There is some research that indicates that an increase in employee surveillance (if it’s not done properly) can decrease employee productivity and increase churn – and this makes the process completely counter-productive.
An employee surveillance program that isn’t implemented properly can create a toxic workplace environment, worsen employee performance and backfire on the employer who has only the best intentions for their business.
Here are 5 ways to avoid backfires from your employee monitoring program.
1. Inform Everyone
If you want employees to know that surveillance is for the good of the organization, you want to make sure that everyone knows about the measures that are about to be implemented. Include important information in an email or memo, and you are less likely to have a negative reaction from employees than sudden, uninformed implementation of the same system.
Include a way for employees to raise their questions or concerns about the surveillance system at hand. It’s their right to know what is going to be monitored, and why this is important for them (and the rest of the company).
2. Implement Clear Ethics
Any surveillance system comes with responsibility, laws, and ethics that have to be followed by the company. There are certain places that cannot be monitored (such as bathrooms), and certain things that – even in a company – remain the employee’s private space.
Make sure that any employee monitoring program you intend to implement has a clear ethical framework in place.
Without ethics considered in your surveillance program, it could be impossible to implement.
3. Employ Third-Party Professionals
A surveillance network should never comprise one department within the company that gets to watch the next. Conflict is almost a given, and you could have a lot more to deal with behind the scenes than you ever intended.
Third-party professional security providers are the safer choice.
A security provider can be completely impartial, where an internal department cannot – and it’s one more way to reduce conflict when you implement your employee surveillance system.
4. Monitor Only the Necessary
Employee monitoring programs won’t give any employer the automatic right to see everything their employees do during work hours. Monitor only the necessary, and only high-traffic areas or high-risk departments should be subject to ethical employee monitoring.
Where things are considered off-limits, monitoring behavior can cross the law and cause your entire monitoring program to collapse.
5. Know the Legal Background
Anywhere employee surveillance and monitoring is considered to be necessary, local laws will come into play – and as an employer or security provider, you should always know the legal background of what’s allowed and not.
All employee concerns must be taken seriously, and all monitoring programs should do their best to stay within the law. Without this basic step, a company could get into a lot of legal trouble – even if their monitoring program caught an employee intentionally doing something to harm the company.
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