Browse Definitions :
Definition

employee monitoring

Employee monitoring is the use of various methods of workplace surveillance to gather information about the activities and locations of staff members. 

Businesses monitor employees to improve productivity and protect corporate resources. The main intention is to prevent unacceptable behavior in the first place and, should that effort fail, to curtail the behavior before it can have a negative effect on the business. 

A workplace research study from International Data Corp (IDC) reported that 30-40 percent of employee Internet access time was not work-related. Other statistics: 21-31 percent of employees had sent emails divulging sensitive information, such as intellectual property or trade secrets, outside of the corporate network; 60 percent of all online purchases are made during work hours. In the United States, the annual loss in productivity through online goldbricking is estimated at 40 percent.

Monitoring methods include keystroke logging, wiretapping, GPS tracking and Internet monitoring, which includes surveillance of employees' web surfing, email, instant messaging and interaction on social networking sites. 

One important consideration for employee monitoring is the question of whose equipment they are using and when they're using it. It's legal for employers to monitor staff's use of corporate-owned computers, smartphones and other devices during business hours but if the employee owns the equipment and/or they are on their own time, that's another matter. The issue of legality becomes murky when employers monitor staff using corporate-owned devices outside of work hours or using their own devices during work hours. 

Before deploying an employee monitoring program, you should clarify the terms of acceptable and unacceptable use of corporate resources during work hours and develop a comprehensive acceptable use policy (AUP) that staff must agree to. 

See also: Hawthorne effect

This was last updated in September 2014

Continue Reading About employee monitoring

Networking
Security
  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for ensuring individuals have the appropriate access to ...

  • fraud detection

    Fraud detection is a set of activities undertaken to prevent money or property from being obtained through false pretenses.

  • single sign-on (SSO)

    Single sign-on (SSO) is a session and user authentication service that permits a user to use one set of login credentials -- for ...

CIO
  • IT budget

    IT budget is the amount of money spent on an organization's information technology systems and services. It includes compensation...

  • project scope

    Project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, ...

  • core competencies

    For any organization, its core competencies refer to the capabilities, knowledge, skills and resources that constitute its '...

HRSoftware
  • Workday

    Workday is a cloud-based software vendor that specializes in human capital management (HCM) and financial management applications.

  • recruitment management system (RMS)

    A recruitment management system (RMS) is a set of tools designed to manage the employee recruiting and hiring process. It might ...

  • core HR (core human resources)

    Core HR (core human resources) is an umbrella term that refers to the basic tasks and functions of an HR department as it manages...

Customer Experience
  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

  • customer profiling

    Customer profiling is the detailed and systematic process of constructing a clear portrait of a company's ideal customer by ...

Close