Corporate surveillance- or in other words the implementation of employee tracking software, has mitigated the rising anxiety of companies all over the world when the pandemic pushed the workforce out of their offices. Till then, a good majority of the organizations had their employees under their direct surveillance.
With work from home becoming the new norm, the tracking software has given employers new hope to track work with a globally displaced workforce. In India, the digital tool has encouraged many industries to ramp up their employee monitoring efforts.
The digital market now abounds with innumerable employee monitoring software studded with unique features. Now comes the real question: How do employees feel about being monitored and are all organizations wielding this software most ethically?
Employee surveillance and the usage of software for the same is shielded by law in every country. Companies must inform their workforce about the nitty-gritty of the software, apart from getting a written or signed consent from everyone concerned.
However, not all employees are willing to stake their privacy for the benefit of their company. There are many risks associated with keeping a hawk-eye on employees:
Using employee tracking software is like walking a tightrope. Sticking to work and moral ethics and prioritizing the privacy of the workforce is paramount if organizations are desperate to use this software.
There are some fundamental steps that all organizations must follow to make employee tracking ethical and employee-friendly.
Choosing the option only after extensive discussion with stakeholders.
It is best not to impulsively jump the bandwagon just because everybody else is doing so. To implement the process, it is important to keep the stakeholders informed. They should have a clear picture of the strategies, the risks and the benefits.
Monitoring only what is necessary.
Successful and satisfied use of employee monitoring software rides largely on what the tool will be used for. The software must align with the core functions of the company. Monitoring unnecessary, irrelevant information is a waste of time and resources, as much as it is tempting.
Being transparent with employees.
Employee trust is a hard-earned asset that should be protected at all costs. Employers are responsible for keeping their workforce well-informed about the entire monitoring process. Employees also deserve an opportunity to share their candid feedback. Complete transparency is the only way to garner employee acceptance about using the software.
Motivating employees rather than suppressing them.
The power of monitoring their team may be given to team leaders who could misuse it to their will. Instead, the system must be used as a tool that motivates and fine-tunes the workflow for the benefit of the workforce and the company.
Offering unbiased protection to all employees
No worker should feel oppressed or targetted by surveillance. Disproportionate surveillance of a diverse group or marginalized group of employees could invite legal and reputational problems, aside from irreversibly damaging the ethical code. Employee surveillance should be implemented in a manner that is fair for everyone on the employee ladder.
Decreasing monitoring whenever possible.
Monitoring should be a controlled process from the word “Go”. Employers need not keep their workforce on a leash all the time. They should identify when and where to pull back their monitoring efforts and grant their workforce the freedom to do their work as long as things are going well.
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