Is Tracking Employees Ethical during the Covid-19 Pandemic?

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Tracking employees during the pandemic can infuriate your team. They are already going beyond the norm to make deliveries or show up at the customers’ doors on time, risking their lives in the process. So, scrutinizing their work with employee monitoring software can make them feel that you don’t trust them and don’t value their hard work. This will certainly damage their morale which will affect their performance and ultimately your company’s reputation.

So, does that mean you shouldn’t monitor your employees?

Of course, you should. Workplace tracking is in the best interest of both your company and the workers; it’s not punitive.

However, you must strike a delicate balance between reasonable employee concerns and legitimate business interests. To do so, make your drivers an integral part of your field operations and tracking process instead of making them lone warriors.

Below are some advantages of employee tracking which you should discuss with your employees to get them on your side and clear up any doubts about why it’s very much ethical, even during this pandemic.

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Advantages of Tracking Employees

Ensure Driver Safety

GPS tracking software does not only tell you where your vehicle is, but it also shows how it is being driven. For example, it can identify reckless driving, including breaking road rules, harsh braking, speeding, and suddenly accelerating. In this way, you can keep your drivers safe, provide constructive driving feedback, and, most importantly, reduce unnecessary hefty fines for road law violations or mishaps.

Also, if a field rep gets stuck in the middle of nowhere due to unanticipated circumstances, such as a breakdown or medical emergency, you can send roadside assistance without delay.

Improve Performance

It is difficult to monitor driver performance without a tracking system. An advanced route planner with a GPS tracking feature provides you with records of your drivers’ activities, including the average time on site, stops made per day, distances covered, and routes completed per day.

The data can be used to analyze your field employees’ performance. With the performance data, you can provide better incentives to the top performers or promote them and you can guide the under-performing drivers to do better.

Your drivers will appreciate the growth opportunities as well as the opportunity to earn extra money. Overall your team’s performance will improve to the benefit of your company. Good for both parties, right?

Protect Drivers Against False Claims

Tracking employees will negate the chances of customers making false claims about deliveries not being made or being made late. This is because the tracking system records all the driver activity details, including when a designated driver visited or departed from a customer’s location.

Plan Optimized Routes

The employee tracking feature comes integrated with many advanced route planners. With these route planners, you will be able to plan accurate routes for your drivers as well as monitor them.

So, the drivers will get optimized route details on their smartphones with the GPS tracker providing turn-by-turn directions. Even if a driver is unfamiliar with an area, he or she won’t need to worry about navigating the area.

Also, commercial GPS trackers are easy to use and neither you nor your drivers need to go through rigorous training. The drivers can learn as they drive on the road.

Protect Vehicles from Theft

With GPS tracking, you’ll always know exactly where your vehicles are. So, if any vehicle moves suspiciously, you’ll know about it immediately and can share the data with cops to recover the stolen vehicle.

How to Convince Your Drivers?

Even after sharing the above benefits of tracking employees with your drivers, they may still have some concerns. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Monitoring employees through GPS outside of work hours can be particularly invasive because it can invade a driver’s private life. GPS or other tracking devices can also present opportunities for misuse by other employees.

Workers are often annoyed by how GPS is used in 2020 and some could feel like they are being spied on. Some unions even oppose GPS tracking because they believe that the use of such tools shows that management doesn’t trust the drivers.

Below are some ways you can persuade your drivers and their unions to encourage employee monitoring:

  • To address privacy concerns, you can inform your drivers that you can actually control when the GPS tracking devices are actually tracking. Say, when there is a scheduled lunch hour, you can turn GPS tracking off and your drivers can go wherever they want to go without being monitored.
  • Unions want transparency; they want to make sure that their drivers are treated fairly. By offering union-only access to GPS tracking information, you can prove that you are transparent.
  • Offer anonymized GPS tracking. In this way, the identities of your drivers won’t be revealed. Instead, for each driver, there will be a uniquely obfuscated driver ID.

Unions could oppose GPS tracking for many other reasons. Here’s how to work with them.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to tracking employees, a thoughtful GPS monitoring policy compliant with federal and state laws can prove invaluable. Since the current pandemic and your business interests demand that you track your drivers, you need to make sure that you don’t get into any legal hassles.

Long story short, the coronavirus pandemic seems to not be going away anytime soon and you cannot afford to risk your business for an unlimited period. Remember, tough times don’t last, but tough people do. So, start monitoring your employees today if you haven’t done so yet.

So, do you have any questions about tracking employees?

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!
Start Free 7 Day Trial

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

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