Advice

How to Legally Implement Employee Monitoring Software

A good employer is one who always knows what is going on with his or her employees. After all, employees are what truly run a company, not anything else. And hence what an employee does is beyond important for a company.  In modern times, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what an employee is or is not doing. A lot of people are now turning to employee monitoring. And sadly, a lot of them are doing it oh so wrong.

The reason for this is simple enough. Smartphones in the office mean that there is potential for disruption in work or office related tasks. Smartphones are fabulous because they allow efficiency in the office and allow employees to work from any location at just about any time. But what this also means is that employees can now waste company time by applying themselves to games, social media apps, and phone/text conversations with family and friends. Further, there is the threat of losing out on company secrets and confidential information, lest an employee is being unfaithful or mishandling their responsibilities.

In such scenarios, one needs to be on top of things. And the best way to go about it is to use employee monitoring software. But simply getting some software and installing it on whatever device you get your hands on is not enough. One must legally approach the issue so that it does not cause any problems with employees or litigation with the company. Ensuring that you have legally implemented employee monitoring means that you are also protecting your employee’s rights and saving the company from any bad repute. Here is how you can go about it.

Get a policy going

Declare an open and official monitoring policy for your workplace. Make sure your employees know what you’re up to and actually get their feedback on how to better the processes as well. There are legal dos and don’ts involved in any type of monitoring. While it is something you can do, there’s a lot you should consider before you go ahead with it. Personal data from your employee for example is something you should never be in possession of.

Stick to official devices

You can’t monitor a BYOD. This is the most basic and simple rule. Often a time, employers get a little too enthusiastic about monitoring and attempt to monitor personal devices that employees may be using at the workplace. This is definitely not legal. You may be lucky and get away with it, but it isn’t professional practice. The best way to make sure you don’t get into any trouble is to install monitoring software only on company issued devices, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. There are serious lines that you need to draw before you start monitoring anything, make sure you’re always in the clear as an employer.

Keep Employees Informed

Installing monitor software on employee used devices without letting them know is never a good idea. Eventually, employees will find out what you are up to and this will lead to problems. Employees will not only be angry but resentful. If they don’t act out, they may take things into their own hands and attempt to hurt the company. Further, without knowing they may indulge private information that would hurt their careers as well as workplace socialization. False pretenses should be avoided and monitoring should be done at the level of informed consent.

Involve Your Superiors

Employee monitoring is not really a one person job. Rather, it is best to keep all departments updated on the matter. If you are monitoring employees then do not restrict the operations to a few individuals. If the company is a larger one, or expanding, then misuse of monitored data can be a real legal issue. If the IT, Executive, Legal, and HR are all involved, legal issues are least likely to arise.

At the end of the day what you need to remember as an employer is that you have certain rights, but then your employees have certain rights, too. In trying to secure your own vested interested you cannot in anyway trample those of your employees. So follow the basic rules and stay out of trouble. In the long run it will be good for not just your business, but also for the well-being of your employees.

This guest post is from Jessica Carol. 

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Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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