• Zach Clark, CPA, CFE

Don't choke your employees - how to do monitoring right.

In her article "The Employer-Surveillance State" journalist Ellen Ruppel Shell notes that while workplace surveillance is becoming more common, more sophisticated, and more economical - more isn't always better. Shell notes that various studies indicate that workplace surveillance can "increase workplace stress, promote worker alienation, lower job satisfaction, and convey the perception that the quantity of work one generates is more important than its quality". Some studies even show that monitored employees can have "lower self-esteem and are actually less productive".

To me, these results are not surprising. When people are put under pressure they often perform worse - a phenomenon known as "choking". And, while the steady low-level stress incurred due to continuous monitoring may not result in absolute performance breakdown, the knowledge that they are constantly being watched can slowly choke out your employees' confidence and motivation.

Monitoring your business and your workforce is of the utmost importance. But how you do that monitoring is extremely important. At Open Ears we offer anonymous tip reporting services that allow your employees to become active participants in the monitoring process not passive subjects. By allowing your employees to actively participate in the monitoring of your workforce you can increase transparency in your business, and you don't have to choke out your staff to do it.

Source: The Employer-Surveillance State - Ellen Ruppel Shell.