Technology is a double-edged sword. A good example is nuclear energy. It is a good source of power, but it can be a dangerous weapon. We can say the same for time tracking tools. Most employers use these time monitoring tools as a way to boost productivity in their workplaces. It also makes it easy for them to locate the most profitable areas of their business and pick out projects that are not performing well. However, despite the many benefits of a time tracking device, it has consistently made employers rethink using it because of employees’ privacy. Most people associate these tools with spying. Hence, employees may consider it one of the first steps to other monitoring protocols that the company may adopt to violate their privacy. So how can an employer protect employees’ privacy while using this software? Here are some tips to get you started.
Get Consent from the Entire Team
Privacy rights clearinghouse provides that all employee tracking systems are legal if employees give their consent. Therefore before rolling out the use of this software, employers need to develop a terms and conditions document that employees can go through. Additionally, the employer must ensure that the employee understands the provisions before signing or agreeing to them. Therefore it is best to write statements in a precise and concise manner for easy understanding. Once employees give their consent to the terms and conditions, the employer can install the software.
Dtex Systems conducted research which came up with an interesting finding that 77% of Americans do not mind their employers tracking their digital activities as long as the employer exhibits transparency by letting them know about the tracking upfront. Withholding information from employees while collecting their data may not sit well with most of them, resulting in resistance and even a turnover of some employees. To achieve complete transparency, employers need to ask themselves some pertinent questions, which include;
- Which time tracking software are you using, and how effective is it?
- What activities are going to be tracked by the software?
- How will the collected data be used?
Choose the Right Software
Time tracking tools range from functionality to design. Therefore employers must be wary of the device they select. Some tools collect minimal information, while some are intrusive. When choosing software for time tracking, transparency also comes to play. Employees may be comfortable with a device that monitors their internet and application usage, but they may not be okay with one that tracks their emails and screenshots on their desktops. Thus, when choosing software, an employer has to also run it through the employees before making a decision. Additionally, employers need to reassure their team that the software will make intelligent business decisions and corrections. Therefore if you have not gotten one yet, try and engage your employees to get their train of thought on monitoring features they are comfortable with.
Get Feedback from Employees
To gauge how your software is working, you have to engage the employees to get the pulse of the workplace. Creating an open line where they can raise suggestions or criticisms on how the system should work not only builds trust between the employer and the employees but also is a good way to upgrade the system. It enables employers to understand where the system is intrusive and, if it needs to be changed or done away with. Moreover, it minimizes the feeling of being spied on and builds the mantra of making the company better.
Most employees may be resistant in the first instance, and they may be thinking, what do I stand to lose? True most employees may view this tool as being beneficial to the company and not them. Thus, it is best to use incentives to bring them on board to change this negative attitude. For example, you may decide to reward an employee with the best project turnover time; or implement point earning systems for enthusiastic and punctual employees. This way, they will not feel as if you are intruding into their privacy.
Be Guided By Your Ethics
After all is said and done, privacy remains a pertinent right for all employees. A breach of this right may be detrimental to the company. By leaving the company open to lawsuits and a bad reputation. Therefore every business owner should be guided by workplace ethics, and they should be aware of things that can lead to a breach of privacy. Following the above tips will be easy for employers to appease their employees and assure them that their privacy is always protected.