Employee monitoring has significantly increased in recent years as workers recognize the importance of being tracked for tasks. While some form of monitoring has been a part of all workplaces for decades through attendance registers, CCTV cameras, and even the physical presence of the manager, things have changed recently owing to changes in technology. For example, according to a 2015 study that surveyed hundreds of corporations, only 30% were monitoring their employees using digital tools. The percentage increased to 50% in 2019 and is projected to rise to 80% in 2020. In this article, we will explore three ways employee monitoring can boost productivity. We will then briefly identify some risks associated with monitoring and how as a manager you can overcome those. We will also evaluate the features available with the top employee monitoring app and how it can help managers.
1. Communication and coordination
Communication lies at the heart of all activities within an organization. According to a study, poor communication between employees costs millions to businesses in the US each year. This can be caused by miscommunication, misunderstandings, or problems with acknowledgment. Coordination between different departments also takes a hit, causing a decline in productivity. A monitoring app can help streamline the process as it can record a log of all communications within the organization. Communication with clients can also be tracked and evaluated for further improvement. Besides, as working culture changes with more opportunities for remote working and flexible hours, monitoring apps become indispensable for coordination. Since monitoring programs collect performance data, managers are in a better position to communicate expected changes with their team and deliver credit where it is due. This boosts morale and hence a better motivation to work. Employees will also feel more comfortable with being monitored if they recognize that it is helping to increase the quality of their tasks and improving the workplace environment, which brings us to our next point.
2. Conflict management
Conflict is a regular feature of all human interactions, especially in environments where stress can often be overpowering, as in the workplace. While it is clear to most managers that a dysfunctional office environment created by conflict can lead to low morale and productivity loss, few consider how to successfully handle these conflicts. For example, according to a study, workplace conflict causes a loss of USD 359 billion to businesses in the US. An employee monitoring tool can help managers in effectively handling the complex tasks of resolving conflicts amicably and prevent them from recurring. Allegations, drama, and miscommunication play a big role in conflicts but a monitoring app that keeps track of employee communication and behavior can provide managers with the data they need. Conflicts related to harassment, abuse, maltreatment, and similar issues can be resolved as accurate information is available to the manager via the monitoring apps. Employees are also more likely to acknowledge their mistakes if they know that their actions are monitored. Lawsuits, absenteeism, and even physical violence can be avoided by the simple use of employee monitoring apps.
3. Accountability and transparency
Accountability and transparency are integral components of productivity. This is because when employees personally invest in a task, they are motivated to act by their initiative and drive. For example, you indirectly communicate a lack of priority if your team members are not held accountable for their work or behavior. However, many employers become micromanagers to promote accountability but this ultimately backfires as team members feel a loss of independence. Using an employee monitoring app can make it clear to employees that they are being monitored and are answerable for their work. This promotes a culture of transparency where roles, tasks, and expectations are clear to all relevant team members.
Employee monitoring risks
While using employee monitoring apps can help to boost productivity in the office, there are some risks you need to acknowledge as a manager. It is illegal to install monitoring apps on devices without the consent of your team. Use these apps on company-owned devices to avoid privacy violations and take your employees on board with regards to which information is collected. Studies have also shown that employees feel more comfortable with being tracked if the manager explains the reasons for it. Make sure that monitoring is an involved process where you continue to communicate what information is being collected and how it is being used for improved productivity, task output, morale, and business performance.
Now that we have seen how employee monitoring can help you improve your organizational performance and have evaluated some of the associated risks, let’s take a look at one of the top employee monitoring app.
XNSPY is an advanced monitoring app that offers a comprehensive set of features to track the performance and behavior of your employees. The app is compatible with all versions of Android devices running on versions 4.0 and above. For iOS, XNSPY supports all versions above 6.0.
Here are some of the prominent features and how they can help.
Use this feature to monitor all incoming, outgoing, and missed calls. A detailed call log is available and calls can be recorded as well. This is a useful feature if you wish to improve customer support services and monitor how your team is performing.
Text message monitoring
All sent and received messages can be accessed remotely. Messages exchanged via apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Skype, and others can be viewed as well. This feature can provide useful information that you may need for conflict management.
Web activity and app use tracking
You can use XNSPY to monitor online activities such as all exchanged emails and complete web browsing history. You can also view a list of installed apps and block them remotely. With this data, you can track the productivity of your team members and share the data with them to improve performance.
The app can be used to track the location of the device in real-time, along with route history. A geofencing feature is also available. This is a particularly valuable feature if you are in the logistics business. You can track your off-site employees and adopt a flexible approach by making changes on the go.
The instant alert feature is a very useful function if you do not wish to keep track of your employees at all times. Just add specific words or locations to the XNSPY watch list, and the app will immediately notify you regarding the relevant activity. For example, you will immediately know if inappropriate messages are sent by one of your team members.
Other features available with XNSPY include detailed device use reports sent straight to your inbox, a phone remote control feature that lets you lock the phone or delete data and access to multimedia files such as videos or images. You can toggle the features on/off and discuss with your team members which functions are best suited for their respective tasks.
The app offers good features suitable for employee monitoring and is affordable too. XNSPY’s basic version costs USD 4.99 a month and USD 7.49 per month for the premium version.