How to Avoid Micromanagement When Using an Employee Monitoring Software

How to Avoid Micromanagement When Using an Employee Monitoring Software

As one of the most controlling management styles, micromanagement usually shows the lack of autonomy in the workplace. Employees dread it for a very simple reason: nobody likes to have their every step reviewed and judged. Using an Employee Monitoring Software

This type of management causes low productivity, employee dissatisfaction, ultimately pushing workers to look for other employers.

In the past year, with almost the whole world working from home, we’ve seen an enormous increase in workplace monitoring practices. And while most employers praise this change, not all employees are happy about it, so there has been a lot of chatter about how these tools encourage micromanagement.

Today we’ll share some tips on how you can use an employee tracking software without the fear of becoming a micromanager.

Using an Employee Monitoring Software – Focus on the Big Picture

A software will allow you to monitor individual and team productivity, and you should really focus on the team. What’s important for your business is that your teams finish their projects on time, and with quality.

Therefore, if your report shows a certain percentage of unproductive time that was spent on online shopping, it shouldn’t matter. As long as these small things don’t affect the overall performance, there’s no point of nitpicking on them.

The software is there to help you establish reasonable goals, track progress, and create improvement plans.

Occasional Unproductivity is Normal

Breaks should be encouraged at work. They help workers improve their focus and get back on track. So, if you see someone browsing news sites during working hours, don’t come around asking “Why did you spend 10 minutes reading news today?”

Nobody can be 100% productive during the workday, including you. 

Instead, you should shift your focus towards improvement. If productivity is increasing, or staying the same, while the work is being done with quality, there’s no need to worry that someone read the news for 10 minutes in their day.

Set Goals and Stick to Them

If you create goals, no matter if they’re daily, weekly or monthly, it will be easier to forget about the little details. When you start using the employee desktop monitoring software you’ll learn the habits of your team. You’ll have the data that will help you understand how they work, and set reasonable goals and deadlines in the future.

Once you’re fully aware of your team’s capabilities, it will be easier to notice when someone’s performance is going down, and that’s when you should react.

Limit the Data Access

To avoid micromanagement, some companies install the monitoring software and don’t give full access to team managers. Instead, they create automatic reports which are delivered in predefined time.

These reports include all the data managers need – productive vs unproductive time, active time, attendance, and other relevant information. 

This approach has two advantages:

  1. Managers won’t be spending their valuable time looking for smallest mishaps within the app;
  2. SInce they don’t have access to every little (irrelevant) detail, they won’t be able to use the employee monitoring software for micromanagement.

Besides helping the managers, this type of approach also gives employees a piece of mind. They’ll know that the overall results matter above their daily activities, and that managers know that.

Final Thoughts

Employee tracking software is great for tracking progress, productivity and increasing the efficiency of your team – as long as you use it well. The tool on itself isn’t bad news, and employees won’t be against it, but if you start getting into every little thing they did during the day you’ll risk losing productivity, employees, and eventually clients.

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Laying off staff? Make transparent decisions using a skills matrix

Laying off staff? Make transparent decisions using a skills matrix

Use a skills matrix. Nobody can predict the future with absolute certainty. And although you want to avoid doing so, unforeseen economic circumstances such as the current corona crisis might mean you’ll have to lay off staff. If it gets that far, it always involves making radical and gut-wrenching decisions. This article explains how you can at least make the decision-making process honest, objective, and transparent.

Why redundancies?

Having too many people in employment is referred to as ‘redundancy’. There are numerous reasons why this arises, for example economic downturns, which cause revenues to drop and prompt organizations to cut their staffing costs. Take, for example, the airline, travel, and entertainment industries hit by the corona crisis. Travel restrictions and reduced passenger numbers or visitors have caused profits to nosedive, forcing organizations to cut their workforces.

Robotization and automation are other causes, where machines replace humans on a production line or chatbots replace customer support representatives.

Other causes include organizational strategy changes, for example a shift toward greater specialization to gain a competitive edge. This can mean divesting certain tasks, services, or products, and with them superfluous staff.

Using a skills matrix

It’s always a gut-wrenching process to have to fire people, especially when they work and perform well. After all, it’s a decision that negatively impacts the life of your employees. If the step is unavoidable, then it’s vital that your decision-making process be honest, objective, and transparent.

Skills matrices help you achieve this because they provide a clear, concise, visual representation of your staff’s skills, competences, knowledge, and qualifications. They list your employees’ names down the left-hand column and all the skills needed to perform a certain task along the top row (or vice versa). There are several types of skills matrix depending on the complexity and number of skills and competences you’re mapping and monitoring. – Read more

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Is Lack Of Employee Recognition Damaging To The Company?

My Post (2).pngDon’t we all love a pat on the back when we put an extra effort into something? Though employee recognition is not always on the top of the list of an organization’s priorities, it does play an important role.

We all know the basic rule when it comes to employee appreciation or appraisal, you appreciate them in return for some extra effort. Every year, employees try to work a little harder during their annual performance reviews because that’s when they need recognition the most. Their pay raise usually depends on how they showcase their performance during the months closer to annual performance reviews.

Let’s understand why this approach is problematic. Various departments in every company constantly work on different deadlines from time to time. But their performance and efforts aren’t recognized always, the only time their performance matters is during the annual performance review, because it directly affects their pay raise.

Here, pay raise works both as a motivating factor as well as a demoralizing factor. Employees put all their effort only when there is a monetary factor involved. This approach might work for a few months, but to keep employees engaged and motivated in the long run, as a manager, you need something more.

What is it that employees actually need from managers to stay engaged at work? Well, the answer is quite simple, guidance, appreciation, monitoring and rewards.

Guidance

Though employees seem to understand and fulfill their job responsibilities, at times they can be really motivated when their managers give them guidance. When we say guidance, it doesn’t mean that you breathe down their neck always and micromanage them.

It is always good to get the manager’s perspective when you’re working on something. So, make sure that your employees get enough guidance from you through various channels available.

Managers tend to use learning management systems to help employees learn and develop their skills from time to time. At Engagedly, employees are given free access to online courses and managers assign them courses from time to time.

This approach creates in the employees a sense of being valued and feeling important for the organization. There are various LMS software out in the market that you can use to guide your employees.

Appreciation

When was the last time you appreciated your employees without expecting them to put an extra effort into the next big project that you want them to work on? Well, most managers cannot recall the answer to this question. That is because, appreciation is something that we don’t really focus on.

It is true that employees are paid for their work, but it should not be the reason for you to refrain from appreciating the efforts that they put into work from time to time. Understand that employees are human and have emotions. One of the most important things that employees crace for is, validation from the higher level. So, do not hold back, appreciate even the smallest accomplishments of your employees. But also make sure you don’t do the following mistakes when appreciating them:

  • Don’t be generic in appreciating your employees. Put some effort into understanding what they went through to achieve their goals
  • Don’t beat around the bush. Be clear and specific. Don’t leave employees wondering if you really appreciated them or if it was just a pep talk.
  • Don’t recognize the same employees always. Know how the efforts of other members on the team affect the success of your organization and acknowledge them.
  • Don’t be late. We all know that late recognition is equivalent to no recognition at all. It doesn’t really matter.

Monitoring

Like mentioned before, monitoring doesn’t mean that you micromanage your employees. But as a manager, it is important for you to know what your employees are working on. This is not monitoring someone’s performance but it is monitoring their progress, so that you can guide them if they need your help.  – Read more

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