It may raise eyebrows for several reasons, but here is why employee monitoring is a good practice for most companies.
The term employee monitoring can bring up a lot of very different ideas.
Employee monitoring ranges from using programs to see exactly what your employees are doing online while they are at work, to having cameras put up in every available space.
It may raise eyebrows and bring on security and legal concerns, as well as being demoralizing for your employees, but it is a good practice for most companies.
Some companies will monitor employees to reduce the possibility of trade secrets getting out. Others ensure their employees aren’t spending workdays being unproductive while watching online videos or hanging out on social media.
There is a good reason that companies opt to monitor their employees.
However, the viewpoint for employee monitoring changes drastically when placed within the confines of resource planning or project management. While project managers and resource planners want to monitor their teams, it becomes more than just monitoring what employees are doing.
Project managers must mitigate projects as they come in and as they are ongoing, constantly requesting more resources from the resource planners.
Resource managers have to be able to distinguish from an available pool of team members who may be best suited for aspects of a project and to move employees between projects as needed. Then both the resource planners and project managers report to their managers how efforts are going across the board.
However, in the end, employee monitoring comes down to time management. Using time efficiently is the end goal for every company, as less time wasted equals more revenue made.
Time is Money
When planning ahead for projects, time is constantly built in, regardless of if it’s the management themselves adding a buffer, the employees including a safety buffer of their own, or a combination of the two.
Management may create the buffer just so that they can under promise and over deliver on that promise, which, in turn, makes clients all the happier. Employees, on the other hand, will make the same buffer, but use it all up regardless.
The complexity of projects can also lead to a time sink. While it may seem prudent to have employees multi-tasking on projects to ensure that everyone is working diligently, it can have the opposite effect.
Having employees multitask leads to lower morale and overall job satisfaction—that can affect your end product and your bottom line.
Because planning is so critical to all stages of a project, the best practice is to plan the biggest projects first. The more significant parts of these projects will always take up the most time and energy. You can filter in your medium and small projects as aspects of the larger one are completed.
Communication is Key
In today’s high-tech world, more and more employees are working remotely. This presents a unique challenge for everyone involved on any project. For various industries where the actual workload is performed remotely from the offices, this can be an even more complex problem.
Being able to effectively communicate with all parties becomes a highly critical concern.
Management teams need to be able to know what’s going on with the project manager and resource planners to be able to report conditions as needed to clients. Project managers should be able to quickly put together a project and submit their resource requests to resource planners.
Resource planners should be able to rapidly deploy resources for any given project down to the employees. Employees should be able to effortlessly convey when a given task on a project has been completed or has been met with a delay.
Ideally, everyone involved with a project should be able to know exactly what has already been completed, what is being completed, and what is left to do for a project. The more efficient the lines of communication are the more efficient the project starts to become.
Benefits of Using Resource Planning Software
Using resource planning software has a few benefits such as increased productivity, streamlined projects, and time savings.
What business, regardless of industry, doesn’t want these goals? But goals like this are difficult to quantitatively measure and a qualitative metric very rarely has a place in company practices.
Increasing productivity isn’t as simple as directing employees to work more diligently or requiring higher quotas to be met.
Increasing productivity relies on using the best-qualified employees for a specialized task and forming working relationships between those employees. This can be quite a feat as micromanaging people is not always easy. However, resource planners have an insider’s perspective of their resources and can help facilitate cooperative bonds.
Project streamlining also requires a good flow.
This flow is described as your state of mind as you take on the challenge. Resource planners have critical inside knowledge of their resources and can create stellar team compositions which work well together. This makes meeting deadlines easy, but may fail to the cultural phenomenon of no reward for early completion and thus the project is not marked as complete until the due date.
Time savings is based on how well a resource planner executed their knowledge in creating well-formed teams for the project.
When the project is a series of repeatable duties, better-composed teams will be able to meet demands more efficiently and be able to do more repetitions of that duty. When the project is a completed product, a well-oiled group can complete the task ahead of schedule and get to the next one sooner.
Project planning is not the status quo of employee monitoring.
Resource planners and project managers aren’t exclusively looking into what the employee is doing, but instead how they can best use that employee.
Using an employee’s strengths regularly increases the morale of the employee and can increase the efficiency of that employee in any project.
Time has always been expressed as money. Wasting time and effort does cost a financial sum.
However, proper resource planning can mitigate how much of that time is actually wasted which can raise the overall profitability of a company. Using employees according to strengths and availability increases the cohesion and will facilitate less time being spent on a project.
Communication becomes a more critical factor with project and resource planning.
Because today’s industries may call in remote employees to perform aspects of a given project, or that employees must rotate between remote locations to perform their duties. Being able to note where everyone is during the various stages of completion is critical in order to report back to the clients upon request.
The benefits of using a resource planning tool are not easily quantifiable.
The end result however is. Being able to use qualitative measures to place employees into projects based upon their strengths, form cohesive team units based on complementary composition, and creating a reward for pre-deadline delivery will increase the overall profit margin for the company, regardless of their industry.