As a supervisor, you have a number of performance management responsibilities for employees whom you directly supervise. One of your duties is to find ways to encourage your team members to work smarter, faster and to be more efficient. An effective plan of action includes working with employees to develop, implement, and update productivity and performance plans.
Before you can implement processes for improvement, you must be able to measure employees’ productivity. The challenge is finding out what your employees are doing while they are on the clock. Are they meeting their deadlines or shopping on-line? Are they taking care of customer requests or talking with their best friend about the lousy blind date they had the night before?
According to industry experts, on average, employees waste about two hours every work day conducting personal activities on company time. These activities generally consist of engaging in personal conversations with co-workers, friends and family members or running personal errands on company time.
Personal communication is the top offender and accounts for more than 50 percent of personal activities that take place on the company dime. This includes personal calls, e-mail correspondence and conversations with co-workers about personal matters.
The second worst offender is employees’ surfing the Internet. Depending on the size of the organization, this can add up and cost companies millions of dollars each year. Not to mention it could place your organization in jeopardy.
Many people use their work computer as if it were their home computer. They download games, install random programs and engage in instant messaging. These activities expose the corporate network and make it vulnerable to attack.
Believe it or not, far too many people visit adult Web sites while they are at work. There have even been reported cases of individuals visiting child pornography Web sites from their work PCs. This type of activity is certain to lead to legal issues not only for the employee, but for the employer as well.
While most organizations prefer to refrain from using “Big Brother” tactics, companies cannot succeed if they do not monitor personal activities. One solution to this ever-growing problem is to install a system that can track each employee’s communication activities. While this is effective in tracking e-mail and Internet usage, it can be more challenging to track personal calls. Many employees use cell phones to place personal calls, and those cannot be tracked through company monitoring devices.
In addition to tracking communications, performance management systems can help business owners save money. Generated reports provide data to assist supervisors in making informed decisions about projects, employees, customers and vendors. Employers use these reports not only to determine if their employees are being productive, but also if their customers are getting the best service possible.
Performance-management systems are crucial for managing customer service procedures. Through the use of a monitoring system, phone calls and e-mail can be tracked to determine how long it takes for a customer to receive assistance. It also allows businesses to track and analyze important customer information, which can be used to tailor the company’s product or service to each customer’s needs.
Performance-management systems let managers track how their employees access the Internet. Reports can identify which Web sites were visited and if the content was work-related. These reports can help determine if there are ways to improve Internet search techniques or pinpoint which techniques are most effective.
Before implementing a performance-management system, employers should take proper steps to update company policies and the company handbook. Employees should be educated about the new policies and the consequences that could occur if they abuse or ignore those policies.
Although controversial, performance-management systems can be a valuable asset to your organization. If used properly, they will provide you with crucial information that can help you improve the bottom line and increase productivity throughout the organization.