How To Implement a Human-Centric Employee Productivity Monitoring Solution

Staff monitoring is here to stay. At least 43% of firms have some form of online employee monitoring. This new reality is at odds with the wishes of workers, with one out of four voicing objections to being monitored at all. 

There are valid reasons to monitor employee activity. Hybrid and remote work environments, especially, lend themselves to employers wanting some transparency into what their employees are doing. The goal of the program shouldn’t be to punish bad actors but to improve the experience for staff and management by identifying patterns that lead to higher productivity and replicating them across the organization. 

When implementing a monitoring solution, it’s best to do it with employee buy-in and full transparency. “Big Brother” style systems where every keystroke is logged may be appropriate for top-secret level work in a government organization, but they don’t belong in the private sector. They will cause disengagement by infantilizing employees who were presumably hired because they are smart and capable. Trust is still a critical component of the workplace and required for business success and employee development.

To roll out a program that’s human-centric and leads with empathy, you must start by listening to your employees - not eavesdropping on them.

Continuous Employee Listening: The Foundation Of Success

You’re used to scrolling Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook - what if you could have this kind of experience for employee feedback? McKinsey suggests implementing a system where you continuously collect anonymous employee feedback in the form of a survey, which they call a pulse check. They suggest doing it on a weekly basis to catch problems before they start and see what is working for your people. 

The usual annual employee feedback gathering exercise is helpful, but a more regular, easy-to-use survey can let you know about things when they are happening, giving you more power to fix them. 

Of course, continuous employee listening doesn’t start and end with a survey. Regular individual meetings, developing the emotional intelligence you need as a manager to pick up on bad workplace vibes, and properly actioning employee concerns are all vital to making sure your people feel heard.

Non-Invasive Productivity Monitoring Is The Compromise Both Sides Want

Once your people feel comfortable that their voices are heard and their opinions are acted on, it’s time to introduce the idea of an employee productivity monitoring solution. Prodoscore is the least invasive of the options that are out there in that it only monitors business activity, such as CRM inputs, email volume, meeting time, etc,. Prodoscore can alert leaders and managers to excessive workloads and burnout risk and also provides an employee-centric dashboard for employees to use for self-coaching and personal development.

It’s this staff participation that is the secret sauce of Prodoscore. Instead of simply monitoring in the background, it gamifies employee productivity by involving all team members and creating a transparent environment of accountability. Managers gain insight into how their team members spend their days, where there may be opportunity for improvement, and what a blueprint for success in a particular role might look like. Leadership teams can visualize how the entire organization is doing as it relates to productivity levels, cloud tool usage and collaboration trends. 

Instead of getting that icky “someone is watching me” feeling, your people will know that “someone is helping me.” The difference in those two approaches when it comes to employee engagement is hugely valuable. While survey data and direct feedback are still critical, Prodoscore provides a consistent and objective pulse check for the business and its people - like a Fitbit for productivity!

Excise the impulse to punish and replace it with a desire to reward

Managers are (hopefully) just as human as their employees, and the temptation to punish bad actors can be strong. If you’re leading with empathy, you won’t have that impulse. Most people who aren’t that productive at work have very good reasons for it, and we all have down days or even weeks. 

Instead, use the valuable data you get from Prodoscore to discover what makes your top performers tick and how they spend their days. Build a blueprint for success that low and middle performing staff can replicate throughout their workday. It may be something as simple as using a different tech solution for a task, or spending less time on emails and more time on external meetings. 

The most important thing to consider when designing your monitoring system is to keep in mind that employees are human, and some will not like the solution even if it is rolled out with full transparency and empathy. But if they feel like it is helping them instead of simply monitoring them, that can change the game and mitigate the risk of employee disengagement.

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