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Monitoring vs Snooping — How To Ensure You’re Monitoring Employees The Right Way

by | Employee Monitoring

A news article reporting that the UK government plans to record its citizens’ online activities has sparked a move by tech firms offering more privacy for civilians. The controversial move has caused many internet service providers (ISPs) to claim that such recording of data could lead to snooping and breaching personal privacy, while the UK Home Office claims it will help combat terrorism.
“It only takes one bad actor to go in there and get the entire database.” – James Blessing, chairman of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa)
The announcement has led some UK citizens to consider using virtual private networks (VPNs) in order to keep their online activity private. It’s an ongoing debate about online privacy that many countries are facing, but it’s also a debate that’s continuing on a smaller scale – namely in the workplace. So how do companies define monitoring apart from snooping on employees’ activity in the workplace? Here’s some simple tips to make sure you’re monitoring your employees the right way, which can result in increased productivity and even higher office morale.

Monitoring The Right Way

1. Be transparent

If your employees know you’re monitoring them, then at least they’re aware of it. You should also outline what it is you’ll be monitoring; whether that’s emails, websites visited, applications used, instant messaging or file access. If they know what you’re keeping an eye on, there’s less chance you’ll be accused of snooping when you pick up on activity that’s against company guidelines. It’s important to note that in most jurisdictions employers are legally required to notify employees that they’re being monitored as part of company policies.

2. Don’t pick on individuals

Monitor your company as a whole. With the right computer monitoring software, you’ll be able to monitor the entire workplace and see for yourself whether there is a particular employee who’s breaching your company rules. Moreover, you may even be able to spot the ones who are really putting in the work.

3. Show employees what you’ve monitored

Again, with the right employee computer monitoring software, you’ll be able to produce reports on productivity and attendance. With hard evidence that monitoring is producing useful data for the benefit of the company, you can show your employees that it’s not about snooping; it’s about ensuring the company is at its best.

4. Praise high productivity

The best thing you can do for your employees is give them praise. Let them know you’re happy with how they’re working and that you know this because of the monitoring you’ve installed within the workplace. It will build a level of trust that is invaluable between managers and employees.

5. Provide training and support

It’s important to provide employees with training and support when implementing new monitoring systems. This will help them understand why monitoring is necessary and how it works. It will also help them to feel more comfortable and less anxious about being monitored, which can increase productivity and motivation.

Make the Most out of monitoring

To get all the results we’ve discussed, you’re going to need the right employee computer monitoring software. (KnowIT provides all of the monitoring capabilities mentioned above and more!) Do you already use monitoring in your company? Let us know in the comments below how you’re making the most out of monitoring.

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