Employee Tracking Ethics: 4 Things Employers Should Never Do

Employee Tracking Ethics: 4 Things Employers Should Never Do

There’s no denying that the best fingerprint time clocks and biometric access systems are helpful for tracking and improving attendance, payroll accuracy, and security. As beneficial as such tech can be, employers who aren’t careful with tracking technology run the risk of invading their employees’ privacy and crossing legal boundaries. 

If you’re considering bringing biometrics or other forms of tracking technology into your workplace, it’s crucial to brush up on your requirements. To begin with, here are just a few of the many things you should avoid doing. 

Not Discussing Tracking Technology with Your Team

Employers don’t necessarily have to ask their employees’ permission before investing in tracking technology, such as biometric products and GPS trackers, but it doesn’t hurt to discuss your intentions before you proceed with your purchase. 

You’ll need to inform them of its use upon implementation anyway, so discussing the possibility of adopting these changes gives you an opportunity to talk about the benefits, alleviate concerns, and listen to employee feedback. When the time comes to introduce it, most employees will likely be on board. 

Tracking Your Employees Without Permission

Introducing tracking technology into the workplace might not seem like a big deal. It might even seem like such a minor change that you neglect to inform your employees about it. However, tracking your employees without permission might land you in legal hot water. 

For example, it’s a criminal misdemeanor in many states to use GPS tracking to monitor a vehicle’s location without the owner’s consent unless it’s done lawfully through a law enforcement agency. 

Employers can track company-owned vehicles, but there might be state tort law violations if employees are tracked without their knowledge or consent. There can be many benefits associated with GPS tracking, such as streamlined travel, overtime monitoring, and ensuring compliance, but it’s crucial to ensure your team is aware of your intentions. 

Creating a Culture of Mistrust

There is significant global demand for employee monitoring software, with at least 70% of all large firms expected to use it by 2025. However, many people say they would leave a job if they were being tracked. These employees feel that it’s used out of a lack of trust and don’t appreciate having every minute of their workday monitored. 

Not all employees will be thrilled about the prospect of technology being used to track productivity, but companies have the opportunity to implement it without creating a culture of mistrust. 

For example, you can be open about your reasons for using it and provide reassurance about what you won’t be using it for, such as catching rule breakers. If you’re trying to improve processes, support your team, and gain data on everyday work tasks, it’s bound to be met with less resistance. 

Not Monitoring for Work Purposes

While most employees will eventually become used to their workdays being tracked to ensure productivity, very few would be happy to find out they’re being monitored outside of work. If you install GPS tracking in vehicles that employees can use for personal use or software on computers they can use in their own time, it’s important to set firm boundaries for tracking. 

Never use tracking technology when your team is off the clock, and ensure your team knows that their personal time will never be monitored. 

Tracking and biometric technology can be incredibly helpful, especially regarding security, productivity, and efficiency. However, it’s not always well-received by employees. Avoid doing the things above, and you should be able to build and maintain employee trust with relative ease.

Image courtesy of Mael Balland / Unsplash.

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