied.
When you remove that burden of concern, they can dedicate their time to work and become more productive.
What’s more, productivity is one of the main perks of employee monitoring that you enjoy when you do things right.
The work tracking data you collect allows you to determine which worker is best suited to handle specific jobs, This way, you can efficiently assign jobs and ensure tasks are completed fast and without errors.
You can also use the data to identify where workers should improve. Then, you can provide appropriate guidance and training.
Accountability is another pillar of a successful startup, and it goes both ways. Being accountable for your management decisions helps you build accountability in your workers.
Developing a workplace where employees recognize their roles and are dedicated to handling their responsibilities is no easy feat.
However, employing ethical employee monitoring policies makes your life easier as a manager. Letting your workers know they can hold you to tracking practices means they don’t have any excuse not to do their jobs.
Workplace monitoring systems act as additional mental reminders that keep workers centered. The monitoring tool on their computers reminds them they’re on the clock, and their performance is recorded, this way, they’re motivated to do their best work.
Also, the employee monitoring system keeps track of who did what and when. This way, each employee’s work action is easily verifiable, ensuring everyone takes responsibility for their roles and actions.
Improves Team Performance
Collaboration and teamwork are other benefits of ethical employee monitoring. Trusting a workplace tracking system allows employees to focus on cooperating to get things done.
For example, team members in a remote work environment understand that collaboration is critical and not easy to build. But with an employee monitoring system, you can identify gaps in communication and collaboration. Then, you can schedule and foster team-building activities that enhance collaboration.
Employee monitoring can also be employed in traditional workspaces to achieve the same objective.
With a strong culture of collaboration, employees have a sense of purpose, and the organization can achieve more.
Prevents Overwork and Burnout
According to a CIPD survey, employee monitoring can be stress-inducing and cause employee burnout.
The constant thoughts of how they’re being watched and what data is collected make an employee uneasy and increase stress levels.
However, you can eliminate this issue by employing ethical employee monitoring practices. Workers no longer have to think about shady surveillance practices and how to guard their private data.
What’s more, you can use employee monitoring data to identify workers who are doing too much. You can then make shift changes and adjust assignments to allow them to rest.
Reduces High Employee Turnover
Employees look for work elsewhere when they discover they’re being monitored without their consent. According to a global survey, 51% of organizations planning to monitor employees and 49% already doing so reported increased employee turnover.
As it turns out, employee turnover comes with high costs. According to Gallup, companies can spend up to two times an employee’s salary to replace them.
Also, workers can drop negative reviews about your monitoring practices, tarnishing your company’s image and keeping good talent away.
Ethical employee monitoring practices will help you avoid these issues and boost profits. In addition, lowering employee turnover is an effective way to earn higher profits. Keeping long-term employees is one of the secrets of building an organization for success.
Your workers will stay if they trust and understand your transparent workplace monitoring processes. This way, you’ll have a dedicated staff that becomes a core part of your business with the experience to handle customers and other business operations.
Improve Your Ethical Employee Monitoring Practices to Boost Growth
Make sure you stay transparent and consistently implement policies your workers are comfortable with. Collect regular feedback so that you know what to add and get rid of, and let them feel like their voices are heard.
This way, you’re not only avoiding the legal consequences of unethical monitoring but also growing your company in the long term.