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Monitoring software kills employee experience; Really ?

July 14, 2020
Employee Monitoring Kills Employee Trust

A prospect recently in-boxed me the following message: "It seems like you are killing the entire purpose of employee experience by monitoring clicks taking random screenshots and indirectly behaving as intruders by killing autonomy and privacy altogether. This software tool vanishes the concept of employee-employer trust for me."

To which I responded.

Employee Experience getting killed with Employee Monitoring Software

And it later got me to thinking, that why employee monitoring is still considered an illicit action? When in labor jobs, productivity is quantified based on the work output, and a supervisor monitors their efficiency. Similarly, in retail and services, employers and managers keep an eye by themselves or through cameras to check their service quality. And likewise, the office manager makes sure all employees under them have relevant tasks and are not sitting idle for the time they paid.

Whole management studies revolve around how to manage employees and to make sure they are not an inactive resource. Their performance auditing is carried out from time to time to ensure they remain efficient and productive and trained to lead tomorrow.

Employee experience at cost

As organizations become more decentralized and work from home continues to grow employees' preference, measures are needed to make sure employees are committed to working when at home and not fooling their employers. One way to make sure they are focused and productive is to use employee monitoring software, which provides an insight into employees' actions throughout their working hours. Though concerns originate that it is unethical, and a Gartner study found out that only 30% of employees were comfortable with their employers monitoring their email. Still, when the same employees were aware of the reason for monitoring, more than 50% of workers reported being comfortable. Are we overthinking employee experience at the cost of data compromise?

Secondly, today's data is considered the new gold and transmitted or stolen easily through online platforms or portable storage devices. Especially as the employee's job-hopping is faster than ever, with 40 million employees in the USA quitting their jobs in 2018, one individual with a wrong intention can cause the whole company damages in the worth of millions. Most companies do not adjust their data protection protocols timely, and their employees eventually start finding the loopholes. And to verify, I did a little digging and found the following.

Data Breaches in recent years

According to Global Data Exposure Report companies that got hacked last year, half of them claim these were insider jobs.

In 2016 The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) admitted that an employee mistakenly downloaded 44,000 customers' data and left the premises. It took the organization three days to realize the breach.

In 2017, Equifax data breach exposed almost 147 million US, 15.2 million British & 19,000 Canadian citizens as one employee never implemented software fixes even after reported warnings, which could have saved the theft.

In Western Australia, an auditing staff member downloaded confidential data of over 8,000 police officers until 2015 with their personally identifiable information.

Most significant CIA hacking was not external but internal and resulted in the most significant leaks of the classified information to Wikileaks in 2017. They were leading the CIA to close their certain operations after showcasing their techniques to their adversaries.

Above are the recent incidents companies had to bear. Unmotivated or disgruntled employees can damage a company's reputation as they might be led on by greed and revenge and might leak those patents or steal intellectual property, provide it to the competitors, and cover their tracks as they know the system. Do we still need to believe we are missing the employee experience?

According to a recent Haytax survey, employees and contractors are the people with privileged information, and 56% of the security professionals say, insider threats are on the rise. So, though employees might not be comfortable, they need to be orientated on this issue and aware of the growing concern of internal and external cybersecurity issues and related costs. One mistake can cost the company millions, and thousands may lose their jobs.

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