When you are paying someone a desired salary you expect them to work sincerely with their full potential – along with – reaching the workplace at the designated time. But this is not often the case with all the employees working for you. It is even revealed by a survey that office employees spend, on an average, 56 minutes per day interacting with their cell phones for non-work activities such as handling personal emails, social media get together, surfing online sites – like that of shopping, sports, mobile gaming etc.
Plus, you can also find them often taking more time to reach the office than scheduled, extending lunch breaks, and wasting time in personal gossiping. Counting all that, this would almost be wasting a complete one working day (considering it to be of 8 hrs) per week on non-work activities. This attitude usually you will find in the happy-go-lucky kind of employees who are quite positive in attitude.
In such a scenario, as an employer, you are bound to take some action to protect your business profits by not letting the production output to fall due to the unethical or happy-go-lucky kind of employees. As a precautionary measure, the first thing you would like to do is to somehow monitor your employees’ actions and performance in the workplace. But, to the best of my knowledge, it will not always be right to do that unless it is utmost necessary and here are a few things to keep in mind before taking any such action:
1) See the work output of employees and not the just time and attitude
Some of the carefree employees may not be punctual but they are still attentive and capable enough to deliver output much better than the ones who are highly focused, dedicated and punctual. It will all depend on the efficiency of workers. According to a survey, happy employees are 12% more productive and so it will compensate for not being highly punctual. Their attention span might be short but it’s highly productive. According to another research, when a person is happy and feeling positive, the brain works much better which is good to increase the productivity of an employee.
It’s something like, a good and productive writer can deliver his best work in just one go, while it may take several writings for the same quality to come up for some other writer. So, before trying to monitor such employees, their productivity should also be taken into consideration, instead of simply getting irritated by their casual or carefree attitude, which is actually a sign of a happy person. If there is no deficit in the productivity of an employee, then monitoring should be avoided as that will be good to build trust with the employee. Trust is a crucial tool to uplift the morale of an employee and generate more output from him/her.
2) Take care of the laws
Employee monitoring in the workplace may not always be legal. There are specific laws pertaining to that. These laws may also differ according to the country where your business is operational. As an example, if you are trying to install a CCTV system to monitor your employees then according to people hr, a UK based hr software vendor, it will not be wrong but you must brush up on the relevant legislation, as doing it the wrong way might just be a breach of the Data Protection Act.
In case, you really need to monitor your employees, best is to make the employees aware that they are being monitored and that will really put you on the safer side when it comes to the breaching of any kind of laws. Mainly the problem arises when you monitor someone illegally in a secretive way.
Also, it will be good to disclose any type of possible monitoring you would like to facilitate, nearby your employees, in your hr policies so that the candidates can know about it before applying or taking over a job position in your company.
- Examine your own mentality
Mostly, people are stick to their own mentality but the fact is, sometimes we need to change our mentality if it can benefit in some way. If a research suggests that giving employees the autonomy to do their jobs can increase their productivity then there is no harm in testing out this theory instead of taking the usual decision to monitor your employees as per your own mentality. If it (autonomy) fails then you really didn’t care to hire the right kind of people in the first place.
If you really believe that you have hired the trustworthy employees then you are actually contradicting yourself by monitoring them, as, in that case, it means you don’t trust them. It will be better to fire an employee whom you don’t trust instead of monitoring him/her. Then make a new hire wisely by appointing someone whom you don’t really need to monitor and that will be good for a stellar company culture.
Hope that helps.