Employee Monitoring: Increasing Productivity and Security

The dark side of employee time-tracking software and how to increase employee productivity and security the right way.
Employee Monitoring: Increasing Productivity and Security
Jacob Wilson

Today, employee productivity and cybersecurity are often conflicting practices. By strengthening data security, you may harm employee morale and vice versa. Practices like employee monitoring can help but only when used strategically. You do not want your employees to feel spied on, right?

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Here are a few employee monitoring practices that will boost your workplace security and productivity.

Set Up an Employee Recognition Tool

In the past, employers used time trackers to monitor what their employees were doing during work hours and how much time they spent on non-work activities. Time-tracking tools let you identify hidden costs, underperforming employees, and productivity killers. Overall, they give your business a higher level of transparency and accountability.

However, these tools also have a dark side.

Namely, tracking employees’ time and activities may make them feel like they are always being watched. Precisely because of that, managers need to clearly explain the point of tracking employees’ time and activities. Employees need to understand that you do not want to spy on them. It is to get a better understanding of their performance.

Fortunately, the latest employee management tools have gone far beyond obsessively tracking employees’ activities. They allow you to look at the bigger picture and boost your company’s culture with continuous recognition and feedback.

Use Employee Recognition Tools

There are some great tools to help you measure employee performance. Employees can rate themselves and their team members based on the goals they have achieved. A tool like Hi5 also offers a recognition dashboard, where employees can receive recognition from their colleagues as well as people outside the company. You can filter your stats by different roles, departments, or time ranges. For you as a manager, that is also a great way to track employee performance.

Most importantly, tools like Hi5 encourage communication between employees and managers. For example, you can create employee satisfaction surveys and keep your finger on the pulse of your staff.

What’s great about recognition tools is that they are not all about tracking employees’ time. They prove that you do not need to monitor how much time each employee spends on social networks or email communication to grow your company.

Instead, you will track their achievements and unlock each employee’s potential via continuous feedback and recognition.

Filter Web Content

Web content filtering is a network security solution that lets you track and regulate access to websites, based on their content category. Blocking non-work websites can help you boot employees’ performance and increase network security.

Statistics say that human error is responsible for 90% of data breaches.

That is not surprising at all. Your employees visit various websites, navigate through social networks, download files, click on email attachments, and share sensitive data via multiple channels. A single click on an infected link or file may compromise your company’s entire network.

That is where web content filtering steps in. It allows you to block spam sites that can lead to malware being installed onto your company’s computers. It can also screen email subject lines for spam or malware.

While blocking non-work content may boost employee performance and increase data security, use this feature carefully.

Namely, not allowing your employees to refresh their Facebook feeds or post an office selfie on Instagram, you may frustrate them. Such a decision would indicate that you do not trust them enough. Therefore, instead of blocking social networks, create a strong online security policy and provide employees with online security training.

Content filtering, on the other hand, is a perfect option for preventing access to spammy websites that may compromise your network security and harm your brand image.

For example, use it to block pornographic content, which contains malicious links and content. Spam redirects can result in infected software being installed onto your network. Similarly, hate sites may compromise your staff members’ wellbeing and hurt your brand, so you’d want to block those as well.

Use a Project Management Tool

A project management tool can boost your company’s security and employee productivity in multiple ways. First, most of your employees believe that sending emails is safe. They use this channel to share sensitive information and files with their co-workers or clients.

However, communication via email is not always private.

For example, if your employee sends an email via a safe HTTPS connection and their remote colleague opens it using public WI-FI, the data can easily be intercepted and used by hackers.

That’s why you should use safer, encrypted communication tools, such as project management tools. Communication is encrypted, meaning that a hacker cannot read your data even if they steal it.

For your staff, these tools are a perfect way to break down work into meaningful projects. For you as a manager, project management tools are ideal for employee monitoring, as you will stay on top of each project, task, deadline, and employee. The tool will send real-time notifications about any project updates. Some project management tools even include time tracking to help you understand the activities that waste your employees’ time.

These tools are a perfect way to break down work into meaningful projects.

Over to You

Monitoring employees is critical for your company’s performance. However, you should use it wisely. Simply adding time trackers to social networks or blocking entertaining content is not enough.

Prove that you trust your employees.

Use employee recognition tools to reward their engagement and spread the word about their accomplishments.

About the Author

Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.

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