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Analysis / Enterprise

4 Steps To Use Monitoring Software As A Strict Preventive Measure

Monitoring Software

Part of the beauty of using monitoring software to observe and supervise how your employees are using work computers is that it can act as a preventive measure. In other words, the simple fact that you are tracking computer-based activity can in itself help to reduce time wastage and increase productivity levels.

If you were to use an application such as WorkExaminer as a preventive measure, however, it is important that you take full advantage of that potential. Simply put it all boils down to your approach, and that is why you will want to take the following steps in particular:

1. Publish A Written Policy Regarding Computer Usage & Improper Use

Every business should have a written policy that outlines how work computers can be used as well as any limitations, and defines what is deemed to be improper use. The more precise this policy the better, as it will act as a set of guidelines for employees to follow. To come up with a good written policy, you should consider exactly how you intend to use WorkExaminer to track and monitor employees. The policy should include that information, and explain why certain metrics are being tracked and what is expected of employees.

2. Inform Employees That Monitoring Software Is Being Used

In order for monitoring software to be an effective preventive measure – employees need to know that they are being monitored. As such you will want to inform employees – either when they are being hired, or via an official communication or meeting. When informing employees, it is important to explain how WorkExaminer will be used to monitor them and also highlight the relevant written policy. Once employees know they are being monitored they are less likely to waste time or be inactive, and at the same time will know what they need to do – and what the consequences are if they don’t.

3. Identify Issues & Attempt To Handle Them Without Targeting Employees

After you start to monitor employees’ internet activity and software usage, you should be able to identify any issues that may be causing time wastage or affecting productivity. When you do you should attempt to handle them in a non-punitive manner, and not target specific employees. For example, if you find that the data WorkExaminer provides indicates that significant time is being wasted by employees on social media – you should address that directly. With its tools you can filter social media entirely and block it, or you could set a time limit to be spent on it.

4. Be Transparent About Any Action That Is Taken

If and when you do take any action to address issues, you should be completely transparent. Going back to the example above, if you decide to filter or limit time spent on social media – you should inform your employees, explain why the action is being taken, and invite feedback or recommendations. The more transparent you are about the actions that you take based on WorkExaminer’s monitoring, the more aware employees will be of it. That in turn should help to prevent any future misuse – which is essential if you want to keep it as a preventive measure.

Needless to say there may be some situations when using software such as WorkExaminer as a purely preventive measure is not enough, and punitive action may be required if some employees are particularly recalcitrant. That being said, in most cases it isn’t likely to get that far, and the majority of your employees will probably buck up in line with the written policy that you’ve put out – and that should only improve over time.

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Reg Hastings has recently started to monitor his employees’ online activity. After some initial difficulties, he has found that he is able to significantly improve his businesses’ productivity by doing so.