Why Survey-less Employee Engagement Isn't Employee Monitoring

Why Survey-less Employee Engagement Isn't Employee Monitoring

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote and hybrid work is more prevalent than ever before. During that time, many companies started using monitoring tools to ensure that people were working when not in the office. Companies can fall into micromanagement or monitoring behavior when their leaders are not metric driven or focused on cultivating trust. However, tools that gather passive data are vastly different than monitoring tools and can improve your leadership skills. 

Many dashboards that teams use for performance and process management use passive data. That is, data that is aggregated from the activity occurring during work that doesn’t require any extra steps from the users who create it. Using passive data provides unbiased, data backed insights into the engagement levels of your team.  

What is Employee Monitoring 

You don’t need a monitoring tool to create a “big brother” company culture. Companies that have undefined goals and irregular check-ins are at the highest risk of creating disengaged employees. These are the same companies that are somehow surprised when goals are not met. Instead of working on setting smaller, more achievable goals and spending their time engaging with their employees and teams, these leaders and managers often go into a reactionary fear state. That fear state leads them to think the solution is through monitoring or micromanaging. They want to make sure employees “are doing work”.  

Employee monitoring involves tracking and analyzing the activities of employees while they are on the job. This can include monitoring their computer and internet usage, tracking their location and movements, and recording their phone calls and conversations.  

Why Employee Monitoring Doesn’t Work 

There are many reasons why companies should not try and monitor employees to increase productivity, performance, or engagement. Most obviously is that it decreases psychological safety in the organization. Like other forms of micromanagement, monitoring is less focused on the quality of tasks that contribute to higher performance and engagement, and more focused on the amount of time spent and tasks completed. Focusing on high productivity often produces lower performance levels. Many employees react negatively to the lack of autonomy, privacy, and trust shown by their managers.

What is Passive Data Collection 

Gathering passive data to understand how your team is utilizing tools, creating communication networks, and measuring goals and performance is not comparative to monitoring or micromanagement. As you may or may not know, many of your tools already gather passive data. They combine these into different dashboards that you use to understand how your team is using that tool, like HubSpot showing all emails sent or received, or calls made, related to a deal. The problem is these tools don’t tell a comprehensive story of what’s happening across all your tools. 

Passive data that already exists in your tech stack can be translated into unbiased engagement insights that give signals into changes in work behavior, connectivity, and more. These insights are being used by our partners to increase their leader’s ability to manage thoughtfully and increase team performance and engagement.  

Why Measuring Employee & Organizational Health Works 

Peoplelogic is an award winning and patent pending platform that connects to the tools your team uses to get work done. It aggregates tool data and turns it into insights and signals that help your teams increase their ability to measure performance, engagement, and change management. It aims to tell the full story of your organizational health with features like ONA (Organizational Network Analysis) graphs, aggregated engagement scores (based on that passive data), and automatic recommendations to your managers.  


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