A famous study in Psychology referred to as the Hawthorne effect denotes that people change their behavior, such as working harder and performing better, since they know that they are being observed. Hawthorne effect is applicable whether at home, at school, a public place, and it is indeed very helpful and significant finding to guide organizations and companies.
It is closely related to employee monitoring which as the name implies, literally means, monitoring employee activities and whereabouts. It is being employed by companies mainly to track employee performance leading to productivity with the objective of preventing undesirable employee behavior.
But does employee monitoring really increase productivity or does it only backfire to the company?
A recent study reported that almost half of employee Internet access time during working hours has nothing to do with their work - from sending personal emails to online purchases made. Thus, loss of productivity leads to company loss.
So if this is the case, even a simple but work unrelated activity affects companies hugely. What methods do employers need to employ? Some of the widely-used monitoring methods are keystroke logging and wiretapping.
Recording calls is beneficial as it lets you discover if your employees are interacting nicely with colleagues, clients, suppliers and many others in which your company has transactions with. It is also a way of determining if your employees are utilizing phone calls the right way.
GPS tracking, Internet monitoring (online i.e., interaction to social networking sites and computer use) let you see which URLs and websites your employees are checking. This can also be done through computer screen recording and video and audio surveillance.
But how would these methods increase productivity then? Employers are able to reap the following advantages:
• Less time is wasted
Time wasted equates to money wasted. Thus, every minute being spent by employees doing something else costs your business money. Thus, the use of employee monitoring apps helps you eliminate unwanted expenses, too.
• Less errors
As the employees' distractions are eliminated, they can focus more on their respective workloads and assignments. Thus, it is undeniably a great way to eradicate errors.
• Less security threat
Being certain about the type of information your employees have access to eliminates chances of security threats.
The Bottom Line
Thanks to technology, employers now have the capability to monitor employee activity that could definitely affect their productivity. Employee monitoring system also gives you an objective view in assessing employee performance and making supported action plans to solve problems with the situation calls for it. The data you need are there, and a thorough analysis might give you another great insight advantageous for your company.
On the other hand, one must know the boundaries and limitations of using employee monitoring systems as it may seem invasive to employees. Some employees might even think that they are being suspected and this could harm both professional and personal relationship.
Employee monitoring is really a sensitive and controversial topic to tackle. Nonetheless, it will do you a lot of favor if you try it even once. Who knows? It might be the one saving you from possible business closure and bankruptcy.