Abuse of Employee Monitoring Software Can Really Harm Your Business
So much is being said and written about employee monitoring software that by now its potential contribution to a business’s success is common knowledge. Unfortunately, the other side of the coin is often excluded from discussions about the deployment of monitoring tools in the workplace. This side often pertains to the abuse of such powerful technology, something that was pretty much expected, considering what it’s really capable of. As an employer, it’s crucial for you to be aware of the possible dangers of employee monitoring software, or rather its abuse, as the very survival of your business may depend on it. To help you in this regard, we have highlighted a few ways in which irresponsible deployment and use of employee monitoring software can harm your business.
Damage Reputation and Lead to Lawsuit
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns with abusing employee monitoring software is that it can damage your reputation as an employer. Expect word of your tendency to peek into the private lives and communications of your employees to spread quickly. There is a chance that a lot of people will simply avoid working for you because they’ll be convinced that working for you means giving you license to snoop on their calls, SMS, WhatsApp, Skype, internet activities, etc. This, however, is not the worst case scenario. The worst that can happen is that your existing employees discover what you’re up to and realize that you are actually violating their right to privacy. The situation can quickly escalate from there and finally pull you and your business into a long and financially exhausting legal battle.
Raise Stress Levels
Another consequence of improper use of employee monitoring software is that it can cause a spike in stress levels across the workforce. The thought of you watching everything they’re doing at work can put employees under immense pressure to constantly remain on their toes. This prolonged state of heightened alertness keeps them from relaxing, which in turn impedes their ability to perform to the best of their abilities. That is the last thing you want, employee monitoring having the exact opposite effect of what you actually desired. In most cases, the stress factor is present when employees haven’t been taken onboard before deploying employee monitoring software, or when a comprehensive employee monitoring policy is either absent, or not clearly communicated.
Send Out a Wrong Message
If you keep looking over your employees’ shoulders electronically, then it won’t be long before they begin to sense trust deficit on your part. Closely monitoring every single thing that they say or do while at work will only make them feel that you deem them untrustworthy, which is why you’re keeping an eagle eye on them. They’re likely to take that as an insult and hence retaliate in their own way. A few of them may become disengaged and stop giving their 100 percent to help the business move closer towards the achievement of its goals, whereas those unable to cope with this “humiliation” may simply leave for a company where they’ll feel more appreciated, respected, and trusted. You could very well end up losing some excellent resources in the process.