4 Ways To Monitor Your Employees Legally And Effectively

4 Ways To Monitor Your Employees Legally And Effectively

Monitoring your employees certainly has several benefits if done right. It can help you ensure people are not slacking off, make them more productive and identify areas where employees are wasting company time or resources on private matters. In this article, we will examine 4 ways to monitor your employees legally and effectively in details. But before doing so there are some things to understand about the legality of monitoring. This will set the ground for you to decide the best method for monitoring your employees.

Is employee monitoring legal?

Whether or not it is legal for you to monitor your employees will entirely depend on which country you and your employees are located in. If you are located in the United States then chances are you are able to monitor your employee's activities on their workplace devices to control their effectiveness. Depending on the state you are in you may or may not have a legal requirement to inform your employees of the fact that you have been monitoring them. This is something that you will need to check within your individual state laws as it is not a federal requirement. The following is a list of the different types of communication methods, activities are devices that employers are legally able to monitor in the United States.

  1. Company computers

    Company monitors that remain under the ownership of the company are fully able to be monitored. This includes monitoring their usage, stored documents and files, web usage, history and the number of strokes, clicks, active and idle time. Whether or not the device is located within the company’s premises does not affect the extent to which an employer is able to legally monitor them. Normally work monitors and computers are the devices that can supply the most information about the effectiveness of an employee, this is why many companies will tend to add trackers to these devices but not to any other devices.

  2. Social Media

    Social media monitoring is legal in the U.S. as it can help employers ensure that their employee is not spending their time engaging in other activities outside of work during work hours. Monitoring social media usage can come in a few different ways. The most obvious of those is to set a restriction on accessing certain websites on company computers. This is both a monitoring and a preventative act, but it is not the only way in which this type of activity can be monitored. Employers are also able to check whether their employee is online and posting during work hours. If they find that they are then they are able to monitor those activities and let their employees know of their findings. Social Media accounts can also be monitored for content. This can be particularly true in industries where the employees act as the face of the company. When that is the case most companies will check whether there is anything offensive or inappropriate both on employee pages and on potential candidates pages during the hiring process.

  3. Email monitoring

    With emails, the whole monitoring abilities of a company can be limited. Companies in general are able to monitor all communications that come in through their company system. However, in some states, there is a consent requirement when employee emails are checked. This is something to note as it could cause trouble if certain emails are monitored without the employee being informed about them.

    It is also worth noting that private emails not going through the work server, but hosted externally are not usually subject to monitoring. This is because they are completely private communications that will often take place completely outside of the workplace.

  4. Phones and phone conversations

    This is where monitoring can get a bit complicated. Generally when an employee is using a company-owned phone, employers are usually able to monitor their business communications. However, in order for those conversations to be recorded each state’s laws need to be checked as in many states two-party consent is necessary. What that essentially means is that the person on the other side of the call will also need to agree to the call being recorded. Depending on the line of business you are in that may or may not be an easy ask.

  5. Personal Devices

    With personal devices, there are specific policies that will need to apply in order for it to be done legally. In general, a bring-your-own-device policy will need to be in place in the company. This would help explain why a certain employee may be using their personal device for business and it could potentially also allow their employee access for monitoring. With employee personal computers then there may need to be a court order or a very clear work policy that will allow a company to monitor the computer either during work hours or more commonly when the device is within company premises. As a general review employees cannot have their personal devices searched without the proper authorization.

This understanding of what the legalities regarding monitoring are can help you better choose which monitoring practices are going to be both effective and legal in your company.

Monitor Your Employees’ Computer Activity With CleverControl

The easiest method to control your employees’ online activity is to use special software. CleverControl is the leading spy software and the easiest solution for improving your business processes. It will help you investigate employees' unlawful actions, prevent information leakage, increase productivity, and detect slackers. CleverControl enables you to monitor all your staff members remotely through any Internet-connected device. All it takes is to log into your account in a web browser and you can see all employees’ activity from anywhere anytime.

This exceptional spy software has a plenty of additional features, including Real-time Live Monitoring, Website Activity, Application Activity, Keystroke Logging, Screen Capture, Snapshots and Mic Sound recordings.

4 Ways To Monitor Your Employees Legally And Effectively

To start monitoring your employees with CleverControl, you should sign up here https://clevercontrol.com/ , download CleverControl Agent from your account, install it on the monitored computers and start getting data and View data via web account. Note that before using the program you must properly inform all users of the device on which you install such software that they are subjected to monitoring.

Monitor Your Employees’ Phone Conversation

4 Ways To Monitor Your Employees Legally And Effectively

It's helpful to track and record your team’s interactions and conversations with clients, customers, or partners for various reasons. Imagine that you check the latest customer support statistics, and you see that one employee is getting much higher scores than everyone else. In case you record the employees' interaction with the clients, you can listen to this person's phone calls from the past month and figure out what they’re doing right so you can ask your staff to do the same. And if some team member gets really bad reviews, you can find out what he is doing wrong and solve the problem.

There are a lot of services and apps which will enable you to record your employees’ phone conversation. It’s not forbidden to listen to your employees’ conversations on employer-owned phones. However, if you don’t want to break the law, you should do it only in order to control the quality of their job. For example, you can make sure if your clients get helpful technical support, or if your colleagues treat your customers respectfully.

Despite the fact that federal protections for phone calls don’t exist, there are some state laws in various states. For instance, in California the head of the company is obliged to notify the employees that their phone calls are being recorded by playing a beep. It’s obvious that it doesn’t apply to not business-related phone conversations. If you’re listening to a phone call and realize it’s personal, you must hang up.

For having more detailed information about legacy of using employee monitoring software in different countries you can find additional informationhere

Monitor Your Employees’ Location

4 Ways To Monitor Your Employees Legally And Effectively

Tracking the location of the company staff (whether by car, mobile phone, or both) has become very popular lately. But the following question is still open: how to monitor your employees' location without breaking the law? It’s permitted to monitor employees’ location, whether you are using a mobile app, with geofencing, or a GPS device in the car. Anyway, you should follow some recommendations to stay on the safe side.

First of all, provide your employees with the equipment which will enable you to monitor their location. There’s always a lower expectation of privacy when an employee is using company property, rather than personal. So, if you’re going to monitor an employer's location with the help of smartphone, you should pay for it.

Secondly, notify the employees that you are going to track them. As soon as you get permission from the people you are going to monitor, don't worry about legal issues: their approval supersedes the other concerns.

And last but not least, never track non-business activity. Your employees expect privacy when they’re out of office or have days-off. It means that you mustn't monitor their location when they’re not working.

Control Your Employees’ Activity Without Any Software or App

4 Ways To Monitor Your Employees Legally And Effectively

There’s no doubt that this method is legal, but it may take you much time to monitor and analyze your employees’ productivity yourself. However, if you want to take everything under control, this way is definitely for you.

If you don’t have an experience of personal controlling your employees’ activity, you can start with daily check-ins. This method shows your employees that you care about productivity and want to know everything when it comes to performance. First of all, you should ask your colleagues every day, “What have you achieved today? Are we getting closer to the achievement of our goal? How can I help or support you?” With the help of this method you will not only track your employee’s productivity, but also increase morale by showing your support to the colleagues.

Besides, you should focus not on the amount of hours worked but on your team’s results. It’s a well-known fact that colleagues tend to ‘kill time’ if they feel like they have no other goal than to put in X amount of hours daily. Productivity will increase when the team is goal-oriented and highly-motivated versus time put-in oriented. This is because they'll get an incentive to complete tasks. There’s no doubt that everybody wants to go home early after a job is done. So you can allow them to leave the office when the day’s work is done rather than when the clock reaches 5:00 pm.

What are the benefits of monitoring employees?

There are many opinions about the effectiveness of monitoring and the extent to which it can be a good practice in your office. Here are a few of the most important reasons why monitoring not only works but it is incredibly useful for both the employer and the employee.

  1. Recognition

    Employee monitoring means that day in and day out you are able to know exactly how your employees are performing. During review season and even before that having these monitoring statistics on hand could allow you to make your employees feel recognized for the good work that they are performing and it will give you clarity on which employees truly deserve to have a bonus or be given a better position.

  2. Employee retention

    Recognition is one of the key ways that you can make sure your employees are not constantly looking for new opportunities elsewhere. By having your employees be acknowledged and giving them rewards for good performance you can start building loyalty within your team. This can truly help you build up your company without having to worry all the time about your employees constantly handing in their resignations.

  3. Attentiveness

    Your employees when they know they are monitored are much more likely to become extremely attentive. This attentiveness will widely be the result of them knowing that any mistake that they make will be seen. This does not mean that monitoring should be used to blow out of proportion every mistake and to excessively punish your employees. Instead, it should be seen as part of your training and as a way to strengthen the quality of the work that your team produces.

  4. Fixing problems

    Whenever a problem is seen through monitoring it gives your team an opportunity to work together so as to fix it. By being able to fix problems as soon as they occur your clients or customers are going to be incredibly more satisfied with the work that you produce as they will easily be able to discern how much you care about your work. This will also breed a more collective atmosphere in which your team will always care about putting their best foot forward and will look for ways to collaborate and fix mistakes instead of just trying to hide them.

  5. Safety

    Finally, especially if you are working with sensitive data, monitoring employees and their devices could be the key to ensuring that that information does not fall in the wrong hands. Monitoring will allow you to always know who has access to your company’s private information. This will also be important in case of security breaches as it will allow you to react more swiftly.

What are some employee monitoring statistics you should know?

Many people assume that employees are generally unwilling to have their performance monitored. However, a survey by Accenture showed exactly the opposite to be true. In fact, 92% of the respondents said that they were open to having their data collected but only if the data was then used to improve their performance or bring their other personal benefits. But is this realistic?

Well, a Capterra survey showed that it is. According to the survey, 39% of employers said that they could have further insight into daily operations, while 38% said it helped their employees never be underpaid and these were only some of the benefits that monitoring brought. Greater team efficiency, problem-solving and employee recognition proved that these systems helped make employers better managers and thus increased satisfaction among their employees. A different Capterra survey also showed that while 65% of employees thought monitoring did not affect how hard they worked, 16% said that it made them work harder. This is definitive proof that there is no harm in monitoring, but rather only benefits for both the company and the employee.

Conclusion: Employee Monitoring Means Better Productivity

As you see, you can track your employees in many different ways, and there is a lot of employee monitoring software and mobile apps to meet these needs. The current laws provide for the right of the employers to monitor their employees. So, it's up to you which method to use: spy software, GPS monitoring app, call recorder or tracking your staff without any device. We recommend you taking a ‘test drive’ of CleverControl. You may download a free trial version and test it on unlimited number of target PCs for as long as 14 days.

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