There are a multitude of benefits to monitoring your employees and their behavior while on the clock. You can track habits and put together incredibly valuable metrics that can help you figure out how to increase productivity throughout your company, improve security, keep communication logs for future reference, and so much more.
Not every application and benefit of using employee monitoring software is immediately apparent, but they can all potentially have massive advantages for your company.
8 Ways Employee Monitoring Software Can Benefit Your Company
1. Helping Employees Improve
While most people think monitoring your employees is only useful to make sure your employees are doing their job, it can also be an incredible tool for helping them improve.
Since you are tracking how they spend their work time, you can see where they are having issues. Perhaps they’re having trouble on a task that has been assigned to them or they’re trying to take on more than they can realistically handle.
Being able to detect when employees are struggling with something is key because then you can quickly speak with them about the problem and help guide them on it.
2. Reducing Distractions
Quite possibly the most well-known usage of employee monitoring is to reduce distractions in the workplace. According to research done by Udemy, nearly 70 percent of workers say they get distracted while on the job. This is why so many companies now look to monitoring their employees to help reduce distractions and help them stay focused on their job.
With employee monitoring software, you can keep track of how your employees are spending their work time and find out how much of it is wasted on things like social media or watching videos on the internet. Once you have determined how much time your employees are spent distracted, and what they’re being distracted by, you can take action to rectify this problem.
Having discovered your employees’ distractions, you can warn them about wasting time on said distractions and even block your employees from visiting distracting websites completely. Over time, as you remove all of these distractions, you should begin to see an increase in productivity throughout your company.
3. Logging Employee Emails
By using software to oversee your employees, you can also log any communication done through an employee’s work devices.
One of the biggest forms of communication in the workplace is, of course, email. Having logs such as these can aid greatly in solving disputes between employees.
For example, perhaps an employee is accusing one of their coworkers of insulting their work in an email. Well, if you’ve been using software to monitor their communication, you can quickly and easily search through the logs to look for the email in question and find out who’s telling the truth.
4. Aiding With Lawsuits
When it comes to fighting lawsuits that have been filed by employees against your company, the more evidence in your favor you have the better. For example, perhaps a former employee feels as though they were wrongly fired and decides to sue your company. If you have the logs saved from monitoring your employees, then you have more evidence to prove that they were fired with good reason.
Another scenario that could be avoided is if an employee sues your company because they believe that they weren’t paid the correct amount of overtime pay. Once again, you can look over the logs and use them as proof of when and how long an employee and then use this as part of your proof that the employee was paid correctly.
Moreover, since your employees will know that you’re monitoring them while they work, they are much less likely to try to file a lawsuit against your company to begin with, saving you a lot of time and many headaches.
5. Protecting Against Hackers
Although employee monitoring is typically used to keep track of the employees themselves, it’s important to remember that it’s their devices you’re monitoring. This means that it can be used to help defend against hackers who are trying to breach your security.
Primarily, employee monitoring software is able to help you detect if an employee’s device has been hijacked by a remote access trojan (RAT). In an event such as this, you may start noticing strange patterns of behavior that are tied to this device. Your monitoring system may even track activity happening at strange hours, such as in the middle of the night when the employee would normally be home sleeping.
You can also set up your monitoring system to send out an alert if an employee’s work device happens to access data that they normally wouldn’t be allowed to. This way, you can catch the hacker in action and immediately put a stop to it.
6. Training Employees Faster
A lot of resources go into training new employees. Depending on the company and job role, they may need to be mentored and watched over for quite some time after starting the job.
Sometimes, this process can even take up to a year or two. This is where employee monitoring software comes in as it can significantly lessen the time that new hires need to be personally overseen by someone.
By having such a system in place, managers can watch over new employees much easier just by having the software do most of the heavy lifting and then going over the logs to see where the new hire needs to improve, and then guiding them accordingly.
7. Prioritizing Better
Because any good monitoring system keeps track of a plethora of different information, you can use this data to help prioritize resources better throughout the company.
Once you have collected a good amount of data regarding your employees’ activity, work habits, and where they are spending most of their time and attention, you can look over and analyze all of this data to see what can be improved upon and what might need to be reassessed.
Perhaps a team within your company has been working on a project that isn’t as high of a priority as something else they could be working on, or maybe an employee is working on a task that would be better suited for someone else. These are the kinds of things that can be analyzed and then improved when you have monitoring data to see where resources are being spent.
8. Preventing Insider Threats
One of the biggest ways that monitoring your employees can increase your company’s protection, and where it really starts to shine in regard to security, is with preventing insider threats. Through user behavior analytics, you can analyze and track important behavior and habits that could tip you off to a potential threat.
This is very important because, according to a study that was performed on insider threats, 81% of perpetrators planned their attack before carrying it out. Likewise, 80 percent of malicious attacks done by insider threats were done during normal working hours. This means that a good monitoring system can help stop these attacks in multiple ways.
One of the primary ways that monitoring your employees helps protect against insider threats is by keeping an extensive tracking history of their behavior. With this history of your employees’ habits, you should be able to spot when they start to behave strangely, perhaps even directly maliciously, and keep an eye on them. Sometimes, this behavior is just a one-off occurrence. Perhaps they’re just having a bad week. However, any change in behavior is worth noting and investigating because it could be a sign that they are planning an inside attack against your company.
Examples of strange behavior to look out for might include accessing data and files that they normally don’t, logging into work accounts at strange hours, or sending emails to a strange address.
Another way a monitoring system can help prevent insider threats is through alerts, as most brands of monitoring software will let you set up a system to alert you whenever employees access something that they shouldn’t. This way, you’ll know as soon as an employee starts to act in a malicious fashion.
Author Bio: Yuri Martsinovsky has been working in the security software industry at SoftActivity – computer and employee monitoring software development company – for over 15 years. He covers insider threats, computer monitoring, and other enterprise security topics. To read more posts by Yuri, follow Monitoring and Security Software Blog or company Twitter.