Where’s the Trust?

My favorite daily newsletter Chief Executive had an incredible article in January: 60% of companies (I think the writer means very large public companies) are using monitoring software to check on their workers! And an additional 17% are considering doing the same! I was flabbergasted! Where’s the trust?

Tune in this week as Wayne react to these amazing finding and discusses why monitoring software and the obvious lack of trust are likely to produce counterproductive outcomes because they fail to measure at least SIX productive business activities.

A terrific way to inspire loyalty in your people is to invest in their professional development. The Contractor Business Boot Camp is a one of a kind opportunity to do just that. Contact Charlotte at ckopp@familybusinessinstitute.com to learn more about future classes in Dallas, Denver, Toronto, and Raleigh.

  1. Monitoring software served us really well. Shortly after it was installed, we saw that my protege, who was one of our most trusted executives, was running a kickback scam with a vendor. He had been paid over $300,000 over a three-year period, and the scale of the fraud was rising exponentially. We were able to rectify the breach, and recover all of the money, because we had the electronic evidence of each transaction. Without the monitoring software, we would never had known, and this con man would have risen to the position of partner in the company.

    It is a straw man argument to suggest that owners use the software to spy like Big Brother on employees, and to micromanage their work. Instead, the software is better seen as a way to establish and enforce company policy in an open and forthright manner. Every company has rules about what is allowed and not permitted on company computers. The fact that the software is in place, and everyone knows it, keeps everyone controlling their own behavior and minimizes the need for ownership to act as a policeman in the workplace. It is a horrible boss who counts keystrokes or time at the keyboard instead of actual output. These are the same bullies who time employee bathroom breaks or look for any mistakes their underlings make in the actual office.

    With remote workers, it is even more important to be able to review the data sporadically, so that you can spot problems ranging from absenteeism to quality control issues. And of course, it allows management to see who is doing a great job and reward them.

    Good and ethical employees appreciate when the management recognizes their effort. They also support management when those workers who abuse the system and undermine the corporate culture are terminated.

    • Good counterpoint, Alan. Thanks.

  2. couldn’t agree more! Your questions about collaboration, learning, development and engagement are spot on. Companies (like you mentioned) are focusing on “activity” instead of “accomplishment”.

    • Absolutely right, Kent.

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