Big Brother – Good or Bad?

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big brother

In this age of technology we have so many new ways to monitor and put surveillance on our employees. The question is, how do we know we are doing a good thing and not actually damaging our business?
Monitoring prevents mistakes being repeated. Let’s take for example data audit. If we have a way to monitor user activities, we are in fact looking over our employees shoulder, scrutinizing each and every key stroke they make. However, we are also providing a safety net, allowing us (as an organization) to improve on our mistakes. Simply by investigating issues we can identify backdoors, correct errors (lets say with a customer) making sure the door (gap) is closed, and never repeated in the future.

Analyzing capacity and load. What way do you have as an organization to actually check system activity? How many transactions are done per day? Per hour? Who is busy adding value and who is struggling to keep up? By having a detailed Big Brother approach you can find out how you are performing, increase the load or hire more resources to cope with existing or projected demand. The Big Brother approach really helps you to see beneath the surface and proactively fix potential problems before they happen.

You can misuse Big Brother techniques in micro management, making users explain their actions will lead to a bad organization attitude that will lead to fear and not taking responsibility. It is all about how you use your Big Brother powers. The boss of a friend of mine installed cameras in all their offices. This makes perfect sense from a security point of view, but as an employee, she feels monitored and mistrusted. Every time she answers her personal mobile she gets a text from her boss (even when he is out of the office) leaving her feeling paranoid and with no privacy. No one wants to be watched all day! This is not a healthy environment you would like to work in, lacking trust is a big issue. The Big Brother approach can alienate employees very quickly and is not to the benefit of the organisation overall.

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