Is Employee Monitoring Ethical or Not?
With the recent influx of work-from-home careers, there has been more and more talk about employee monitoring. This has opened up the discussion of whether or not monitoring or “spying,” as some may say, is genuinely moral. Is employee monitoring ethical or not?
Employee monitoring is entirely ethical when done correctly. The best way to make employee monitoring moral is to be fully transparent with your employees. Monitor all employees equally, discuss how it benefits them, and never collect personal data.
Are you considering purchasing an employee monitoring service but unsure whether this is an ethical approach? Then keep reading. This article discusses the various reasons as to whether or not employee monitoring is a moral and upstanding practice.
Is Employee Monitoring Ethical - Or Not?
Whether or not employee monitoring is ethical is up for debate. Many are under the impression that employee monitoring signals distrust and a breach of privacy, causing a hostile work environment.
And this can be entirely true.
It all comes down to how employee monitoring is put in place. There is an absolute right and wrong way to go about employee monitoring. When done correctly, employee monitoring can be a great way to build trust and motivation between employers and employees, especially when you use state-of-the-art software like Wolfeye.
How to Monitor Employees Ethically
Whether or not employee monitoring is ethical comes down to the company and how they instill the monitoring practices. Luckily, there are many ways to ensure you are monitoring your employees ethically.
Here are the top ways to ensure upstanding monitoring takes place:
The number one thing to do is to ensure you are 100% transparent with your employees. You should never use employee monitoring services without the knowledge of your employees. This will lead to a severe level of distrust and betrayal, which could lead to several employees leaving their position.
Inform your employees that employee monitoring will take place. Take it a step further by sharing what type of data will and will not be collected. Share how this information will be used and who will be able to access the information.
Being upfront with your employees will create trust, and employees will not believe they are being “spied” on.
Share the Benefits
Many employees don’t see the benefit of being monitored, believing it solely benefits the company. This isn’t the case, though. In actuality, employee monitoring can be highly beneficial, from cutting down on mistakes to improving productivity.
It is crucial to relay this type of information to employees so they can understand it is beneficial for them as much as it is beneficial for you.
For example, employees can see their work patterns and get creative on better managing their time, allowing them to be more efficient during the workday.
Monitor All Employees Equally
A lot of business owners zone in on employee monitoring for their remote employees, fearing they’re doing more pleasure-filled activities like social media and online games than actual work. But employee monitoring shouldn’t be used solely for remote workers.
When it comes to instilling employee monitoring practices in your workforce, ensure that all employees are being monitored – remote workers, in-office workers, higher-ups, etc.
Again, this all comes down to trust and fairness. If a select number of workers are the only ones being monitored, this will create a sense of unfairness and distrust, leading to a problematic work environment.
Don’t Collect Personal Data
It’s understandable why employees might feel uptight about employee monitoring. They may feel the company is collecting personal data on top of professional data, causing uneasiness.
The best thing to do is refrain from collecting any type of personal data from your employees. Ensure strict boundaries and safeguards are in place so no personal information is collected. Relay this information to your employees so they can feel safe and comfortable that their personal, private data is off-limits.
Don’t Collect Outside of Working Hours
In certain situations, an employee’s computer or other electronic device is used for professional and personal usage. If this is the situation for your company, it is crucial to stop monitoring outside of work hours. What is done outside of work hours is no concern to the company.
However, if the devices are not supposed to be used outside of work hours or for personal use whatsoever, this is a different story. In this case, it’s essential to discuss the company’s device usage rules and what can happen if employees are caught disobeying the rules and regulations.
Is Employee Monitoring Good or Bad?
Is an employee monitoring service a good or bad decision for your company? Overall, employee monitoring has an abundance of positive advantages for businesses, including:
- Increased Productivity
Recent statistics have shown that employee monitoring can increase overall productivity by almost 50%. Not only that, but collected data can help employees discover new ways to increase their productivity, resulting in the potential for an even higher percentage increase.
- Saves the Company Money
Did you know that unproductive workers have an impact on the financial aspect of a business? When an employee is slacking off, they’re wasting the company’s money. By instilling employee monitoring, you can cut down on wasted time, ensuring every dollar is spent efficiently.
- Increases Overall Security
Employee monitoring allows business owners to get an inside look into documents, applications, messages, and so forth. With access to this sensitive information, companies can locate potential security threats, such as breaches, threats, and other types of suspicious behavior that would otherwise be detrimental to the employee and/or company.
Employee Monitoring Can Be Entirely Ethical
There is some debate over the ethics of employee monitoring; the truth is that it can be 100% moral. The best thing to do is to be transparent with your employees about the monitoring and to monitor all employees equally. Do not collect personal data or collect outside of working hours. Finally, share the benefits so employees know it’s a good decision.
Let Wolfeye help you on your employee monitoring journey today!