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The Best Employee Monitoring Software: What’s Right For You?

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Trust  – difficult to earn and easy to lose, and yet it’s a business imperative – As a manager and business owner, you must earn the trust of your clients and must be able to invest your trust in your teams and their capabilities.

Most of us are trustworthy most of the time. In nine cases out of 10  your trust is fully justified, but even the most diligent employees occasionally go astray – coming in a little later than they should, spend work hours on a personal issue, emailed sensitive documents through a private account, etc. For the most part these infractions are part of the normal life at any place of business, and require no action, but it’s still important for your company’s ongoing well being that events be monitored and managed. Trust – but verify your trust is rightfully placed… It’s precisely this mindset that employee monitoring software promotes – employees actions and communications are monitored and recorded as a tool for ensuring that everyone is in-line, not only most of the time, but all the time…

What to expect

Employee monitoring solutions typically allow managers to quickly identify which employees were engaged in which activities at what times – providing a clear and succinct picture of overall productivity.

Sensitive information


Any business information is sensitive, however some companies routinely handle data and records where any kind of unapproved access or disclosure may have serious legal and other implications. For these companies trust and record keeping become even more important, and in some cases a matter of legal compliance, as well. Employee monitoring solutions showcase with complete clarity exactly how information is accessed and shared throughout your organization and outward. With these tools it’s typically very easy to quickly identify any unauthorized access, editing or sharing of files. Data breaches and other forms of cybercrime, while still a threat, can be greatly reduced through the use of employee monitoring software. At the very least employing employee monitoring software indicates your organization has a policy in place for managing these issues responsibly.

The Best Employee Monitoring Software

The best employee monitoring software solutions out there all meet a few basic criteria: Comprehensive – EVERYTHING is Tracked EVERYWHERE Any employee monitoring software you deploy is bound to be tested for loopholes and ways to circumvent it. The best solutions in the market are for all intents and purposes AIRTIGHT. They go above and beyond simply monitoring web activity and maintain full records of:

  • Online / Offline time
  • Software installed and used productively or unproductively for the user. Note that different team members will have different needs in this respect – your solution has to be flexible enough to account for this.
  • System setting adjustments.
  • Email sent and received.
  • Websites browsed productively or unproductively for the user
  • Data accessed / copied / moved
  • Instant Messaging – Facebook, Skype, LINE, QQ, WeChat…
  • Keystrokes – log of all keystrokes entered on the machine.

A further aspect of how comprehensive the coverage your employee monitoring software offers is the question of platforms – It’s hardly effective having your PCs locked down, but leaving smartphones completely open…

Responsive – events trigger alerts

The problem with tracking everything that’s happening, on every piece of hardware, every employee in your organization uses… …is that the volumes of data you’re dealing with really add up very quickly. Paradoxically this actually plays to the advantage of culprits, who stand to gain from having their actions camouflaged by the sheer volume of data in the system. The best employee monitoring solutions come out of the box with configurable alert features that allow you, while still tracking all events, to set up particular types of events that generate a special alert to a manager. An easy example of how a feature like this might be implemented is to have an alert sent out any time employees outside your HR department browse popular job websites. This is usually a good indication that an employee is considering to “jump ship” – definitely an opportune time to have a chat with them and see what’s up…

Easy to Use

Any software should be easy to use, but with employee monitoring this is truer than ever. Because employee monitoring is (mistakenly?) perceived as “nice-to-have” rather than “mission critical”, any slight barrier to implementation and usage is bound to cause massive delays. Here’s what we’ve learned in our own experience with these solutions:

1) If it has a high upfront cost it will never be adopted.

Purchasing and HR will find other things to spend your budget on because employees have a natural (and understandable) objection to monitoring. Solutions that offer software-as-a-service billing are much more likely to receive finance’s green lighting simply because SAAS is an operational expense rather than a capital expense making the books much easier to balance.

2) If it requires IT know how to install It will never be deployed properly.

IT will stall deployment and when they do deploy they’ll make sure they have backdoors through the system that will eventually become common knowledge.

3) If it requires hardware installations for setup it will never get done.

See #2 above.

4) Unless reports are easy to read no one will follow up on them.

Reports from employee monitoring software solutions are typically meant for managers and HR personnel – These are people who have a lot on their plate already, so unless they can easily understand and process the data provided, they’ll simply ignore it…

The Best Employee Monitoring Software – For You

Ultimately the guidelines above must be scrutinized in light of the particular requirements of your company. It’s important to have a good idea not only of what are the features and budget that you’re looking for, but also plan for the deployment, integration and adoption of the tool into your company’s daily business. Of course, we have our own view on what we think is the best employee monitoring software, and that’s KnowIT. KnowIT instantly protects Organizations from Insider Theft and IPR loss using the world’s first cloud based PC, Mac, iPhone and Android Monitoring and productivity software.

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