The San Jose Mercury-News reports that employers are rushing to surveil their employees.
Employers are rushing to embrace the Internet of Things, with its array of smart gadgets, to keep watch on their workers. Studies contend that these devices help reduce theft, boost productivity and weed out lazy, incompetent or abusive employees. Many managers swear by them, including Eric Weakley, owner of R&A Trucking in Oakland, who has outfitted his vehicle fleet with onboard recorders that alert him if the trucks suddenly brake or do something else unusual.
But other studies conclude that such monitoring can be so intrusive it undermines an employee’s work and well-being, producing anxiety or even depression. The U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, a now-defunct advisory branch of Congress, warned that the trend might lead to poor office morale, staff turnover, worker slowdowns and even “employee sabotage.”
In another life, I did management training. Fundamental to good management is trusting employees to do their jobs, then, as the saying goes, “working the exceptions.” Employers who do not trust their employees will find that they have created untrustworthy employees. Persons tend to meet expectations, and, when you expect misconduct, you will get misconduct.