As I discussed in my popular article, Truth or Consequences: Beyond the Punishment Model, employers are too quick to act like cops with the result that employees respond like criminals. Here is more support for my advice, this time from a rigorous study of new restaurant software. Instead of using the software mainly to fire workers suspected of theft, all employees were made aware that the software was looking for misbehavior. The results were positive and–to those not familiar with my approach–surprising.
The same people who are stealing from you can be set up to succeed.
–Prof. Lamar Pierce
“The savings from the [monitoring software’s] theft alerts themselves were modest, $108 a week per restaurant. However, after installing the monitoring software, the revenue per restaurant increased by an average of $2,982 a week, or about 7 percent.
“The impact, the researchers say, came not from firing workers engaged in theft, but mostly from their changed behavior. Knowing they were being monitored, the servers not only pulled back on any unethical practices, but also channeled their efforts into, say, prompting customers to have that dessert or a second beer, raising revenue for the restaurant and tips for themselves.”
––How Surveillance Changes Behavior:
A Restaurant Workers Case Study
The New York Times
Your answer was just what I nedede. It’s made my day!
Why does a company need to install monitoring software? Can’t malfeasance be prevented by the “least privilege” access to files and websites?
Thanks for asking, John. One reason is that employees may have legitimate need for access to a body of data that they might also misuse. For example, hospital admission records might be searched for celebrities and leaked to the press and this: “NSA: Some used spying power to snoop on lovers”