September 2017
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Monitoring Productivity Might Kill Morale

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

With advanced technologies, employers can monitor their employees in any number of ways. High-definition cameras, time tracking software, and smart equipment can ensure employees are on their best behavior throughout the day. Data are abundant, and actionable staffing decisions can be made using this monitoring information. In theory, this type of monitoring will promote productivity by identifying where employees are wasting time, but new evidence suggests that this level of monitoring has an adverse effect on employee morale. One concern is that these monitoring programs tend to reduce employees simply to the sum of their productivity, making them feel more like a number than an individual. This will cause employees to feel undervalued, and their performance may suffer for it. Additionally, high levels of monitoring come with high levels of stress. The fear of being watched and the fear of being fired for stepping out of line drastically increase when faceless monitoring is put into place. When these stress levels get too high, employees will often seek employment elsewhere.

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