How Employee Monitoring Software can help HR protect and retain their workforce
As pioneers in the Insider Threat space, in the early days of deploying our employee monitoring software VigilancePro, we were often faced with a conflicting rationale between commercial risk to a business and the wellbeing of the workforce.
We were all set to roll out to a large US customer, for whom we were planning to flag anomalies at their point of sale in real-time for profit-protection purposes, when Human Resources intervened. I remember well their wholesome stance at the time, “The good folk of our company are entirely trustworthy, and we see no reason to be monitoring their every move”. We understood the sentiment, but this was a company that knew they had ‘shrinkage’ in their daily operations. Taken across the board it amounted to millions in lost revenue both as a result of genuine mistakes but also a number of unscrupulous employees that tarnished the rest.
The commercial team were at pains to point out to HR that they had chosen our software because it wasn’t monitoring everyone all the time but only when the context we were seeing around the employee’s actions suggested taking a closer look. Amazingly this was some ten years ago.
The VigilancePro policy engine, at the core of our software today, is significantly more refined and provides automated highly targeted employee workplace monitoring and intervention. Nevertheless, the penny finally dropped for HR and their subsequent statement emphasised that “Employee workplace monitoring is as much about protecting the employees and establishing innocence as it is about finding the few bad apples”.
The backdrop to this was an internal disciplinary process in the company that relied on checking discrepancies in log files and then trying to match them with CCTV – a process that could literally take weeks. In the meantime, an employee remained under suspicion until innocence or otherwise had been established. So, in the eyes of HR, VigilancePro, our employee monitoring software, went from being ’big brother’ infringing civil liberties to playing a key role in their duty of care. So much so that in their ROI calculations they were able to recognise that staff retention improved significantly as a result of rolling out Vigilant’s proportionate workplace monitoring. With VigilancePro monitoring in real time, it was established that the vast majority of anomalies were genuine mistakes or training issues. Employees no longer had to wait weeks for the finger of suspicion to be lifted.
Roll on ten years and the proliferation of data, GDPR and the risk to businesses both financially and through reputation from unintentional breaches puts employee workplace monitoring firmly in the spotlight. As an HR application, it is our belief that ‘proportionate’ monitoring of the workforce should be as ubiquitous as the likes of antivirus. In complex IT environments, protecting busy employees from mistakenly leaking sensitive data has to be a goal for any Human Resources department. With VigilancePro employee monitoring software, baseline monitoring is unintrusive and is customised to reflect company policies.
To think back to that wholesome US HR stance, surely the ‘good folk’ of any company today would thank you for providing proportionate workplace monitoring for their own peace of mind.
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