Does your manager always seem to be keeping tabs on you? Are they checking in a little more than you would like? Micromanagers exist in all companies. Some do it because they like to be in control; others do it because they don’t trust their people completely. But there are some micromanagers who have good intentions and are more focused on productivity.
The idea of monitoring employee productivity is nothing new. It has been happening for decades, but it’s always been more prominent in some industries than others. Sales, customer service, and manufacturing come to mind right away for most people. It’s common in performance-based roles.
Worker productivity monitoring became a hot-button topic during the pandemic as companies shifted to remote operations. There was a greater need for companies to identify new ways to monitor employee performance. Being physically separated and not all having access to the same tools and resources made it challenging for companies to maintain the same level of performance. It affected communications, and there were deep fears that having employees working outside the office would hurt productivity.
So, businesses started to invest in and implement new ways to monitor employees to maintain productivity.
Does Employee Monitoring Actually Increase Productivity?
It depends. There is conflicting research about how much monitoring helps. There are definitely instances where monitoring can help employees be more focused. Monitoring can also help employees identify areas for improvement. However, there is ample evidence that it’s not necessary.
According to ITProToday, “A Stanford study of 16,000 workers over a nine-month period showed a performance increase of 13%” when working remotely. This is one of many studies that show remote work is productive.
A Gartner survey supports this. “55% of employees are high performers when provided radical flexibility over where, when and with whom they work versus 36% of those working 9 to 5 in the office.”
How Companies Introduce Productivity Monitoring Is Vital
People are warming up to the idea of monitoring. With so many people using various software programs and tools online, data analysis and analytics have become the norm. How an organization introduces performance monitoring systems has a huge impact on employee perception.
Gartner found that “in 2018, 30% of employees were comfortable with their employer monitoring their email, compared to only 10% of employees in 2015. When an employer explains the reasons for the monitoring, more than 50% of workers report being comfortable with it.”
Taking the time to explain the monitoring purpose can boost employees’ acceptance of the practice by about 70%.
Should Companies Monitor Their Employees?
As recruiters, we tend to believe that companies should invest in hiring the right people — employees they trust to get their work done and fulfill the role the company has hired them for. Our take? If you feel you have to monitor them, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.
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