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Employee Monitoring Tools Aren’t Made For Productivity or Teamwork

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Elliot Chan, Digital Marketing Manager7 min read

Summary:

Most employee monitoring tools are designed to enable HR departments and organization leads to manage or terminate employees based on performance metrics. These tools are not designed to empower workers or improve collaboration. Worse, they do not foster a space for conversation within an organization.

If you are considering getting an employee monitoring software to help your team work better. Hold on — and keep reading this article to learn how we can help!

There is a reason employee monitoring software exists. If you want indisputable evidence that allows you to terminate or discipline your employees, surveillance is useful. But if you want to get the most out of your team, build better collaboration processes , and gain an understanding of what impairs productivity, employee monitoring tools are ineffective.

Employee monitoring is designed to protect the business from having time or property stolen. If you are having such problems, surveillance will help. However, employee monitoring tools are not designed to empower and motivate employees or create a shared space for open conversations . If you’re looking to improve those areas, you’ll need something else.

Luckily, Produce8 is here to help. Follow along as we discuss why employee monitoring tools are ineffective for productivity and teamwork. And share our solutions.

Employee monitoring doesn’t improve productivity

Employee monitoring tools collect a wealth of data. However, a lot of that data may not help in improving productivity or enhancing team performance. Instead, it primarily serves as a tool for disciplinary action or compliance. This undermines positive organizational success.

Produce8's solution:

Unlike employee monitoring tools, Produce8’s digital work analytics platform provides practical insights that enable individuals and teams to set goals and drive intentional change. For example, if analytics reveal certain meetings are lengthy, teams can restructure and set a goal in Produce8 to reduce daily meeting durations, thus freeing up time for more valuable activities. Or if data shows that employees are consistently overworked, managers can work to help balance workloads and prevent burnout.

Employee monitoring is a failure of communication

If your team is consistently failing to meet expectations, resorting to monitoring tools will not help. Such tools do not facilitate the discussions needed to understand why employees are underperforming or how you can help them. Instead of creating an environment of open communication and trust, this approach sends a message of distrust.

Produce8’s solution:

Managers must prioritize direct communication with their workers. By initiating constructive conversations and providing feedback backed by data that both parties can access, managers can address issues directly and work collaboratively towards solutions. This approach resolves immediate concerns more effectively, strengthens relationships, and builds trust within the team.

Employee monitoring is a failure of communication

If your team is consistently failing to meet expectations, resorting to monitoring tools will not help. Such tools do not facilitate the discussions needed to understand why employees are underperforming or how you can help them. Instead of creating an environment of open communication and trust, this approach sends a message of distrust.

Produce8’s solution:

Managers must prioritize direct communication with their workers. By initiating constructive conversations and providing feedback backed by data that both parties can access, managers can address issues directly and work collaboratively towards solutions. This approach resolves immediate concerns more effectively, strengthens relationships, and builds trust within the team.

Employee monitoring builds a culture of fear and blame

Reliance on monitoring tools creates a culture of fear and blame within an organization. When employees feel constantly surveilled, they may become hyper-focused on avoiding mistakes and appearing active. This fear-based culture stifles creativity, collaboration, and ultimately performance. Moreover, when issues arise, employees may deflect blame onto the monitoring tools or each other instead of taking ownership and working towards solutions.

Produce8’s solution:

You must foster a safe culture and environment in which employees can take risks and learn from mistakes without fear of punishment. Great leaders encourage employees to undertake initiatives like implementing productivity challenges or establishing workplace guidelines. With the right tools to support and measure the effectiveness of change, individuals, teams, and the entire organization can take accountability and contribute to creating better workdays.

Employee monitoring is an obvious work culture risk

Capturing screenshots and tracking keystrokes and mouse activity represents a significant invasion of privacy for workers. Constant surveillance of every action can create a sense of unease, destroying trust and potentially leading to workers gaming the system and compromising the data to conceal what they are actually doing.

Produce8’s solution:

Workers have a right to privacy. Everyone should have control over what data is shared, including the tools they use, the meetings they attend, and the events in their calendar. By allowing workers to choose which data they feel is relevant to measure, they will become more likely to engage in making meaningful changes. This approach gives them ownership of the data and their workday.

Employee monitoring is inherently reactive

Employee monitoring relies on collecting data to identify areas of concern or non-compliance. While this information can be valuable for addressing specific incidents or behavior patterns, it does little to prevent similar issues from arising in the future.

Produce8’s solution:

Instead of waiting for problems to occur, organizations must take proactive measures to support a positive work environment and address potential issues before they escalate. You and your team can do exactly that by gaining insights into overwork, distractions, and other productivity-impairing factors.

Employee monitoring limits transparency

Another drawback of employee monitoring is that the data collected is often restricted to a select few individuals (typically management or HR personnel). This is especially true if the tool is silently installed, as most employee monitoring tools are. By restricting access to data, organizations miss out on opportunities to engage the entire team in identifying areas for improvement and working together toward solutions.

Produce8’s solution:

By protecting individual privacy and providing relevant data to individuals, teams, and organizations, meaningful improvements can be made. With specific data, each group can take action and drive positive change. Individuals gain insights into work habits and personal productivity challenges. Teams access valuable collaboration data and come to see communication patterns. And organizations can analyze trends to optimize resources and implement strategic initiatives. 

Produce8 is built for productivity and teamwork

We built Produce8 in 2020 when remote work became more prevalent and teams needed a way to collaborate while working remotely and asynchronously . There was a demand for a product that could help teams work better together, and after speaking with hundreds of business owners and leaders, we discovered that employee monitoring wasn’t the answer.

Since then, we’ve added many features that support all levels of an organization, from individual contributors all the way up to the CEO. We understand that everyone’s workday and work styles are different and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to effective collaboration. That’s why we provide unbiased data to help users understand how they work and identify factors that impair productivity.

Employee monitoring tools and digital work analytics are entirely different products. If you want to protect IP or find a reason to terminate a low-performing employee, then employee monitoring tools may be right for you. But if you want to build a team of high-performers, it’s time to invest in Produce8. 

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