An essential task of running a business and ‘being the boss’ is the monitoring of your staff and how to go about it without making it obvious you are checking upon them.
If done the wrong way, you can engender fear in your staff as they could feel you don’t trust their abilities or work commitment.
If done the right way, employees will not be aware that they are being monitored and will accept monitoring tasks as simple methods of safeguarding staff, protecting resources, or improving productivity.
Employers monitor their employees in several ways; dedicated software is increasingly being used, but more traditional methods are checks of emails and voice messages, recording telephone calls, and the use of CCTV.
Who do you Need to Monitor Your Staff?
Some of the reasons for monitoring staff include:
Most IT security breaches happen through employee negligence. By monitoring and restricting employees’ online activity, a business can protect its systems and information from outside attacks.
Globally, there has been an increase in hackers gaining access to the personal information of clients and blackmailing the business, requesting money or the information will be released across the internet. Tracking employees’ actions can help ensure that employers become aware of any data breaches as soon as possible and that relevant rules are complied with.
Leaks of confidential information
Monitoring may not prevent a leak, but it can help spot one and gives the business a fighting chance of damage limitation.
Monitoring can help employers ensure that many policies and internal procedures are followed correctly, and any misconduct is detected immediately.
With the increase of remote workers, employers need to make sure they are not being taken advantage of. By tracking communications and login details they can confirm that employees are performing their job appropriately.
Some data generated from monitoring can be analyzed to help devise strategies that could increase production.
Many of these issues may seem to apply only to large businesses with hundreds of staff and thousands of clients.
However, in an SME with lower staff numbers, the key knowledge within the business is retained by a very small number of the staff. This places even greater emphasis on ensuring that knowledge is not shared where it shouldn’t be, whether accidentally or on purpose.
In a small or medium-sized business, it becomes even more important that staff is aware of the monitoring and the reasons behind it. So, make sure your business has the following:
- Have policies in place that clearly explain the extent of the monitoring being undertaken, with an explanation of why it is needed
- Regular check the policies are up to date and have been brought to the employee’s attention
- Regularly review alternative, less intrusive options for monitoring as part of a risk assessment
- Develop processes to ensure that the information collected is kept securely, is seen by as few people as necessary, and gets deleted when no longer needed
- Do not jump to conclusions when the monitoring reveals potential misconduct. Sometimes all that is needed is a reminder of policies or some retraining.
Take care when monitoring employees, infringing their rights could result in claims, fines, and reputational damage that has a lasting effect on the business. Corporate Business Solutions Inc. can help you understand your rights and those of your employees.